Archive for the ‘architecture’ Tag

The Jerwood Gallery   11 comments

The recently opened Jerwood Gallery in Hastings is part of the Jerwood Foundation, an organisation that has been created to house their collection of modern British Art. It has been built on the Stade, part of Hastings Old Town. The square in the foreground is used for special events such as the Seafood & Wine Festival, and the redevelopment included a new cafeteria and public toilets.

This site was previously a coach and lorry park, pictures of which can be seen here.

There was a determined campaign to prevent the construction of the gallery on the Stade. All of the arguments against it are outlined on this website, however the core of the argument appears to be that the removal of the coaches from the old town would impact on the numbers of tourists visiting the area. They argue that the gallery could have been built in a different part of the town.

The council were determined to have their way however, and it’s likely that if they had suggested a different site for the gallery the Jerwood Foundation would have pulled out of the deal and gone elsewhere. It is a prime location after all and the other suggested sites were well outside of the areas that tourists normally visit.

I think that the gallery and it’s surrounds are a far better use for the land than a bus park. It adds an additional attraction to the area and may even draw in a new audience of people. The council have set aside coach drop off points near to the Stade, and provided parking for the coaches a couple of miles away, which seems a reasonable solution to me. As for the building itself, I reckon that it fits in nicely with the surroundings, and the hand made ceramic tiles are particularly attractive. I haven’t been inside yet though. The £5 residents entry (£7 for ‘out of towners’) puts me off, especially when the art displayed inside isn’t really my thing. Perhaps that in itself says something!

I guess time will tell what economic effects of this redevelopment will have. Hastings needs all the income it can get at it is in the top 20 of the most deprived areas in England, so hopefully the impact will be a positive one. For some other interesting opinons and photographs on the Jerwood from people who visit Hastings I recommend this blog article by Sideways14 and this article in the Guardian. If anyone wants to add their own opinion, please do so below!

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No. 1 London Bridge   6 comments

No. 1 London Bridge sits right on the Thames, by London Bridge of all places. I normally walk by without giving it too much attention, and although the design is unusual I don’t really like it. On this occasion however I walked past it on the opposite side of the street  that I normally do and noticed the reflection of the bright blue skies and skyline.

I think I missed the best place to photograph this building however, I like the view that this photographer chose.

The Shard   5 comments

The Shard in London is nearing completion and has recently become the tallest structure in Europe at 310 meters. It hurts the neck to look up at it, but the views from the observation deck will be magnificent. There will be three floors of restaurants as well as offices, a hotel and apartments as shown on it’s nice website. The cost of construction so far is £450 million but fortunately not to the Great British tax payer which is probably why there isn’t much controversy surrounding it, apart from the Daily Mail suggesting that Qatar is slowly taking over London.

I like how, from this view, the building looks rather pleased with itself.

Ghosts of the Pier   12 comments

When looking at old structures or places I always try and imagine what they were like in the past. I found a website (via a WordPress Blog whose name escapes me) that combines photos of World War 2 and splices them into photos taken today. The website is by Sergey Larenkov and I strongly recommend that you take a look at these moving and evocative pictures.

His work has inspired this post. It seemed a relatively simple task at first, all I needed was a decent quality picture of the pier in it’s prime, then take a photo of the pier from the same view. It wasn’t as simple as that!

Finding old pictures of the pier is easy enough, but finding one that shows the pier in the context of it’s setting and also with a decent crowd is harder. The next problem is to find a jpeg of sufficient quality to enable a reasonable sized image. I eventually found two likely candidates.

The next problem was to work out where the old picture was taken from, which is easy to estimate. The first shortlisted photo I couldn’t recreate as a large block of flats has been built that partially blocks the view. So I’m down to this photo, which was taken from the steps leading up to White Rock Gardens. The final part of the process is to take a photo that captures the same scene, but is also taken at the same height and angle of the original. The photo I finally used was one of several I took from varying positions. In the end the main guide was the curve of the roof and the alignment of the turrets on the right hand building.

The original picture I found on the Hastings Chronicle history of the pier, which contains the full story of the pier from concept to present day. The scene shows a concert being held in the early 1960’s.

And here is my duplicate shot of the pier today. I added a couple of modern day cars from the unused photos to add some contrast to the old ones.

Hastings Pier, part 3   4 comments

Venturing further under the pier, the noise of the sea and my feet crunching on the pebbles increased as it was reflected back off of the metal work, decking and concrete. The sound of the traffic above was drowned out, and although busy with people on the promenade I felt as if I was in a completely different place. Perhaps that’s one of the best things about taking photographs, is that in the quest to find a different angle or shot you end up in the places few other people go.

Of the photos I took that day I prefer this one the most. What do you think?

Hastings Pier, part 2   5 comments

In it’s heyday the pier played host to some of the great music acts including the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix and Pink Floyd. It has also featured on some more recent music videos including Ash’s “Tracers” and Kingmaker’s “Queen Jane”.

These pictures show the damage caused by the fire to the top surface, and the intricate ironwork that makes up it’s structure. Although taken at midday, there was sufficient mist to create some nice sunrays through the gaps in the wood work.

Bodiam Castle   6 comments

Bodiam Castle, built in 1395 is another reminder that the landscape in East Sussex used to be much different. It was built to protect from French raids up the River Rother, when the river was navigable up to that point. It is a lovely ruin and has been photographed beautifully by many people, as a Google image search reveals.I didn’t want to take a generic photography of the castle, so I’m pleased that the Google search, at least on search page 1, doesn’t have a similar photograph! Do they work as a composition though? Your opinions would be welcome!

 

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