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Repainting the railway bridge over Southwark Bridge Rd/Borough Rd

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Saturday 11 April 2009 11.28am

Memo to Network Rail:
Just because the bridge gets an "honourable mention" in Pevsner's Buildings of England:

Cherry & Pevner, London 2: South wrote:
Across the junction of Borough Road and Southwark Bridge Road, an eyecatching steel truss, and ingenious strengthening of the original box-girder bridge.

and was identified as a "positive landmark feature" in the supplementaty planning guidance for "Enterprise Quarter"* it doesn't automatically follow that is should be given a multi-coloured "heritage" paint job!!!

(* the area formerly known as the South Bank Polytechnic campus)

In some misguidedly literal approach to showing the history of the eastern half of the bridge, they are painting the 1864 bits a dark "Victorian" green, and the strengthening trusses (c.1910?) in a light green "eau-de-nil". That would be OK - but the later work also included some blocks of plate steel riveted to the earlier structure, and they have painted these light green as well. It may be a fine visual lesson in engineering logic but it now looks ugly as sin.

However, on the arched truss western bridge, they haven't followed the engineering and seem to have arbitarily decided to just paint the girders inside the "arch" facing Borough Road in light green, while the equivalent girders on the inside arches are all dark green, making a real visual mess as you can see the darker colours behind it.

They should either have been bold (i.e. painted the whole thing a zinging eye-catching bright orange or Yves Klein blue) or painted the whole bridge in a neutral colour that could be easily matched each time graffiti on the eastern bridge needs to be painted out.

[LR lights the blue touch paper and retires a safe distance - will this thread be as contentious as the colour scheme for the Floral Hall portico at Borough Market?]
Saturday 11 April 2009 7.12pm
I saw the bridge at dusk, so I am not in a position to comment on the scheme and the logic or otherwise, but it did strike me that these paint jobs are show a bold approach to our environment.

The point about vandalism is true. It is disappointing to see the blue bridge over Borough High Street, / Newington Causeway near Elephant has ben defaced.

Don't get me started on the casual way these expensive works are trashed.

Anyway I will take a look at the colourscheme in daylight and return to make a pronouncement on this very thread.

Appalled / Delighted of SE1.
Saturday 11 April 2009 9.10pm
Sunday 12 April 2009 12.22am
I'll take some tomorrow.
Sunday 12 April 2009 11.56am
Can someone explain to me the buzz of ruining the look of everything and anything with graffiti? Why do I never see anyone doing it? Why does nobody ever see anyone doing it and put them in the slammer?
Sunday 12 April 2009 12.36pm
Here's a 'before' picture from Rich Wale:

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Sunday 12 April 2009 3.45pm
In no particular order:[email protected]/sets/72157616573785371/

I see what you mean, Lang. It's a bit of a mess.
Monday 13 April 2009 8.49am
Whoever chose the particular shade of dirty, dark green they have used should have been shot. The effect of the bridge, the Uni buildings the trees, and now a tall residential block being built means the area tends to have an air of gloom about it at the best of times. The last thing it needed was using a colour that seems to soak up whatever light is left.
Monday 13 April 2009 11.16pm
Tolstoy - thanks for the photos.

I'm intrigued by the gold-painted rivets in the last two shots. Has Mickysalt been brightening it up?
Tuesday 14 April 2009 4.23am
Yes, the only sensitive touch that's been applied, they run through the under section. More of that and it might just have worked.
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