Tag Archives: architecture

Sunday Selection

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This weekend I went to Wembley, Covent Garden (what was I thinking?!) and the deepest darkest depths of Hertfordshire. I’ve been to the gym (twice), squeezed in a few episodes of Homeland (thank you Netflix) and participated in my first Google Hangout which was the same as a three way Skype video call, only free. I’ve also been reading lots and consequently discovered some new blogs – hopefully you’ll find a few interesting links below:

An exhibition at the Barbican looking at the relationship between photographers and buildings.

A great idea to liven up the bus stop. Wonder if it could work on a grander scale in London?

Just another reason why I’d like to attend Burning Man festival.

We can all do our bit to make a city beautiful.

Have a great week ahead!

Image: Steven Lewis via unsplash

Bloomsbury

On Sunday we spent the afternoon wandering around Bloomsbury. You’d never have known it was the last weekend before Christmas as there was nobody about! It was delightfully empty which gave me an opportunity to practice taking photos.

I’m the type of person who just points and clicks my little camera. Until this weekend I had no clue about composition or light but with a few simple tips I already feel more in control behind the screen. Any feedback on the photos or photography tips in general would be appreciated.

Walking around Bloomsbury

row of houses bloomsbury london

Hanging basketsold fashioned door in bloomsbury london

row of shops london

old london street lamp

old building in London

Bookshop

tavistock square and endsleigh place london

john maynard keynes house bloomsbury london

red london telephone box

View more photos on Instagram

 

Battersea Power Station Open House London

Where to visit during Open House London weekend

Battersea Power Station Open House London

Battersea Power Station, Wandsworth (c) Battersea Power Station

It’s Open House London this weekend so head out and explore some of the capital’s amazing architecture.

Be inspired by Modernist homes and Victorian buildings. Take a look around Battersea Power Station one last time before it is developed into fancy pants apartments or head underground to Churchill’s original bunker in Neasden.

There are so many places I want to visit so I’m going to have to narrow them down to a select few. I fancy the Lloyd’s of London building, the Bank of England and Bells and Belfries at St Botolph Aldgate. I love the City of London, especially on a Sunday when it is eerily quiet, so I’ll be walking the back streets to get to each destination.

Where will you be visiting over the weekend?

Nicholas Hawksmoor: Methodical Imaginings photography exhibition at Somerset House

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A month ago in the heart of British summertime I went to see the free Nicholas Hawksmoor photography exhibition at Somerset House. Nicholas Hawksmoor was an English architect who is best known today as the man behind a number of London’s churches.

I rather like churches. I find many quite scary inside, especially when there are few people around and an echo is rumbling around the large open spaces, but that’s my imagination running away with me. From the outside I marvel at the architecture and if there is a bell tower I’m always enticed to step inside.

The spiritual flame burned brightly in the Church of England at the opening of the eighteenth century‘ and the commission for building fifty new churches was created. Nicholas Hawksmoor was appointed one of the surveyors and the Methodical Imaginings exhibition at Somerset House looks at the seven remaining London churches still standing today.

Hélène Binet is an architectural photographer who according to Daniel Libeskind ‘exposes architecture’s achievements, strength, pathos and fragility’ every time she takes a photograph. Once again my knowledge of photography is minimal but I must admit this statement rings true – the fragility of the churches certainly came through in the photographs.

I walked around the exhibition with a sense of amazement although I can’t articulate why. One question I asked myself was what does their London location add? Even to an uneducated eye these churches are magnificent in their own right, but what they add to the history and architecture of London increases their importance. Knowing that these churches influenced other architects and their future London masterpieces as well as realising that his work has appeared in the literature of T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens and Alan Bennett (amongst others) elevates their standing in contemporary London further.

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Only 12 of the 50 churches were ever completed, eight of which were designed by Hawksmoor. The exhibition might have come to an end but seven of the buildings are still standing today:

  • St George-in-the-East
  • St Anne’s Limehouse
  • St George’s Bloomsbury
  • Christ Church Spitalfields
  • St Luke, Old Street in Finsbury
  • St Mary Woolnoth in the City
  • St Alfege in Greenwich

I quickly created a Google Map to give you an idea of the distance between each Church. If you fancy a walk that takes you to the London Wall, lets you stop for beigels at the Brick Lane bakery and really stretches your legs this could be quite a nice one. Perhaps leave St Alfege in Greenwich for another day and take the time to hike up Greenwich Park too to get a great view over the city of London while you are in the area.

All images: Hélène Binet

A History of New York in 50 Objects

I romanticise New York all out of proportion. So much so that I dedicated a large chunk of my studies to the city as it fascinates and excites me. When I was younger there was no where else that I wanted to live.

As I’ve grown older and wiser my love for the city has started to fade. I’d like to visit again, but it is no longer at the top of my list. As for living there… well, I think London is more suited to my tastes. Which is just as well as I love my life in London and why risk trading that for the fantasy of a place I barely know?

Anyway, romanticism aside, I found this History of New York in 50 Objects in my bookmarks and thought I would share.

From the Mastodon Tusk (11,000 B.C.) to the Bagel (early 1900s) and the Levittown House (1947) this is a must-read for anyone interested in cities.

Which of the objects do you think screams ‘New York’ the loudest?

Lloyd’s of London Building

The Lloyd’s building at 1 Lime Street is one of my favourite buildings in London. One of the most controversial buildings in the City, and is currently home to Lloyd’s of London.

Designed by architect Richard Rogers, Lloyd’s shares similar design features with the Pompidou Centre in Paris. It took eight years to build and 33,510 cubic meters of concrete, 30,000 square metres of stainless steel cladding and 12,000 square metres of glass were used during the construction.

The building has many notable features, with all lifts, staircases and toilets to be found on the exterior of the building, conserving space within. There are 12 external glass lifts and apparently all offer a great view across the city.

3 way to visit the Lloyd’s of London building

  1. Lloyd’s generally participate in the Open House programme which takes place in September each year.
  2. A number of private tours are conducted each year – but you have to meet certain criteria to stand a chance.
  3. Start studying finance and land a job at the insurers.

Alternatively, take a virtual tour.

What do you think of the Lloyd’s of London building? Post-modern genius or sore sight on the skyline? 

 

My Twinterview with London Living

Last week I participated in a ‘Twinterview’ with London Living (not to be confused with London is Living, which is me). It was great fun and I got to talk about my favourite areas, pubs and places in London.

All the questions and answers are published on London Living but here is the bulk of the interview. Let me know if you agree / disagree with my suggestions!

Q1. Hello @londonisliving! First up – you live and work in North London but what do you love most about the area?

@EastVillageLDN good question – I think I have to say the numerous independent shops and restaurants that are a hub for the local community

Q2. We’ve seen you’re the lucky owner of a famous Blue Peter Badge! May we ask just how you acquired such a prized possession, londonisliving?

It’s classified information I’m afraid but sticky back plastic obviously played a part!

Q3. Ha ha! Okay, what’s on your London to-do list over the next few months, londonisliving?

I’m looking forward to the Lowry exhibition at the Tate and Murder in the Library at the British Library

Q4. Sounds good, londonisliving! Leaving London aside for a minute, where’s your favourite foreign city and why do you love it?

Istanbul – it’s hip and happening, has an incredible history and the architecture is beautiful. The food is great too!

Q5. Would love to go, londonisliving! You blog about cooking – which London restaurant is really floating your boat at the moment?

Ciao Bella (Bloomsbury) for Italian,Jose_Pizarro (Bermondsey) for tapas & I really need to try steak at HawksmoorLondon!

Q6. A fantastic range! Looks like you’re big on design too; know any good second hand furniture joints / design exhibitions on, londonisliving?

Local boot sales are great for bargain buys – they get your imagination going too.

Q7. On the subject of secret stuff, where’s your favourite secret London gem,londonisliving? It can be anything!

It’s probably the worst kept ‘secret’ London gem, but the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman’s Park is lovely.

Q8. We’ve not been yet! The Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park is a great North London pub, but where’s your favourite boozer, londonisliving?

Heading towards your way I like The Hemingway Pub in Hackney for post Victoria Park picnic drinks in the summer

Q9. Great shout! Where’s your favourite London venue for a live gig / boogie afterwards, londonisliving?

I’m cheating because I’ve never been, but I reckon UnionChapelUK would beat all mainstream venues easily.

Q10. And finally, tell us what your favourite London Is For Living blog post is and why, londonisliving?

My Japanese food feast as it took ages to make http://bit.ly/140CyET & this sign as it makes me giggle! http://bit.ly/Tg6wTn 

Mapping London’s Independent Bookshops

One of my favourite London blogs is from Diamond Geezer, and he recently attempted to map London’s independent bookshops.

Mapping is a great way to understand a city, and I think this map provides an interesting take on London. I’ve visited several of the stores on the list and they very much ‘fit’ their area of London.

You can find the map here and the list of my 5 favourite London bookshops here.

Istanbul

Sorry for the hiatus – I’ve been travelling to the exotic, exciting, cultural, incredible and beautiful city of Istanbul! Can you tell that I loved it?!

We were there for a week but still needed much more time to explore the historic city. There will be a post to come with pictures and I’m also thinking of putting together a travel guide blog post to Istanbul based on our time there.

There is so much to see and do in Istanbul; from the historic palaces, Ottoman influences and stunning mosques to the modern museums, independent shops and incredible restaurants, diversity and adventure is guaranteed.

I’ll be back on the blogging bandwagon in the next couple of days, but don’t forget to name your dream London location to win £200 to spend in London in the meantime. You can also check out a guest post from Hilary Osborne about her London life, guiding you through what Tottenham Borders can offer.