Archives for posts with tag: Building

Main entrance to Oriente Station, Lisbon at dusk. Photo: Quintin Lake

Detail of the roof at Oriente Station. Photo: Quintin Lake

Glass and steel roof above the rail platform at Oriente Station, Lisbon. Photo: Quintin Lake

Looking up at the roof of Oriente Station. Photo: Quintin Lake

This was the first Calatrava building I’d seen in the flesh and it’s a hugely exciting building to experience and to photograph. The exuberant organically inspired forms of Calatrava were a favourite for me when I was an architecture student. The huge cantilevered canopy at the pedestrian entrance and the steel ‘trees’ covering the train platforms are particularly joyful. However, not so sweet and what I’ve chosen not to show in these photos is the very poor cosmetic condition of much of the building, peeling pain, rust, cracked glass and thick layers of grime on white panted steel. The internal exposed concrete structure has also been comprehensively Jackson Pollocked with pigeon droppings. Although only skin deep these are the first qualities which most visitors would probably notice which is a shame for such exciting architecture. The question as to wether these issues should be considered design flaws for a public building or simply stinginess on the part of maintenance schedule is probably not simple to answer. Certainly based on my observation the same issues plague most painted steel hi-tech architecture after a decade or so of use from the Pompidou to Grimshaw’s Waterloo Station.

Oriente Station (Gare do Oriente) is one of the main transport hubs in Lisbon, Portugal. It was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava it was finished in 1998 for the Expo ’98 world’s fair in Parque das Nações, where it is located. It encompasses a Lisbon Metro station, a high-speed, commuter and regional train hub, a local, national and international bus station, a shopping centre and a police office. Oriente Station is one of the world’s largest stations, with 75 million passengers per year which makes it as busy as Grand Central Terminal in New York.

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Viewing platform at the top of the Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa), Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Quintin Lake

The Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa or Carmo Lift) is a gloriously eccentric structure in the centre of Lisbon designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, an engineer born in Porto to French parents. Raul Ponsard was an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and returned to Lisbon with grand design ideas. He petitioned the royal house who provided all of the funding. Construction began in 1900 and was finished in 1902, originally powered by steam. The iron lift is 45 metres tall and is decorated in neogothic style, with a different pattern on each storey.

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Gehry House at Santa Monica, California, designed by Frank Gehry. built in 1978 this was his first ‘Deconstructivist’ Building. Photo: Quintin Lake

Frank Gehry’s house built in 1978 in Santa Monica represented the first and radical steps of Deconstructivist movement in architecture. Gehry took his seemingly ordinary house in Santa Monica and began changing things in incredibly strange ways. He took a step beyond the playful reworkings of Postmodern architecture, where traditional design symbols were reinterpreted, and instead starting using materials and strategies few applied to architectural projects at the time. Gehry started by tearing the drywall off of interior walls to expose structural studs buried in the old house, then subtracted and added architectural elements seemingly without a coherent plan throughout the building. He added chain link and plywood to the exterior. His transformations were responses to various impulses and were allowed to coexist without a clear rhyme or reason, flying in the face of both Modernism and Postmodernism – designs from which were typically justified in terms of some kind of central concept. This house was the start of Gehry’s freestyle architectural expression which has culminated in recent times in his most well known buildings the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.


Detail of cast concrete Hollyhock motif on the western facade of Hollyhock House, Los Angeles designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo: Quintin Lake

The Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House,sits at the centre of in Barnsdall Art Park in East Hollywood, California, California was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright 1919–1921. Like the Charles Ennis House, executed later, this house illustrates Wright’s fascination with the stylised forms of  pre-Columbian architecture, in this case Mayan temples. Wright called the style rather disingenuously California Romanza. The stylised patterns of hollyhocks repeated in cast concrete and the window design was due to the Aline Barnsdall’s fondness for the flower. The building was restored after undergoing extensive damage from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.

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The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs. Photo: Quintin Lake

Architectural Photography of the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737-1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library.

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More Stock Photography of Oxford

Photography © Quintin Lake, 2010

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