Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Another architecture post

Every time I am in London, I try to get some architectural photography opportunities.  Although I do not profess to be expert in architecture, my job is connected with the building industry.  I have posted about London architecture previously and I think London will always provide an endless supply of camera candy.  So without too much waffle at the start, I shall just present a few images of some examples of modern architecture in London.  These are taken with a variety of cameras, but predominately by Nikon D80.

Willis Building & Lloyds Building. The Lloyds building was built between 1978 & 1986 (quite a long construction time compared to today's building projects); and was a catalyst for ultra futuristic designs across the globe.  The 'inside out' structure was designed by British architect Richard Rogers, and was probably very influenced by the Pomidou Center in Paris. In my opinion Lloyds is a beautiful design, and like much of modern London, sits well amongst the surrounding mixture of traditional buildings.  I am still amazed that a building so futuristic was built around 30 years ago.  The three tiered concave style of the Willis building, seen here opposite Lloyds, is a more recent addition to the city. Designed by another great British architect, Norman Foster, the Willis Builing was one of the first new structures in the city for a while, and part of the new cluster of towers slowly rising up from the City of London.  The buildings compliment each other very well.

Kings Place, home of the Guardian newspaper, Network Rail, and a perfoming arts center, is located in the Kings Cross area of London. It is quite a striking building, particularly when viewed from the Regents Canal. I have not attempted to capture the whole building here; I just liked the complimentary textures of shiny new green glass, a chilly morning's blue sky, and the nature of dense tree foliage.

Plantation Place and neighbouring church St Margaret Pattens.  Plantation Place is not a particularly beautiful example of modern architecture.  It is very modern and has some interesting design ideas; but I think the building is really just purposeful. Although it is quite low rise, compared to many towers, it has a massive footprint; and serves office space for many different city based companies.  I took this image just to present the old and new together.  That is how London works architecturally. A beautiful mish mash.  The old church is a real survivor throughout London's history.  It has been rebuilt several times since the 11th century.

This is a close detail of the glass facade to the main atrium of Tower Bridge House , another Richard Rogers design. This is a small but quite stunning futuristic office building, sitting directly opposite the 1000 year old Tower of London. (once again the mish mash).  In this image, I wanted to create a kind of architectural abstract.  I have a fondness for tinted blue-green glass, and I really liked the criss-crossing mullions and steel braces supporting this glazed curtain wall facade.

Everybody (from UK at least) (I hope) knows the Gherkin, or officially 30 St. Mary Axe. Well this is not about that lovely obelisk.  The new baby on the block here is the Heron Tower. Another, in my opinion, a stunning and brave tower for the old city of London. At 230m  (755 feet), this is now the tallest building in the city. (the Shard is not in the city). The second  image shows the view of Heron Tower from the forecourt of Liverpool Street station.  230 meters may not be the 21st century super-tall of Dubai and Beijing; but this is London...  and we are realistic. We don't need 800 meter shiny spiked status symbols; London already has status and plenty of it.

To the east of London, there is the Canary Wharf development of office buildings. More on Canary Wharf another day, as it is a photo blog post all of it's own.  1 West India Quay, located on the edge an old shipping dock, is a mixed use building (hotel and luxury apartments.  It has a 'blade' shape form, and I just happen to find the building rather elegant.

Okay, so that's enough handsome buildings for now.  I shall try and throw up some more from time to time.


s.c said...

Nice posting Bill. Have to see the newer ones myself one of these days.

Bill Wellham said...

Thanks S.C. Next time you come to London, Let me know! I can give you architecture tour :)

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