Too Cool For School: London Zoo Penguin Pool by Berthold Lubetkin-
Happy world penguin day everybody! In celebration, today’s post features three of my favourite things: Modernism, monochrome and penguins!
Russian architect Berthold Lubetkin, who emigrated to England in the 1930s, was probably most famous for Highpoint, a block of flats in North London. He was a pioneer of the modern movement in Britain and worked on many projects. He designed the penguin pool at London zoo in 1934 which housed the penguins until recently. The pool is still at London Zoo today and is now grade 1 listed but unfortunately the penguins have been moved to another enclosure.
Hayao Miyazaki is known for his beautiful, sprawling animated films that wrestle with some pretty hefty topics. And in kids movies that deal with spirit worlds and what not, it makes sense that the idea of mortality might lurk somewhere in the background. But HOLYSHIT, THEGOD OF DEATH?!
The idea here is that when Mei goes missing, she actually drowns. And since Totoro helps Satsuki find Mei, he is thus a gatekeeper to the realm of the dead. Therefore anyone who can see him is actually on the verge of receiving his wrath. But… they also find Mei at the end. And everything’s OK. AND Totoro then makes a tree grow really big really fast. Last time I checked, trees tend to be a pretty common symbol of life. Which makes him a pretty terrible GOD OF DEATH. Look, not everything has to be a reflection of our universal fear of mortality. So can we all just cool it? Let us ENJOY the goddamn movie. And go to therapy. Keep Reading