Friday, August 26, 2016

Number 63

click photo to enlarge
Peter Cook, one of the founders the 1960s British architectural group, Archigram, has in his 80s, laid into some of the current generation of architects. He is particularly scathing of the King's Cross development in London, and is reported to have described some of the work as resembling biscuits, and the architects who build in this fashion as "the biscuit boys". The past twenty years, he maintains has been characterised by a dearth of interesting, adventurous architecture, and he is said to dislike the greater use of brick that is now evident (something I have found interesting). Cook's praise is given to practitioners, such as Zaha Hadid, who embody the characteristics that he has advocated for much of his life.

I reflected on what he had to say recently as I looked at a new London building that I thought was very biscuit-like. The building is on Clerkenwell Road, on a corner site that it wraps around. It has deep blue tinted windows that contrast with the facade's light coloured, brick-like strips that are laid with mortar. Something more akin to artisanal biscuits would be hard to find. But I like the building for the choice of these materials, for the fine detail of its surface and for some of the subtleties that are visible as you pass by. One such is the way the number of the building has been has been built into the brickwork - to my mind it manages to look both crude and sophisticated at the same time.

As I took my shot I also reflected on the fact that numbers are starting to become a theme in my photographs and perhaps one that I should develop further. See, for example my blog posts Number 9 and Number 5.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Number in Bricks, Clerkenwell Road, London
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 31mm (62mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On