Architects on acid?

These amazing columns are part of the main entrance to London’s famous Natural History Museum. I visited today, for the first time since childhood, and found that it was much as I remembered inside. The dinosaurs are still as cool as they were when I was little and the mighty blue whale is still one enormous creature (although it didn’t seem quite as big as it did when I was small…).

However, I had not remembered how intricate, highly textured and downright trippy some of the museum’s external architecture is, and found myself staring in fascination at these columns while school kids and tourists milled around me on the steps.

I doubt the architect was on anything stronger than a cup of tea when he designed these candy-canes in stone, although the end results would suggest that it might be reasonable to suppose that he was somewhat away with the fairies. Whatever he was trying to achieve, he certainly let his imagination fly free, and the architecture of London is all the more fun for his efforts.

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