Leeds has some wonderful architecture, dating from the last two hundred years. There are grandiose arcades, pillars and domes, swags and drapes, cattle-skulls, angels, gargoyles and even a prototype atom (constructed before the discovery of the electron). Everywhere there are elegant and whimsical details perched on rooftops and tucked away in doorways.
But there is one sinister fortress which, though carefully designed, has no artistic merit. Quarry House is, in my humble opinion a bland and brutal temple of disappointment. Wikipedia helpfully points out that this building is known as ‘The Kremlin’ or ‘The Ministry of Truth’.
This mansion houses the central NHS administration, and has a bulging frontage with numerous tiny windows. Perched on top is a magnificent aerial which transmits radio signals to control the population of Leeds; if a revolutionary brigade were to storm this building and blow up that metal steering wheel, everybody for miles around would drop to the floor like severed marionettes.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy Leeds is to start the day with Fish and Chips for breakfast at the Trinity, then wander out to look at ‘The Kremlin’. If any building could scream 1984, this is it!