Sunday, September 21, 2014

Not so anonymous buildings

click photo to enlarge
Presented with today's photograph I imagine many people would comment on the beehive-like arrangement of the identical windows, or think of faceless corporations hidden behind the glass and steel. Perhaps their mind would reflect on the anonymity and soullessness of modern life. Certainly the image would, in the main, prompt negatives rather than positives. And yet, this particular building doesn't, I think, deserve that kind of negativity. Of all the tall towers built in Britain in the last 50 years this is one of the better examples, a structure that has worn well, one that is distinctive due to its shape, location and size, and which, due to its excellent detailing, still looks good from close-by.

From 1990 until 2010 Cesar Pelli's tower at 1 Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London, was Britain's tallest building. The Shard overtook it during the course of construction and its 1,004 feet (306 metres) far surpasses the Canary Wharf tower's 770 feet (235 metres). However, the distinctive pyramidal cap, its extra height among the surrounding towers, and its location away from the City make it both distinctive and distinguished both during the day, whatever the weather, and at night. When I'm driving on the M11 into London it's the first building I notice as we crest the low hills to the north of the city.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 48mm (72mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On