Nearly everybody lives and works in buildings. They protect us from the weather and form part of our day to day lives. But buildings are much more than practical places. Since the birth of architecture, buildings have also been regarded as things of beauty and meaning. They express the values and beliefs of the people that created them. This 2 part series explores architectural pieces that I came across in London and the hidden beauty of their design. So the next time you take a stroll through our capital don’t get distracted by your phone. Look around!
PART 1 // PART 2
Look Up London
From cloud-piercing towers of glass to stone cathedrals, churches and slabs of brutalist concrete. Taking a walk through London is like immersing yourself in a history of architecture. The concrete shapes of the Southbank Centre have been drawing crowds since the 50s while St Paul’s Cathedral for me is more iconic than Big Ben will ever be. The price of admission of living in this city is countered by the fact that you’re never more than a few tube stops away from an area that’s prime for a bit of urban exploration.
Each area in London can be a city in its own right. From the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross to the up and coming Aldgate or City of London, there’s something here for everyone. It is said that a building captures the thoughts and feelings of the architect at a precise moment in time. If you need any more evidence of how chaotic and beautiful our minds are just take a walk around your city. Every single brick, beam or column came from somebody’s imagination. Almost like your most ambitious Lego or Minecraft project brought to life on an epic scale.
In my mind there are no rules to architecture. Sure, you may have sustainability and budget constraints but really an architects only limit is his imagination. The buildings we see around us are a testament to willpower and a sense of belief each one of us must develop. Iconic structures such as Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral were ridiculed prior to their construction by bureaucrats and yes-men. If it wasn’t for the persistence and slight insanity of people such as Sir Christopher Wren these structures would have likely never seen the light of day.
It must be said that the modern structures such as tower blocks and semi-detached houses for your 2.5 children are the antithesis of what I’m talking about. The lack of passion of passion almost seeps through the inevitable cracks. Built to serve a singular purpose it’s sad to see these designs spread through London like wildfire. Since this city is under construction 24/7 perhaps a major redevelopment (like the one undertaken in Paris between 1853 and 1870) is just what we need 😉
Thanks for reading my latest article. Give it a share using the links below so others can enjoy it too. For more check out my latest lookbook from Paris, street style from London Collections or my trip to the magical city of Coimbra.
As always stay classy and if you have a story you wish to share please contact [email protected] or tag your social posts with #DVSN