Architecture photo walks
Explore places through photography and discover the stories about the architecture and urban change in these different parts of the city.
Note that all photowalks are currently on hold during the current restrictions:
- 23 February : Poplar Brutalist housing : all details at architecture.com
- 4 April : Barbican architecture : all details at barbican.com
- 18 April : Leaway - urban connections : details architecture.com
- 23 May : Barbican urban gardens : all details at barbican.com
- 25 July : Smithfield and Charterhouse - all details at barbican.com
- 19 September: Barbican photo challenge - all details at barbican.com
Please contact me if you would like to find out more or discuss a potential group booking for any of the walks below.
East Village - residential regeneration
Discover London’s newest postcode, E20, and see the legacy of new homes since the 2012 Games. The accommodation blocks for 23000 athletes and officials have been transformed into over 2800 homes at East Village and the first phase of another 800 new homes are also now underway at nearby Chobham Manor. Explore this residential regeneration, how it connects with the Olympic Park and see how a range of different architectural practices re-imagined the London mansion block style. Bring your camera for a fascinating tour of London’s newest neighbourhood.
Poplar - Brutalist housing
Balfron Tower and the Robin Hood Gardens estate are two of the most well-known examples of Brutalist architecture in East London. Located in a Conservation Area, the Balfron Tower is Grade II* listed and being refurbished whereas Robin Hood Gardens is undergoing demolition as part of the Blackwall Reach regeneration scheme. On this walk we reflect on the utopian ambitions of the architects behind these great social housing projects and question what aspects of their pasts might have led to such diverging futures.
Olympic Park - legacy landscape
London’s proposal for the 2012 Olympics was to develop a ‘legacy’ park for the future that would long outlast the temporary setting of the Games. The Park would be a model of sustainable urban landscape design and provide a backdrop for some inspirational architecture including the London Aquatics Centre and the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted Velodrome. With photographs from before and after the Games along with insights of living within the local neighbourhood this photo walk looks at the legacy of the Park and considers the changes that are yet to come.
The Leaway - urban connections
From Pudding Mill Lane to Leamouth, the Leaway is a walking route through a once fragmented urban landscape of East London’s industrial past. It is also the backbone for an extended Lea River Park that links the Olympic Park to the Thames. On this photo walk we will see the historical features of this once industrialised area as well as the emerging new landscape and stop at Cody Dock where the community is leading the redevelopment. Along the way we will pass several sculptures on The Line art trail as well as find thriving wildlife and surprising views of London’s skyline.
Canada Water and Rotherhithe:
The industrial wharves of Rotherhithe were some of the first in London to undergo a change to residential use. We will walk through what is now a largely residential area but which was formerly full of dockyards and timber ponds with trading connections to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Starting at Canada Water the walk will scale Stave Hill for spectacular views to Canary Wharf, find Georgian inspiration on the longest street in London and end at Rotherhithe Village - a suitable place to enjoy some well-earned refreshment.
Deptford Creekside - conservation and culture
Deptford Creekside was granted conservation status in 2012 and along with architectural and industrial heritage the area is also well-known for its many artists studios and galleries. Starting at Cutty Sark, this walk heads in the opposite direction to Greenwich and considers the importance of arts and culture to the urban regeneration underway. A stop to see the translucent Laban Building by Herzog and de Meuron, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2003, is one of the highlights.
Golden Lane Estate and the Barbican
These two great estates were designed about ten years apart by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon to provide much needed housing in City of London locations that had been heavily bomb damaged during the war. Now listed they continue to be exemplars from a period of utopian ideals for city living with gardens, open spaces and leisure facilities that were all carefully designed to meet the needs of residents. Starting at Barbican station the walk explores the vantage points around Golden Lane before heading up onto the Barbican Highwalks and finishing at Moorgate.
Kings Cross and St Pancras
Explore one of London’s largest re-development zones on this architecture photo walk that focusses on the extensive regeneration of Kings Cross and St Pancras. Previously an industrial area defined by its rail landscape and dissected by the Regent’s Canal, the space has been re-imagined as a new creative quarter. With many of its historic buildings re-purposed we will walk through the Granary Building, find views of Gasholder Park and visit the bustling Coal Drops Yard before exploring the new architecture and the sustainable ideas at the Skip Garden.