Designed in the Mogul style by British architect A.B. Hubback, the Jamek mosque in Kuala Lumpur opened in 1909 and is one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia. While visiting the Masjid Jamek area earlier this month, it was noticeable just how much work is now being done to preserve older buildings in this part of the city. Notably the grand staircase from the mosque to the river was only re-discovered in 2014 after decades of being covered over as modern Malaysia developed. Having been a visitor to Kuala Lumpur for nearly twenty years, this is the first trip where I have really noticed the architectural heritage and stopped to look.
An image from the summer made while on several walks to the St Pancras Lock area in part visiting these iconic industrial structures which, remarkably, are now luxury flats. Gasholders elsewhere in London have either been removed or are under threat but here is preservation and a new purpose for heritage that has been part of the urban landscape for over 150 years. Their location is within the wider Kings Cross regeneration and I have begun researching how this place-making fits together for a new architecture photo walk in 2019.
Rephotography is the technique of returning to the same spot, same time of year, same lens and field of view after a elapsed time period. In November 2011, I began working on images that showed London’s Olympic Park in the final stages of construction. Some were used in the Making of the Olympic Park book and others became this Olympic Park project but many I’ve only recently started to review again. Seven years is time enough to start to consider which locations might be worth a revisit.
I made a series of photographs of the Balfron Tower in 2015/6 prior to the refurbishment that is currently underway. This image, from the Aberfeldy Estate on the eastern side, shows the interlocking arrangement where the lift service tower is linked by walkways at every third floor. Given how the Balfron is scaffolded and wrapped at the moment I was pleased to have it to show RIBA Friends on today’s architecture walk, Concrete Futures, through Poplar.
The Almshouses photograph is from a new set of Musicity London locations released for the London Festival of Architecture in June. The Hopton’s Almhouses in Southwark are ‘dwarfed by Neo Bankside and the Tate Modern extension and appear an architectural anomaly in the high-rise Bankside of the twenty-first century’. Musicity invites recording artists to compose tracks in response to buildings and locations in cities around the world and then nudges us to explore by making the tracks available only if we go and visit. There is more on the interplay of ideas between music and architecture and a list of all the locations (and the photographs) on the London page at Musicity.