I visited the Hôtel de France, Sainte-Croix in Vaud, Switzerland. Here is the hotel, from the street outside, just after I arrived.
I had to wait in Geneva train station, for the train which goes to Yverdon-les-Bains. The sun came through the windows and people walked through the lighted space.
The Hôtel de France is known for its absinthe.
I sketched the absinthe table. The bottles look like a group of people waiting for something to happen. Like people, the bottles have common basic characteristics, but each has their individual variations.
Glasses, too, have their characters.
I walked down the ancient salt road to the village of Vuitebœuf. Here is the Église de Vuitebœuf from the rue du Culaz, which I afterwards found out is also on the ‘Via Francigena’ pilgrims’ route Canterbury to Rome (1900km).
This church was constructed in 1904 to the design of Charles-François Bonjour.
I travelled back to London late Sunday night, on a crowded ‘plane from Geneva.
From gate B42
Boarding the aircraft
Here are links to previous drawings in Sainte-Croix.
On a lovely warm day I walked into the gardens of St Luke’s and drew a picture.
The red brick building is the Ironmonger Row Baths designed by AWS Cross, opened in 1931 as public baths (for washing – not swimming!) and laundry. They were needed because:
“The case seemed unarguable given the statistics presented by the new Baths and Washhouses Committee. Of 20,005 families in the borough, 4917 shared a single room and 7253 lived in two rooms. Of 12,000 dwellings, just 500 – only 4 per cent – had private baths.”
This was less than 90 years ago – my parents’ generation. The data is quoted by the wonderful website “Municipal Dreams” on the link below:
The Baths have recently (c. 2013) been refurbished and now have swimming pools and a spa and gym. They are still owned and run by the local authority, Islington.
The tall tower is the 42-storey Carrara Tower of the 250 City Road development, by Foster + Partners, under construction.
The shorter tower at the back on the right is Canaletto, which must be one of the hardest towers in London to draw. Those weird curved structures defeat my sense of perspective. Perhaps that’s the idea.
This architectural masterpiece, created by internationally-acclaimed UNStudio, has set a new standard for residential developments in London. (CanalettoLondon.com)
The building on the left of the picture is Burnhill House, run by Keniston Housing Association. Residents here are running a campaign to try to moderate plans to redevelop Finsbury leisure centre, which is off to the left of my drawing, and in front their building. Their banners adorn their balconies.
Brunswick Place is a seam in North London, joining the fin-tech offices of Old Street to the social housing estates of the 1950s.
Here is the North side of Brunswick Place, seen from Charles Square.
You see the Prince Arthur pub in the foreground, behind the ‘No Entry’ sign. The pub looks as though it has been there forever. In “pubshistory.com” (an amazing resource) licensees are listed back to 1841.
In the background, The Atlas Building is under construction.
In between, the pinkish building is an old office block with iron-framed windows, called “Jordan House”, occupied by 4 different businesses. Behind this is a brand new brown building, with groovy vertical windows making little triangular prisms.
A man came by with two bulky bags of shopping. He told me about the brown building in the picture. He said it was originally built to house Kings College staff and students. But that didn’t work. Now it is shared office space on the ground floor. “You know,” he said, the type where you just get a cubicle, battery hens!” And on the top, he said “it’s mostly women…”, he paused, “…from Korea”. The brand name on the side of this building is “Scape”, I had been looking at it. I didn’t put the writing in the picture. The man continued, “And you know the Q hotel? On Corsham Street? The Chinese are in there.” He paused again, waiting to see my reaction. I did my best to look interested. I was wondering where he was going with this. “We don’t get Anti-Social Behaviour!” he said. Good international relations in Shoreditch, evidently.
He had been living in the area for 40 years, he said, working for the Health Service. He had watched that brown building going up. The people in the building opposite, Vince Court*, had complained about the noise. “They were pile driving” he said, “Saturday, Sunday.”.
He pointed to a bright silver anti-climb device on Vince Court, all curved spikes. He had no time for the Local Authority, who had apparently sanctioned this device. “It’s awful,” he said, “gives a very bad impression.” It did. Not only did it look awful, it was also ineffective. I had a look on my way home after the picture. The spikes are on top of a wall. But you can easily walk around the wall.
When I was home, I looked up “Scape” on the web. They provide accommodation for students. You rent a room for a year (“51 weeks”). The website is in English and another language.
My drawing is a bit lopsided, with only the right side of the street showing. That is because a white van obscured the left side. While I was drawing, the engine started, and the van stayed there, by the kerb, with the engine running. It was still there, engine running, when I left. I never saw anyone get in or out.
Outside the Prince Arthur pub, there are a collection of bollards. One is shown in the picture. Two of these bollards are cannon. In the background of the middle picture you see the offensive anti-climb spikes on Vince Court.
Cannon, now a bollard
Not a cannon, but an interesting bollard
About 1 hour. Drawn and coloured on location. 6 degrees C.