Sunday, April 23, 2017

Malvern, Worcestershire

Mobile architecture (1): Modern

Spotted in Malvern during the heritage festival this weekend was this memorable caravan, which I think of as a piece of mobile architecture. When I first saw it across the abbey churchyard I thought it must be an American Airstream, but it's actually British, and made by a company called Rocket, based in Stourport-on-Severn, who build aluminium caravans (both touring and, like this one, for businesses) to customers' specifications. It's shiny, eye-catching, looks very well made, and contains a mobile café that was doing good business. The cheerful person behind the counter, just visible in the shadows in my photograph, dispensed me an excellent cup of tea. She told me that Café Eight Three is available for all kinds of events, parties, festivals, weddings, etc, etc – you can find out more about the café here.

Please note A deadline approaches, so my posts will probably be shorter over the next few weeks. My apologies, and with them my hopes that brevity will be if not the soul, at least the occasional embodiment, of wit.


Joseph Biddulph (Publisher) said...

Two questions:
1. If it's mobile, does it count as architecture? As architecture, it is certainly pleasing, though no effective rival for Great Malvern Priory itself, in my humble opinion.
2. How on earth did the photographer manage to get a shot of this shiny surface without showing a reflection of himself - or have I missed it? My own attempts at the glass-filled Anglo-Saxon doorway at Somerford Keynes provided a number of interesting portraits of myself. Likewise some shiny Ukrainian gravestones in Huddersfield. Is there some secret?

Philip Wilkinson said...

Those are both questions I meant to beg in this post, although the second one only occurred to me after I got home and looked at the photograph.
1. Most traditional definitions of architecture exclude mobile structures, although at least since the 1960s certain architects have concerned themselves with mobile 'buildings' (Archigram's Walking City, for example). And for a long time there have been naval architects. So I thought it worth extending the definition – for two blog posts anyway.
2. Somehow I have disappeared from the picture. Spooky, no? My position led me to suppose my reflection would appear in the curving corner of the caravan, but due to some optical phenomenon that I don't understand, I am nowhere to be seen. I can't say I mind.