Mae Owen Hatherley yn awdur, blogiwr, cefnogwr Pulp a meddyliwr – am y cysylltiadau rhwng pensaernïaeth, cynllunio tref, adeiladau, gofod, gwleidyddiaeth ac ein cymdeithas a diwylliant fel dinesyddion yn yr oes ôl-Llafur Newydd.
Dyma rhai o feddyliau Hatherley am Gaerdydd:
Here I have to confess assuming that Arcades were something uniquely found in Paris and Piccadilly, so hence my previous idea that their presence in West Yorkshire was proof of the area’s aptness for flanerie. Cardiff, however, has absolutely loads of iron-and-glass Arcades, albeit all in the same place, which carve unexpected and relatively intrigue-filled pathways through what would otherwise have been some Victorian alleyways. The Market has some great vintage signage on the outside, and the general atmosphere would have been perfect for a ’30s Hitchcock film, at just the right level of seedy.
Not all of central Cardiff is as interesting, but there’s a good line in silliness in some of the architecture, which for the most part – excepting the invariably dreadful towers – can be quite entertaining. I’d be especially interested to know what the FAT or AOC neo-postmodernist contingent think of buidings like the Cardiff Cineworld, which without ever quite being good, have at least a bit of fun with our prevailing modernism-on-the-cheap, as does the Millennium Stadium, although it’s a shame the struts are painted white, when black or red would have taken the admirable tastelessness to a more charismatic level. There’s one fine bit of late Brutalism, St David’s Hall, in the middle of this, looking improbably chic and European Grey by comparison.
The St Mary’s Street area is one of two really very good things in Cardiff, the other being the Imperialistic Beaux-Arts pleasures of Cathays Park, lots of Portland stone classical buildings housing sundry museums, assemblies and suchlike, with green space inbetween and boulevards laid through. Interestingly, this was planned decades before Cardiff was designated ‘capital’ of Wales, and yet it is laid out with confident gusto as if it already were…
Rwyt ti’n gallu darllen y cofnod llawn am Gaerdydd ar ei flog neu yn ei lyfr A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, yn ei eiriau “awtopsi’r dadeni trefol”. Byddi di’n edrych at y ddinas gyda llygaid newydd – er enghraifft, wnes i ddim sylwi’r “wal anifeiliaid” gan Gitta Gschwendtner (ar y ffordd i Fae Caerdydd o Grangetown) cyn i mi ddarllen y cofnod yna.
Mae Hatherley yn dod i Gymru i siarad ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd ar y 6ed mis Gorffenaf eleni. Does dim llawer o fanylion i gael eto ond cadwa’r dyddiad achos dylai’r digwyddiad bod yn ddifyr a diddorol iawn.