Thursday, January 28, 2016
People sometimes ask me why I do not do more posts about interiors. There are various reasons. First of all: what most interests me about buildings is the face they present to the world – not just how they look from the outside, but also how they relate to their surroundings and how they enhance (or not) our experience of townscape, villagescape, landscape, or whatever other kind of scape we find ourselves in. I also find it easier to take photographs of exteriors, and what I most like to do is show you one photograph that combines with a small piece of text that tries to sum up what I feel about the building. Although I sometimes can’t resist a church interior, interiors on the whole are another country (if not another world) and I’d have to do things differently there.
But now and then there’s nothing like an exception to prove, as they say, the rule. A few weeks ago the Resident Wise Woman and I went to a concert in the Forum, Bath. I knew, from reading, that this was a former cinema and that it had some kind of art deco interior. But this information, plus the rather classical stone-clad exterior (this is Bath, after all) could not prepare me for the delights inside: a virtually complete art deco interior of 1933–4, with chromium-plated handrails, doors of fine woods (walnut, ebonized timber), all kinds of plasterwork embellishments, a classical frieze of naked warriors, and lighting (both concealed and visible fittings) to die for.