‘Brick Ads’ ‘Ghost Signs‘ (my preferred name) or ‘Mural’s’ call them what you will, from the end of the 19th Century until about the 1950’s, they dominated the urban landscape. This one advertises a bakery and due to exposure of the elements it has deteriorated but you can still see it says ‘Hygienic Bakery’ During the nineteenth century Bakers used an assortment of ‘additives’ including tasty ingredients like chalk and brick dust to bulk out the flour and ultimately the bread. In 1862 a Parliamentary found many bakeries were filled with cobwebs, insects and other vermin. Just to put in to perspective how important bread was during this time it was not uncommon for nearly 80% of household expenditure to be spent on bread! This would make this Ghost Sign later than 1862 but probably before the start of the 20th Century as things had improved considerable by then.
Sadly this ‘Ghost Sign’ has now been removed as the building has been developed and with it a piece of social history has disappeared. Please click on the link to see more from the project and a book is available.
Kyoto Concert Hall is a concert hall in Sakyō-ku, Kyoto, Japan. It opened in 1995 as part of the 1200th anniversary celebrations of the foundation of Heian-kyō. This abstract view is slightly less conventional than I normal do but as Garry Winogrand said,
“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.”
This image was made in Kyoto last month and taken outside of a shopping center. The clever use of mirrors inside the front of the building creates a dramatic focal point and a metaphor of living in a big city.
The National Trust is now running tours for a ten day period starting from September 25th for those who are fans of this much maligned architectural style. This is a departure for the National Trust who typically only run tours of property that they own. Lets celebrate rough unfinished concrete because Brutalist buildings are being demolished all over the UK.
Simon Robert’s National Property explores our relationship with historic and revered sites in the UK. His self-deprecating eye is a amusing, and a study of the ‘heard mentality’ when we go to enjoy our national treasures. The memory is less likely to recall something that we have photographed as the camera forms a barrier and has profound impact on our ability to recall details of what we have seen.
This is a photograph given the ‘Instagram Look’ and is based on a tutorial by interiors and architectural photographer Serge Ramelli.
The 1,979 seat opera house was the inspiration and setting for ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and was built by Charles Garnier and completed in 1875.
The Leadenhall Building is a skyscraper in the City of London affectionately known as ‘The Cheese Grater.’ It opened in July 2014 and is from the Richard Rodgers practice. Taken last week.
This Iconic Richard Rodgers building was taken this afternoon. For those familiar with the building the stairwells that often help to identify the building are softened and tucked away on the left. It was completed in 1986 and the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, referred to it as a “monstrous carbuncle.” Twenty five years later it received a ‘Grade 1’ listed status.
Love it or loathe it Brutalist Architecture always creates a response and that is the point of evocative and challenging work. It is not traditionally pleasing on the eye with its rough surfaces and unfinished appearance. It would appear that we are now rekindling our old flame and beginning to appreciate the beauty with a fresh perspective. Our love affair is in part due to scarcity of the buildings as many have been demolished or covered up. I am photographing Brutalist buildings in London albeit with an abstract view celebrating their merits combining them with the photographic elements. Pattern/Repetition/Texture/Leading Lines/Composition. The buildings combine a futuristic world with how I imagine old Soviet Union buildings should look. Tough, imposing and secure. Recently featured in ‘The Game’ a British cold war spy drama set in the 1970’s’ and used with chilling effects in the futuristic a ‘Clock Work Orange.’
Southbank Centre London/Nick Brewer