18 October 2008

this ain't no walmart

Selfridges & Co. @ Bullring / Birmingham, United Kingdom
While walking around the city this morning, I shot the exterior of Selfrigdes & Co department store at the fashionable Bullring in Birmingham. The curvaceous store is covered with a dramatic "skin" made up of 15,000 spun aluminium disks - which apparently get polished once a year. The inspiration for the exterior design, you ask? A Paco Rabanne sequined dress. The current shopping mecca, which opened in 2003 and sits at the end of trendy New Street, is one of the largest in the United Kingdom, with almost 40 million visitors a year. The Bullring has been a center of commerce in Birmingham since the 1700's, with early trading focused on food, cattle, and corn. In the mid-1800's, the corn market was moved and it subsequently developed into the city's main retail market area. And for you etymologists, the area was first known as Corn Cheaping in reference to the corn market on the site. The name Bull Ring referred to the grassed area within Corn Cheaping which was used for temporary grazing after the bulls were brought to market. The 'ring' was a hoop of iron in Corn Cheaping to which the grazing bulls were tied to before slaughter.

1 comment:

TheCrankyProfessor said...

Funny, I was reading about this building just the other day via google news - the husband/wife firm that designed the Blob just broke up: