Tag Archives: architecture

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

Project A15 Video Mapping

Projection Mapping RotterdamThis image might look like it’s a CGI mockup or a scene from Bladerunner, but it’s actually a video still of projection mapping in Rotterdam. Below is a photograph of the OMA-designed skyscraper that the visuals were projected onto.De Rotterdam OMA Building by Raban HaaijkDe Rotterdam building, as seen from Erasmus Bridge. Photograph by Raban Haaijk.

Project A15 – the idea that this event was promoting – is an initiative that seeks to make the busy highway running from Rotterdam to Nijmegen into the most sustainable highway in the world. The projection itself can be seen in the video below, and bear in mind that the height of the De Rotterdam building is 150 metres. That’s taller than London’s Centrepoint, which stands at 117 metres!

Pop-Up City: The Book

Pop Up City BookThe guys behind Pop-Up City are bringing out a book! Well, they are trying to. They need a little bit more financial backing first, so I’m trying to do my bit to help them get it. Pop-Up City kindly gave me a book back in 2012…unfortunately it wasn’t my very own book – it was a copy of Indie Brands by Anneloes van Gaalen – but it still made me happy because I had won their competition, and got something lovely for free. So yeah, spread the love and all that, you get a discount if you pre-order!

Sofia Branding & Identity By Anagrama

ImageAnagrama, a Mexican brand development agency, designed this exquisite identity and marketing collateral for Sofia – a towering block of luxury apartments in San Pedro. The huge skyscraper was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli architects for One Development Group.Sofia Branded Stationery SetBranded Property StationeryBranded stationery and promotional items – I really like the colour palette that they’ve chosen: cream, coral and navy blue, with gold leaf accents.Luxury Apartment BrochureSofia Property BrochureExamples of spreads which were inside the hardback brochure, with classic gilt page edges. This is just some of the work that Anagrama did for Pelli Clarke Pelli, and you can see the project in its entirety on their website.

Bright Lights, Big City

Having recently finished a role working in property marketing, I’ve got a newly-ignited curiosity about the city I live in, and cities in general. I’ve seen some amazing cityscapes on my travels around the, umm…Internet, so here they are! Ben Thomas LondonTilt Shift New York Ben ThomasBen Thomas San FranciscoPhotographer Ben Thomas uses tilt shift in his photographs to make the urban sprawl of London, New York and San Francisco look like mere children’s toys.

Patrick Vale NYC DrawingsThe Shard Patrick ValePatrick Vale is an architectural illustrator whose washes of colour are beautifully defined by thick black outlines. I love his combination of stylised panache and intricate detail.

East London Abigail Daker St Pauls Cathedral Abigail DakerTrafalgar Square Abigail DakerAbigail Daker keeps thing simple with her monochrome line drawings of London, which are amazingly precise. She also specialises in hand-drawn maps, which she has produced for the likes of Winkworth estate agents and Viking River Cruises.

Laura Oldfield Ford Brutalist estateWapping Laura Oldfield FordLaura Oldfield Ford‘s neon-smeared sketches aren’t so all-embracing of the city’s built environment. Her subject matter is mainly the urban squalor of council estates, or the dystopian rundown areas under threat from regeneration and new developments – which she has branded ‘yuppiedrones’.

Mak Lascelles Thornton Happiness Machine London Mak Lascelles Thornton Happiness MachineIn contrast to Oldfield Ford’s stance, Mark Lascelles Thornton‘s ‘Happiness Machines’ series focuses on the hyper futuristic London landscape that dominates The City, with more and more Manhattan-like corporate skyscrapers springing up in the financial district each year. I really like the flashes of colour in his tight pen drawings, and think that skyscrapers possess a kind of terrifying beauty.

Horrorgami

I’m really gutted that I missed this brilliant ‘Horrorgami’ exhibition at Gallery One And A Half on Ardleigh Road.

Born out of an early fascination with horror movies, Marc Hagan-Guirey has recreated some of the horror genre’s most iconic settings in paper. Backlit by a lurid coloured light, the minimalist interpretations are so striking and beautiful. I really wish I could have seen these up close and in real life, with the full effect of the lightbox on the delicate paper cuts and folds.The Bates Residence, from ‘Psycho‘.

112 Ocean Avenue, from ‘The Amityville Horror‘.

1313 Mockingbird Lane, from ‘The Munsters‘.

The MacNeill Residence, from ‘The Exorcist‘.

The Fire Station, from ‘Ghostbusters‘.

The Addams Mansion, from ‘The Addams Family‘.

The Overlook Hotel, from ‘The Shining‘.

The Deetze Residence, from ‘Beetlejuice‘.

I’d love to own one – I think The Addams Family Mansion is probably my favourite. Also, I’m a bit of a pussy and having something in my home that reminded me of ‘The Exorcist’ or ‘The Amityville Horror’ would probably lead to me feeling uneasy about 80% of the time.