Monday, July 25, 2016

St Pancras Hotel, London

click photo to enlarge
George Gilbert Scott was one of the most prolific and able of Britain's Victorian architects. He came from an architectural dynasty and is sometimes referred to as "the middle Scott" to distinguish him from his similarly named father and son. In the 1860s he had many projects underway including three of national importance - the Foreign Office, the Albert Memorial and St Pancras railway station and hotel. Scott's office trained many architects who went on to achieve fame in their own right but he kept close control of all that passed through the firm, and ensured that the high standards that characterised his work was maintained.

St Pancras railway station on Euston Road was the London terminus for the Midland Railway. Scott's Gothic-based design incorporated the engine sheds and platforms (the latter designed by William Henry Barlow) as well as the rooms needed for the station and the Midland Hotel that fronted the building. The functional engine sheds and the elaborate Gothic brickwork, towers and spires admirably convey the Victorian fascination with and ambivalence about buildings as art as well as the allure of new technology and engineering. My photograph shows a large part of the main elevation facing Euston road, but doesn't include the curved wing out of view on the left of the frame.

I've tried for a photograph of this elevation before but haven't produced anything that satisfies me. On a recent visit I decided that the ornate lamp post might be a suitable "anchor" for an asymmetrical composition, and so it proved.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: St Pancras Hotel, London
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 15mm (108mm - 30mm equiv.)
F No: f5
Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On