Friday, August 01, 2014

Daft brand names

click photo to enlarge
Wagamama, the British chain of Japanese restaurants cum noodle bars, must be in the top ten daftest brand names in the country alongside the likes of Fat Face, Everything Everywhere (EE) and C'eed. I suppose whoever thought it up considered it memorable, funny, distinctive etc. For me it's the kind of name that puts me off setting foot in the place -  in the same way that the restaurant chain called EAT., a company that insists on a full stop at the end of its single-word name, always sounds to me like a barked order that I feel duty-bound to ignore.

We were in Lincoln recently. It's not far from where we live, a historic city with a fine cathedral. Yet, we go there only once a year. I'm not keen  on the place. It seems to me to have the relationship with Lincolnshire that London has with the UK - it draws far more than its fair share of investment and sucks the life out of its hinterland. Add to that the truly awful redevelopment of the area around the Brayford Pool with its execrable university buildings, toy-town hotels and throw-away flats piled on the water's edge, the fact that the cathedral charges for entry, and the paucity of good, modern architecture, and you'll perhaps understand my feeling that one visit a year is quite sufficient.

But, the Wagamama restaurant built out over the water of the Pool is better than most of the buildings in that locality. The emphasis on horizontals and shallow pitches in its design is refreshing, as is the elegant use of materials. I'm not a great fan of hardwood slats as a wall finish; they soon discolour and stain in our wet climate. However, here they work well with the steel cladding and glass. I particularly like the dash of bold colour that accompanies the blacks, greys and browns. The red painted steel panel, with its large and small holes that covers the air-conditioning units is a nice contrast against the muted colours and I made it the subject of one of the semi-abstract, detail photographs that I took of the building.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 66mm (99mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On