Tuesday, 20 January 2009

HMS Belfast - Floating Industrial Design Treasure


When I took my godson Milo, who was visiting from Milan, to see the HMS Belfast, little did I know what a discovery I was making. I had vague recollections of a going there with my grandad when I was a kid, and obviously at that tender age had no appreciation of the aesthetic tour de force that this battle ship is. Neither do many other design geeks to my knowledge. I have never heard it mentioned in any design aficionado guide.


For anyone who loves vintage metal filing cabinets, heavy duty industrial furnishing's, huge nuts and bolts, Bakelite telephones, the whole boat is an inspiration. The decks are even painted in colourways worthy of a Farrow and Ball colour card.


In addition the boat is peopled with a waxwork crew ( even a stuffed cat can be found dozing in its own mini hammock in the sleeping quarters) There seems to be a kind of odourama thing going on which we couldn't quite work out whether it was intentional or not. The whole vessel is a wonderful time capsule, and even though the fact that this boat was a effectively a water borne killing machine is never far from ones mind , one cannot help but be inspired by the whole aesthetic of the cruiser.

belfast6 copy

I can thoroughly recommend a visit to this battle ship with or without a smallish child in tow !

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