Industrial buildings invariably do this: so too do some commercial buildings. But many do not. Much domestic housing is tricked out in borrowings from historical and vernacular styles - a bit of mock half-timbering here, a bit of Victorian cresting or herringbone brickwork there, the intention being to lay on a veneer that impresses the viewer. And, increasingly, our major cities are being decorated by "iconic buildings", that, in their way, do the same. I listen to the adulation that accompanies the latest Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid building and often find myself asking, "Why is it that shape?" Am I wrong in thinking that too often the answer is, "Because it can be?" City authorities queue up for the services of such architects, intending to secure a "Gee whiz", landmark building. But it occurs to me that if you want to build well you don't build for effect.
This factory in Boston, Lincolnshire, is a big, shiny, metal-clad box with an interesting, blocky, protrusion. Is it a filter, an intake, or something else? Whatever it is, it is that shape to most efficiently fulfil its purpose: an example of form following function and organically producing something of interest. And providing me with a semi-abstract photograph!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen
Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f11
Shutter Speed: 1/320
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On