Archives for category: Delight

Aluminium tiles and round windows of Ravensbourne College catch the evening sun.

Facade showing different sized windows created with only three tile types.

Corner detail of tiling on Ravensbourne College by Foreign Office Architects

Detail of the tessellating pattern of three tile shapes

The cladding appearance changes dramatically according to the prevailing light strength

The facade of Ravensbourne College, London is created by an interesting system of tessellation geometries which allows the creation of seven different types and diameter of windows out of only three different tiles. The pattern is so unique it has now been patented to protect its use. The building was designed by Alejandro Zaero-Polo and Farshid Moussavi of Foreign Office Architects in 2010.

Interior of Octagonal Pavilion Tomb of the Sheikh Abdolsamad, Natanz, Iran.

Detail view of khanqah portal; muqarnas semi-dome, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad Mosque, Natanz, Iran.

Portal of Abd-al-Samad-tomb

Facade of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad Mosque

Detail of mosaic tiling

Natanz gets in the news as the location of Iran’s nuclear facility but much more interesting is the beautiful Abdolsamad Tomb & Mosque. This is a large funerary complex which has grown up organically around the tomb of Abd al-Samad, a follower of the famous Sufi saint Abu Said who died in 1049. The central feature of the site is the octagonal tomb around which is built a four-iwan congregational mosque dated to 1309. Internally the tomb is a cruciform chamber which is converted to an octagon at roof level. The roof is a blue-tiled octagonal pyramid dome outside and internally comprises a tall muqarnas vault.

West-side iwan of the Jameh Mosque, Isfahan

North-side iwan, Jameh Mosque, Isfahan

South-side iwan seen from North-side arch, Jameh Mosque, Isfahan

Muqarnas (decorative corbel) Jameh Mosque, Isfahan

Muqarnas (decorative corbel) Jameh Mosque, Isfahan

The Jameh Mosque is the congregational mosque (Jameh) of Isfahan city, Iran (Persian: مسجد جامع اصفهان‎ – Masjid-e-Jāmeh). The mosque is the result of continual construction and reconstruction from around 771 to the end of the 20th century making it one of the oldest mosques still standing in Iran. I felt the Muqarnas (decorative corbels) are amongst the most beautiful in Islamic architecture for their sublime combination of subtle colour, complex geometry and heavily sculptural form.

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Oxford University Biochemistry Building at dusk, Oxford, UK. Architects: Hawkins Brown, Built 2008

Coloured glass fins of Oxford University Biochemistry Building in evening light

Abstract detail of the Coloured glass fins of Oxford University Biochemistry Building

Coloured glass fins set against the sky

Fire in the Evening, Paul Klee, Oil on board, 1929

Coloured glass fins of the New Oxford University Biochemistry Building, by Hawkins Brown frame views in and out of the building, creating complex and subtle patterns of colour as the light changes. According to the architects the fins reflect the rich red, terracotta, orange, brown and purple of the nearby buildings though to me they have a refreshingly assertive identity of their own.

The final combination and rhythm of colours was influenced by the Bauhaus artist Paul Klee’s theories as can be seen by looking at his works such as “Fire in the Evening” (above). This sophisticated use of colour in architecture won the building the WAN Colour in Architecture award in 2011. For another stunning use of coloured glass in architecture see my photographs of “My Rainbow Horizon” in Denmark

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All images available as prints or for publication / licensing contact me for pricing. 

Overview of Palmyra at sunset showing the Great Colonnade running from the Funerary Temple in the foreground to the Temple of Bel at rear. Photo: Quintin Lake

Monumental Arch, the entrance to the city, Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Great Colonnade, Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Columns of the Great Colonnade in front of the Valley of the Tombs, Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Arch of the Great Colonnade at sunset, Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Tetrapylon, placed at a crossroads, Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Theatre, Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Stone seats and steps in the theatre at Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

A commanding view of Palmyra seen from the Temple of the Standards in Diocletian's Camp (said to be the location of the Palace of Zenobia) Photo: Quintin Lake

Funerary Temple at Diocletian's Camp. Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Temple of Baal Shamin. Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Temple of Baal Shamin Interior. Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Cella or Inner Temple of the Temple of Bel, Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Towers of Yemliko, Valley of the Tombs, Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Tower of Elahbel, burial tower, Palmyra, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

Burial Chambers inside Tower of Elahbel, burial tower, Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Muslim Castle, Palmyra (Qala'at ibn Maan or Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle), built by the Mamluks in the 13th century. The castle overlooks Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Valley of the Tombs at sunset, Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

Roadside poster of Bashar al-Assad, president of Syria, February 2011 depicted with the ruins of Palmyra. Photo: Quintin Lake

An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.

It had long been a vital caravan city for travellers crossing the Syrian desert and was known as the Bride of the Desert. The earliest documented reference to the city by its Semitic name Tadmor, Tadmur or Tudmur (which means “the town that repels” in Amorite and “the indomitable town” in Aramai is recorded in Babylonian tablets found in Mari.

Palmyra became the capital of the short-lived Palmyrene Empire (260–273) which was a splinter empire, that broke off of the Roman Empire during the the Third Century. It encompassed the Roman provinces of Syria Palaestina, Egypt and large parts of Asia Minor. The Palmyrene Empire was ruled by Queen Zenobia.

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All images available as fine art prints or for publication / licensing contact me for pricing and to arrange use. Photographs © Quintin Lake  

Courtyard of Khan As'ad Pasha Damascus, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

The khan or Caravanserai of As’ad Pasha al-Azem is situated along Suq al-Buzuriyyah in the old city of Damascus. It was built between 1751 and 1752 by the city governor As’ad Pasha al-Azem. It is one the most prominent khans of the old city, and covers an area of 2500 square meters.

The building follows a typical khan layout with two floors giving onto a central courtyard. The Khan is entered from Suq al-Buzuriyyah, through a monumental gateway lavishly decorated with stone carvings and roofed by a muqarnas semi-dome. The entrance leads to a square courtyard with shops on the ground floor, used for commerce and storage. The second floor, accessible by a staircase located to the right of the main entrance was used mainly for loadging, and has eighty rooms arranged along a gallery facing the courtyard.

Looking up to the domes of Khan As'ad, Damascus, Syria. Photo: Quintin Lake

The space of the courtyard is divided into nine equal square modules, where each module is covered with a dome raised on a drum pierced with twenty windows. The domes are supported by pendentives that transfer the load onto four piers and to the courtyard walls. An octagonal marble fountain occupies the center of the courtyard below the central dome. Each of the four courtyard walls has three doorways on the ground floor, flanked by two rectangular windows. The symmetry is maintained on the second floor where each gallery façade has three archways flanked by two smaller ones. The khan is built of alternating courses of basalt and limestone.

Three of the courtyard domes were destroyed in an earthquake seven years after the khan’s completion. The openings were covered with wooden planks until 1990 when the khan was restored and the domes rebuilt. No longer used for commerce at the beginning of the twentieth century, the khan was used for manufacture and storage until it was restored in 1990 winning the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

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All images available as fine art prints or for publication / licensing contact me for pricing and to arrange use. Photographs © Quintin Lake  

Museum of Liverpool Facade with Royal Liver Building behind topped with the iconic Liver Bird.

The Museum of Liverpool façade’s relief pattern puts forward a new interpretation of the historical architectural detail in the ‘Three Graces”, the UNESCO listed maritime buildings adjacent to the museum. The new building is somewhat underwhelming inside but externally the bold contrast of old and new is very exciting giving the city a modern European feel.  The wave form was inspired by origami and to give the façade an element of variation, as the changing light and shadow affect the facades appearance.  The building opened to the public in July 2011.

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Photographs © Quintin Lake

Coast to Coast I. Storm clouds over the Irish Sea.

Coast to Coast IV. Forestry in the Lake District.

Coast to Coast V. Low cloud in the Lake District.

Coast to Coast VI. Stone wall in the Lake District.

Coast to Coast VII. Great Gable in the Lake District.

Coast to Coast VIII. Parting clouds in the Lake District.

Coast to Coast IX. Wast Water in the Lake District.

Coast to Coast XI. Footbridge over the M6.

Coast to Coast XII. Stone Breaker at Bunton Hush, Yorkshire Dales.

Coast to Coast XVI. Footpath arrows near Richmond.

Coast to Coast XIX. Barley field in the Vale of Mowbray.

Coast to Coast XXIII. Rubbish bag near Robin Hood's Bay

Coast to Coast XXIV. Lighthouse overlooks the North Sea.

This series of twenty four photographs were made during a 20 day 340km solo backpacking trip in May 2011 from the Irish Sea at St Bees to the North Sea at Whitby. My route was based loosely on Wainwright’s classic walk joining the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales with and the North York Moors National Park. The main additions I made to his route included walking over and camping amongst the summits in the Lakes rather than following the valleys, which added 4 days travel time to the official route, and ending the walk at Whitby, as it seemed a more satisfying end to me than Robins Hood Bay. Of the 20 days travelling I had a lot of storms as you can see in the photos. These became especially frisky during the Yorkshire Dales section – which resulted in the scarcity of photos during this section. I normally think poor weather leads to more interesting photos but here the limit was reached! I hope these photos show an intimate portrayal of the drama and allure of the English Landscape an environment that, for me at least, manages to never look familiar.

All prints 42x58cm, Giclee Print on Cotton Rag, edition of 25 +1 A/P

For queries about pricing or to purchase work please either contact me of order online at the link below.

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Photographs © Quintin Lake 2011


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