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- Ballerina with crane
- Taking photos with Big Flat Things
- Long Title (with italics)
- Confirmation that map use has seriously declined
- Comrade Blimp
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- Digital photographers holding maps
- More photos of things past
- Father Christmas Aerodrome
- How big should these squares be?
- Daniel Hannan’s latest book(s?)
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Category archive: Architecture
I am rather ill and I am very tired, and I am in no mood to be writing prose of the sort anyone else - or for that matter even I – would want to read.
And here we come to one of the great advantages of these big photo collections that I like to do here from time to time. I don’t have to be a hundred percent to do it. I can do it, and do it entirely right, even if in no mood to write proper prose.
So here is the latest clutch of photos, this time of people using Big Flat Things, rather than anything resembling regular cameras, to take photos:
The first of these was taken in December of 2012, and the rest this year.
I have already written about Big Flat Things photography, so if you insist on verbiage, go here.
More photos of things past
More because I have already done a posting entitled Photos of things past, as I discovered when trying to save the text file I wrote prior to posting this.
I must say, I do find myself missing this Thing. If they hadn’t smashed it to bits, I would definitely be thinking that they should, but now that they have, this kind of Thing is on the defensive, and you find yourself siding with the architectural underdog. I’d certainly not be happy if all traces of New Brutalism were brutally expunged. We need a bit of it to hang around, if only as a warning of how mad architects can get, when they get mad.
This Thing was situated in the roundabout on the far side of Westminster Bridge, now occupied by the big hotel featured in picture 1.3 below. Someone told me a few days back, when I was talking about having posted an earlier picture of it here, that it was a G(reater) L(ondon) C(council) office annex, reached by a tunnel under the road from the main building. So, now that London’s local politicians have moved downstream, to The Testicle, this Thing became superfluous to requirements.
It was destroyed in October 2006, as these photos, taken on October 13th of that year, prove:
On that same day, October 13th 2006, I took other photos, of other things that have moved on, or which soon might.
The first two of these next snaps are of cranes, temporary by their nature. Who knows what that crane cluster (1.1) was building? I could probably work it out, but that isn’t the point. The point is: what an excellent crane cluster! And I think I found another picture I took of it, this time looking along The Strand.
What that blue crane was doing, floating on the river, posing in front of The Wheel, I also can’t remember.
I include the bus (2.1), with its entertaining reflections, because the London Double Decker Bus has now been redesigned, and all other London Double Deckers could soon be Things of the past.
Those wind propellers, on the top of Palestra House, the Big Thing just across the road from Southwark Tube Station, are long gone.
And the final snap there (2.3) reminds us of another kind of temporariness, which is that sooner or later, we all must move on. That snap is of flowers and pictures, placed outside Westminster Abbey, in memory of the then recently murdered (it’s still unsolved) Anna Politkovskaya.
My attention has been drawn to some excellent photos by Michal Nuniewicz.
I, of course, particularly like this one:
A classic, in the genre recently referred to here.
Sub-genre: group selfie. An important sub-classification, I think.
… in among all the stuff that does not.
Foster’s flaccid Gherkin used to advertise erectile dysfunction treatment. Personally, I don’t think the Gherkin looks like a penis, more like a vibrator. Certainly not a gherkin.
And: Synthetic creature could “save nature” says Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg. Has this woman never seen any horror movies?
Related: Will Jellyfish Take Over the World?
December 6th 2006 was a good photographic day for me. I took these photos, from the top of Tower Bridge. And, as I approached Tower Bridge, along the south bank of the river, I took many other photos, of which one of my favourites was this:
I think this looks a bit like an owl. I’ve always liked this picture, but for some reason, for years, I thought I “couldn’t show it here”, perhaps because it is a bit blurry. But of course I can show it here. I can show whatever I like here.
One of the great technological success stories of our time is the development of glass, a development which has had a profound effect upon architecture. One of many improvements made to glass has been that it has got a lot stronger. One of the ways it has got stronger is that it has got less brittle, and more bendy. And bendy glass results in unpredictable and strange reflections, like the one above.
Do you want to know what that weird shape is? Almost certainly not, but I’ll tell you anyway. First up, it is not an owl. What it is is the NatWest Tower, with the sun shining on it so it lights up like a bar of gold. And it’s the NatWest Tower lit up like a bar of gold, reflected in the new London Parliament building.
On the left here, the same thing again, but with context, in the form of other towers reflected, such as the Gherkin. In the middle, the same thing differently reflected, making it clearer that it is indeed the NatWest Tower. On the right, the NatWest Tower, not lit up like a bar of gold, but so you can see what it looks like.
Are you wondering what the new London Parliament Building is? Again, probably not, but here it is anyway, viewed from the other side, from the approach road to Tower Bridge. Here in London this is known as: The Testicle.
That last photo was taken on that same day, December 6th 2006, so again, no Shard.
As I keep saying, photos often age well, like wine.
This, of the City of London, was taken with my previous camera but one, from the inside of the top of Tower Bridge, in December of 2006. How time flies when I’m taking photos.
Memo to self. Must go back there, and take the same picture. Things will have changed quite a lot.
LATER: After further rootling, I think I prefer this version:
You get more of a feeling of where you are, as in where I was, when there’s something in the foreground.
And while I’m adding stuff to this posting, here is another view that will look very different, when I photo that one again:
Sunrise from my roof
Rob Fisher asks, in a comment on the posting immediately below, whether my photography at dawn yesterday went as intended. Yes it did. Yes the weather was every bit as good as forecast. I took many photos, but will confine myself to five. The delay showig them is because the effort of getting up earlier enough to take them knocked all the stuffing out of me for the rest of the day, and had to confine myself to essential business.
What I had in mind was to photo this …:
… but behind this …:
Or to put it another way, this …:
… behind this ...:
… or even this:
In November, not possible. The sun rises way to the right of the Shard, let alone Parliament.
But if the door to the roof remains open, I will return on an equally clear morning in late June of next year, and see what happens then.
Nevertheless, where the sun did rise, in late October, was pretty good. Thanks to the presence of cranes.
I was up there before dawn, which was 6.50 am. As you can see, it was at least 7.30 am (see Big Ben) before I went back down home again. So, I took many other snaps besides these few, and (although I promise nothing) I may show more of these at a later date.
When I managed to get out onto my roof, I made several more afternoon visits to it. But then I got up earlyn to take photos at dawn. But it was quite cloudy, and since then I’ve been waiting for a morning that the weather forecasters were saying would be clear. Tomorrow looks like it might be:
So, early night tonight, and early morning tomorrow morning.
They said it would blow a bit last night, and it did. Now they say it will be bright tomorrow morning. Should be. But will the timing be right for me to see an actual sunrise? That looks close.
I need to check, today, that they haven’t locked the door yet.
Wedding photography - old and new
A vanished building and a bendy bus
The Heron Tower restaurant
My own personal Big Thing viewing platform with close-up Roof Clutter
Here are two photos I took earlier
Cranes seen through Cardinal Place
The roof of Victoria Station
Twisted picture from Burgess Park (untwisted with Photoshop Elements)
Morgan – Abbey reflected in Morgan – Abbey reflected in other cars
Bad and good in bad weather
The Walkie Talkie and its surroundings
Art gallery made of scaffolding
Photoing each other - and photoing stuff in the canal
Chess set made of London’s Big Things
A day in and around Olympicland with Goddaughter One
Bridges for animals
Is this the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Roof Clutter?
Shard with roof clutter and a crane
Views from Kings College
Blank-faced tower – crazy hairdo
An old Mini and a new Mini
A scaffolder likes Jeremy Clarkson
Stairs Thing outside St Paul’s
Views from the Hackney Wick station footbridge
Pictures from Georgia and Warsaw
Big Things blocked by the trees of Southwark Park
Wedding photography (4): Preparations
Wembley Arch with balloons and with umbrellas
Hong Kong housing that looks like abstract art
Remembering a warmer day
Blythe Hill Fields: What what you can see from them and what they look like
Wandering about afterwards
Piano strikes the right note again
Four crane photos
Panoramic view of London from the top of the BT Tower
Alastair James on Blythe Hill Fields and smartphones
Talking architecture at the Libertarian Home social
At the bottom of the Shard
Reflections on and in Westminster Tube Station
Strata with chimneys
Big London Things with clutter in the foreground
New crane up
An afternoon in Croydon
Here are (a lot) more photos that I took on March 27th
Interwar Old English pub dwarfed by modernity
Click to see the big picture
Waterloo sunset with vapour trails
The Bezier Building and a hideous advertising erection at the Old Street Roundabout
Strata behind roof clutter
Millbank Tower with street light
The view from the train
The top of the Shard
In Borough High Street
Another excellent spot to photo London from
Dream and reality in Mumbai
Lining Things up
62 Buckingham Gate
Latest C4 logo sculpture
Beware the Men In Orange!
Another blurred photo of Strata
No Misc April – Misc May
New Blackfriars station entrance
A view of Westminster Cathedral tower and the view from Westminster Cathedral tower
Snaps (in Paris and London - and of the Millennium Footbridge)
Pictures of the Libertarian Home meeting in Southwark last night
Changing views from the Monument
Google Earth and Mr and Mrs Goose
The Big Olympic Thing from nearer
The Shard looking like it’s in a 1950s postcard
A happy British Summer Time to all my readers
A Happy Christmas to all those still reading this
Shard even nearer to completion
Street social services management integrated command sub-centres
London from the east
The Shard nears completion
Freedom Tower and Gary Johnson at Samizdata
The final Steve Jobs Thing will be a brand new custom-built Apple headquarters
One World Trade Center
WWWhat a great afternoon!!!
More shiny new headquarters buildings
On the superfluity of the Paddington Basin rolling bridge
Nil scrap value
“Things appear almost impossible to escape from …”
The Armstrong Gun
The docks beyond the Dome
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom not threatened by the end of the Big Thing Boom
The Shard from beyond the Barrier
Someone doesn’t understand what I mean by roof clutter
Gormley’s South Bank Men
Strata from a station
Blue Men on a boring building in Borough High Street
Kyrgyzstan cemetery and awesome frogs
Mmmmm … scaffolding!
Photographing change from the Monument
If you can’t beat them hire them
Stunning aerial photo of Shanghai
It’s interesting …
A Spanish high speed train bridge and a Spanish aqueduct
What camera is best for doing short videos about architecture?
October 2007 conversation about modern architecture with Patrick Crozier
St Valentine’s Day talk by me on architecture
And here’s the proof!!! Sixteen little square pictures!!!
Professor C. Northcote Parkinson on the Edifice Complex
Shard in the clouds
Superb Shard pictures
Mmmmmm … Asian skyscrapers!
Abandoned Bangkok tower
Shard in rain
Beyond the Dome with Goddaughter One
More bridge magic
The Razor through a bus and without the bus
The Gherkin from Englefield Green
Big Singapore Thing
Recent Shard shots
Photoing the World Cup
Strata from Waterloo
Glass on the Shard
Same tower different look
Shard sitings and and an agreeably honest rabies prevention sign
Strata through a gap
Light and shade
Shard getting bigger
Surrey are now crap at cricket but they are sitting on a gold mine
Visual modified cliche - Wheel and Wheel reflected
The bottom half of the Tokyo Sky Tree
Glass is now very strong
Car in in front of sloping houses
Brightly lit buildings against a dark sky
Airplanes converted into architecture
Why my libertarianism has the look and feel of socialism
The Shard starts to show
London is about to be Kapoored with a big new Olympic Games Thing
Sushi and scaffolding at Victoria
Strata SE1 - seen on the way to London Bridge Station
Shard takes shape
The right to photograph
Awesome shot of Dubai
Reds against Blues in Munich
Two New York stadiums temporarily next to each other
Towers under the weather - and a steam engine steams to the rescue
Hasselblad hit by custom-built headquarters disease!
Saying it with lights in the Victoria Station shopping centre that were still switched on!
Free Skullcandy on a bus in snowy Edinburgh
Burj Dubai looking semi-sane
The Shard is definitely being built!
Picture of an aftershock of the credit crunch rippling around the world
Lining up those London landmarks
What’s up with this?
Luxembourg church in hill and Luxembourg footbridge
How building St Peter’s Rome split the Catholic Church and how marzipan was invented in Luebeck
Wuhan railway station under construction - with sunset behind
A local view
Of lists and distant totally photorealistic skyscrapers
The concrete monstrosities of the South Bank may be about to get colourful
Jonathan Meades on city planning
Another London lump?
Photographers in bother
Stuff in the foreground I wasn’t expecting
The Wheel through some Art
Crane cluster photo
Toys and big toys
Another view over London
Quota photo of the BT Tower
Work begins on the Shard of Glass
MBA - necessary but insufficient
The Rand revival - and some thoughts about Rand’s failure to understand architectural tradition
Ancient Sheffield dwarfed by modernity
Professor Dowd and I contemplate a stately home from a distance
By bus to Sheffield
Docklands towers with barbed wire
The Shard may actually be being built
The towers of London from the Copper Horse
The Long Walk is easier if you have a couple of horses pulling you
London continues to build big
Star Wars mosque and rockets mosque
Picture charging advice please
A view from Vauxhall Station
Colonial Governor’s Mansion dwarfed by modernity
Another fine day and more not Billion Monkey pictures
Palming them off with a sunset
Why Willem Buiter blogs and why I do
A movie staircase and a window
Sheep under wolf’s clothing
Brisbane church dwarfed by modernity and this posting behaving very strangely
On top of Tower 42
An abstract view of Kings Place
Lump art and dinner in sky
More sticking up stuff
City of London lumps and a south London spike
Profundity and silliness
Monster buildings and monster people
London after dark from above
Towers above the Dubai fog
Billion Monkey lady! – Gherkin! – Monument!
Modernity dwarfed by church
To Greenwich by train and back by bus
Modern above ancient
More Beijing smog-blogging
Bird’s Nest in smog
What’s this for?
The original Burtynsky Nanpu bridge picture
Edward Burtynsky photos the towers of Shanghai
Roger Scruton on Prince Charles’s new town
Billion Monkeys earlier this evening!
To let – one Ark
Church covered in church pictures
Politics again …
Big Bens - Wheels - Big Ben teapots - telephone box teapots
San Francisco from Sausalito
Self-guided photo-tour of the streets of San Francisco
Outstanding and numerous aerial photos of St Petersburg
Billion Monkey Alan Little?
Airplane over Putney
The Gatwick Beehive
Another view of the tower of Westminster Cathedral
New classical music venue just down the road from Kings Cross Supplementary
I’ve been busy today so here’s a nice picture of the tower of Westminster Cathedral
Not a hot day in January for the Billion Monkeys!
The moving bridges of Chicago
Gives a whole new meaning to Mile High Club
The white stuff
There’s a crack in the cracks at Tate Modern
Beetham Tower – and a couple of other towers
Bookcase staircase many books electric book manybooks.net
At Bethnal Green railway station
The Shard is a Middle Eastern skyscraper but in London that still counts
Wheel obscured by reinforcing rods
Picture of Taipei 101 that came with Jesus
Tower in the distance
Three proper photos … and three Billion Monkeys!!!
Guess the city (2)
Guess the city
Victorian roof clutter
The robotic future
Gherkin with men in front
Michael Jennings photos Disney Hall
Billion Monkey madness and a proper picture
The new South Bank
Another target rich environment
Pictures of the year
Talking about St Pancras at St Pancras
Southwark at dusk
A bog standard (but rippling and therefore ultra-cool) tower soon to be built in Chicago
More St Pancras snaps
The space between the buildings
Eurostar says goodbye Waterloo hello St Pancras
The Ofcom bulge
The UK is not crowded
A picture of a Wheel seen through a field of corn
I hope I’m wrong about this
Russian weirdness for the Anglos
Park Plaza detail
Billion Monkey men - Billion Monkey ladies - and a giant dolly
Photos - four transport - two artistic
Combining the genres
Lots of links
Old cranes - new cranes
A new tower in Manchester
Photo-ing the weather
Assorted London quota photos
The Big Things of London
Billion Monkeys in the sunshine!
Comparing classical music with modern architecture
Footbridge in the dark and cricket
Not what it looks like
Shame you can’t do this kind of thing here
Taipei with skyscraper
Church dwarfed by modernity
Tall chess men and tall buildings in the evening
Not much of a mystery detail
“It took about a year …”
The Nanpu bridge approaches
Robot car park in New York
Other people’s photos (2): New architecture in Hamburg
Billion Monkeys and people waving blue things!
Pictures of the world for the world
London photos by Fabio
By the rivers and canals of East London with Goddaughter One
Another quota photo of the Docklands towers
My computer is improved - plus some London towers
Cranes and street lamps and mp3s
Deceiving the eyes of Paris
Two views of London’s new Parliament
More ways to use the best pictures
Two sunset photos
Billion Monkey spots sunlight pattern bounced off Gherkin!
Tower with lights
Tate Modern Extension
Getting that roof clutter onto my computer
Lords pictures from last Monday
Westminster Cathedral reflections
Cricket with landmark
Abolish aesthetic planning permission
Zooming in on the Wembley Arch
London landmarks and London lumps
The Ben Pimlott lump
Presumably the noise is not a problem
Nearby landmarks and a special effect
Billion Monkey lies on the ground in front of Westminster Abbey!
Ugly flats in the sunshine
Billion Monkey photos flats in Bombay
Shadow on the Shell Building
Holocaust museum repeated as fashion?
Billion Monkey takes photos of Mexico City from helicopter!
Another view of the BT Tower
The Telecom Tower
Billion Monkey screen and another blurry pigeon
Grey skies looking weirdly blue
Light and lights in grey London
Same towers - different light
The evening sun through the windows of the Albert
The new Sainsbury’s in Wilton Road
The new stand at the Oval
Photography in public places (and it all depends what you mean by public places)
Tourist traps – foregrounds – cranes
An east London photo on the right