These photographs of the Olympic Park Energy Centre by John McAslan were made in early 2017 as part of a larger set that is now with the RIBA image library. I had photographed the building before under leaden grey skies so it was pleasing to see the way the two main colours worked together in these images. The industrial design, inspired by London’s great historic power stations such as Bankside and Battersea, and use of Corten steel makes this a fun building to photograph.
Five images made over the last couple of years while planning and leading photo walks for Barbican Members. The walks encourage a discussion about the architecture and ways of seeing it whether through shadow and light, lines and perspective, size and scale and the sense of place. I’m delighted that the walks are continuing in 2020 and all the new dates will be posted on the photo walks page in the new year.
These light-table leaf images were created for a community outreach photography class that I’m currently teaching. Each leaf comes from one of over 6000 trees that have been planted in the Olympic Park and include birch, elm, poplar, wild cherry and oak. Almost all the existing trees were removed during the demolition and land clearance for the Games but many of these tree species were then re-introduced to maintain local provenance. The Park landscape was shaped over a couple of years from 2010 during which these semi-mature trees arrived, so to speak, on the back of a lorry.
A set of images prepared for the recent RIBA Friends walk and which architecturally mark some of the way from Canada Water to Rotherhithe. I’ve yet to photograph the many converted warehouses which in many ways define the 19th century heritage of the area. Nelson House, which was listed in 1949, dates from the early 18th century and is London’s only surviving example of a type of Georgian property once common with prosperous ship-building owners.
I added a series of photographs of the Balfron Tower which were made in 2015/6 prior to the refurbishment that is currently underway. I will return once the new look is revealed which is likely to be in 2019/20.
Over the summer I spent several days walking the perimeter of the Olympic Park looking at its boundaries. Ten years before a blue construction hoarding separated the land into an inside and outside. These are a few of the images made that explore how photography can evoke, through traces and memory, what has otherwise gone from the landscape.
London clay excavated from the Crossrail tunnels was removed by barge from Instone Wharf to Wallasea Island in Essex where it was used to create a nature reserve. In future plans, the wharf becomes a terminus for a new ‘ecologically focussed’ Limmo Park, making accessible a large section of riverine landscape after the Crossrail compound at Canning Town closes. These images are from the last bend in the River Lea landscape and are part of Walking the Leaway.
The Robin Hood Gardens estate was completed in 1972 and now, some forty five years later, it is undergoing phased demolition to make way for the Blackwall Reach regeneration scheme. I made several visits to photograph during 2015/16 and more images are now on this page about Robin Hood Gardens.
I have a new set of photographs from circumnavigating Iceland in June. If I had the chance to return I would go back to the West Fjords region for the dramatic landscapes and scenery. But that aside I was mostly interested in the vernacular architecture of Icelandic housing and industrial buildings.
“The friezes helped us to express some of the paradoxes involved in making a piece of city out of a transient festival event” Niall Mclaughlin Architects.
Digital scans of the Parthenon Stones were cast as concrete panels for the exterior of Saddlers House and show athletes getting ready for a festival. The Athletes’ Village fades somewhat into memory as East Village develops and so the design statement of this housing block seems ever more provocative and interesting.
As London hands over to Rio some photographs of my favourite temporary venue which was the short-lived 12,000 seat Basketball Arena by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.