Archives for category: Delight

Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre yellow, red and orange glass facade detail, London.

The colour intensity changes depending on the angle of light hitting the glass cladding

Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre facade. Architect: Haworth Tompkins. Artist Collaborator: Antoni Malinowski

I’m all for the tasteful use of vibrant colour in London’s new buildings and Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre is a great example. Built: 2007. Architect: Haworth Tompkins. Artist Collaborator: Antoni Malinowski

Battersea power station viewed from the north bank of the Thames at dusk. July 2012

One of my favourite buildings in London – I wonder what the future holds for her? Battersea power station viewed from the north bank of the Thames at dusk. Built: 1933-55 Decommissioned: 1983.  Architect: Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (designer of the red telephone box).

Facade detail of Blue Fin Building also known as Bankside 1, London

Blue Fin Building facade detail

Graduated tone of the Blue Fin Building facade, London

The Blue Fin Building also known as Bankside 1, London takes its name from the 2,000 vertical fins on it of varying blue colours to provide solar shading for the offices within. Built: 2008. Architect: Allies and Morrison

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

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  

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