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Six London buildings you probably don't appreciate properly, picked by Pablo Bronstein

The ace artist behind this year's Tate Britain Duveen Galleries commission tells us which London buildings he admires most and why

Paternoster Square

‘Paternoster Square, next to St Paul’s Cathedral, was at the epicentre of the architecture wars of the 1980s waged between Prince Charles and the architecture establishment. The result is a hilarious graveyard of architectural baubles. A genuine seventeenth-century arch was plonked here from someone’s front garden and leads into a corporate piazza centred by a baroque monument, which actually hides the ventilation shaft for the car park below. I love it.’

Where is it? 
In the heart of St Paul’s, EC4M 7AG

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St Pauls

St Mary Woolnoth

‘This creepy early eighteenth-century baroque church by Nicholas Hawksmoor is almost directly opposite the Bank of England. Its grim, lugubrious facade in dirty stone is more reminiscent of a prison or a gatehouse than a place of worship.’

Where is it?
Deep in the city, King William St, EC3V 9AN

© Katie Chan

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London

No 1 Poultry

‘A camp office building in rhubarb and custard cladding, this James Stirling design was almost universally loathed when it was built in the 1990s. It is now facing alteration, but compared to so many bland identikit buildings that are currently going up in London, this one has real drama, and even boasts a formal garden of clipped yew on the roof. If we preserve it, it will become a design icon of the future.’

Where is it?
1 Poultry (obviously) opposite Bank tube station

© Alastair Rae

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Mansion House
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Chiswick House

‘A miniature Palladian villa from the eighteenth century, this pleasure-house is desperate to please, which is why I like it so much. It sports every gimmick available at the time: wedding cake colonnades, friezes, pediments, chimneys, statues, and an inventory of must-have garden pavilions. And all crammed into the size of a generous suburban semi.’

Where is it?
Head to Burlington Lane in Chiswick, W4 2QN

© Bruno Mameli

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Chiswick

Onyx House

‘Not exactly pretty, but a very clever building (designed by Piers Gough in the mid-1980s) nonetheless. Marrying two distinct styles of ‘developer’ architecture, one suited to housing, the other to work, it makes the most of a shoe-string budget. A typically dull Neo-Georgian block sports a large curved neckline, revealing a chest of cheap office wall behind. It is an angry statement.’

Where is it? 
Along Mile End Road, E3 4BP

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Clore Gallery

‘A refined extension to Tate Britain designed by James Stirling, who was probably the most interesting architect working in the 1980s. On its dignified exterior the building alludes to traditional London architecture, but behind it lies an interior in a riot of rainbow plywood arches and triangular windows.’

Where is it?
Tate Britain, SW1P 4RG

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Westminster
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