Archives for posts with tag: Architectural Photography

Exterior of Ice house or Yakhchal, Abarqu, Iran

Brick interior of Yakhchal

An ice house or Yakhchal is an ancient refrigerator allowing the storage of ice in the desert in summer. It was collected in winter and kept cool by its shape and walls made from special mortar called srooj, composed of sand, clay, egg whites, lime, goat hair, and ash, which was resistant to heat transfer. Abarqu, Iran, 2008

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Gravesend Library new entrance at dusk. Architect: Clay Architecture

The project which opened in 2011 by Clay Architecture involved the conservation, refurbishment and fit-out of a 106 year-old Grade II listed Carnegie Library building in Gravesend, Kent

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Broadgate Exchange House, London. Detail of facade showing parabolic segmented tied arches spanning the full 78m across the railway tracks entering Liverpool Street Station. Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Built 1990

Exchange House, Broadgate is special category of building as it is effectively an inhabited bridge. The building is a 10-storey office building spanning 78m over Liverpool Street Station. The building frame of Exchange House is supported on a primary structure of four parabolic segmented tied arches spanning the full 78m across the railway tracks entering Liverpool Street Station. Two external arches are visible and set 2m from the building façades and two internal arches pass through the offices and are exposed in the atria. Transverse, open-webbed beams span between the arches and vertical “columns” transfer the floor loads to the arches by either compression or tension, depending on their position.

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Detail of Centre Point Tower, London. Architect: Richard Seifert. Built: 1966

Centre Point Tower, London is a controversial Grade II-listed concrete Brutalist 117m Skyscraper designed by Richard Seifert in 1966. Nikolaus Pevsner described Centre Point as “coarse in the extreme”.  The building remained without tenants until 1975 due to the management style of property tycoon Harry Hyams who would only lease the building to a single company to reduce his management cost. Needless to say this was met with criticisms of greed at the time.

After winning the Concrete Society’s Mature Structures Award in 2009 the building is receiving more love and a £350 million overhaul of the skyscraper has been revealed in 2012 by Rick Mather Architects and Conran & Partners.

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Oxford Street faceted glass facade by architects Future Systems (now Amanda Levete Architects), built 2008. 187-195 Oxford Street, London

Looking up from street level to Oxford Street faceted glass facade by architects Future Systems

Elevation of Oxford Street faceted glass facade

Contrasting old and new architecture in London. Detail of facades on Oxford Street, London. Left: Late 19th century facade now Radcliffe College Language School. Right: 187-195 Oxford Street faceted glass facade by architect’s Future Systems, built 2008

Oxford Street faceted glass facade by architects Future Systems (now Amanda Levete Architects) with Arup, built 2008. In the words of the architect they created “vibrant jewel-like glass frontage…Through the repetition of crystal-like glass bays, a sense of scale and rhythm is created.”

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Steel and glass latticework roof of the Great Court at the British Museum, London. Built 2000, Architect: Foster and Partners Engineer: Buro Happold

The form of the lattice work roof is that of a dome stretched into a circle like a donut. Aside from the project’s beauty the structure is an engineering and fabrication tour de force. The latticework is made of seven and a half miles of top-grade shipbuilding steel (6,000 beams and 1,800 connecting pieces) which is made weathertight with 3,312 uniquely shaped panels of glass. The roof’s computer determined geometry takes up all the irregularities of the old building to the tolerance of three millimetres. Because the steel expands and contracts with heat, cold and wind, it sits on sliding bearings which also serve to spread its weight evenly across Smirke’s facades.

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London old and new. At left: St Stephen Walbrook Church built 1672-9 by architect Sir Christopher Wren. At right: Walbrook Office Building, built 2010. Architect: Foster and Partners. Engineer: Arup

Evening sun catches the solar cladding of the Walbrook Office Building.

Detail of lustrous reflections on the Fiber-Reinforced Polymer solar cladding of the Walbrook Office Building, London. Built 2010. Architect: Foster and Partners. Engineer: Arup

The Walbrook is an office building designed by Foster and Partners & Arup which is clad with a unique form of solar shading, helping to improving the buildings energy efficiency. This cladding is made entirely from Fiber-Reinforced Polymer – a material which has not been used to this extent on buildings before – which gives it a high sheen, similar to that of a car. FRP is commonly used in the aerospace, automotive and marine industries due to its strength and lightness.

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Coloured terracotta facade detail of Central St Giles. Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop with Fletcher Priest. London, 2010.

Central Saint Giles is a mixed-use development in central London. Built at a cost of £450 million and completed in May 2010, it was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and is his first work in the UK. Bright green, red, yellow, orange, and two shades of grey terracotta ceramic make up the façade cladding. For more technical info on the cladding see here.

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