The Shingle House / Dungeness / February 2012

Two years ago the writer and philosopher, Alain de Botton set up Living Architecture. de Botton is the author of a number of books on subjects as diverse as love, travel and philosophy but it was after the publication of “The Architecture of Happiness” and the subsequent tours and talks he did, that he became convinced of a “desire to shift perceptions of modern architecture”.

From the Living Architecture website… “We wanted to allow people to experience what it is like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by an outstanding architectural practice. While there are examples of great modern buildings in Britain, they tend to be in places that one passes through (eg. airports, museums, offices) and the few modern houses that exist are almost all in private hands and cannot be visited”

Living Architecture exists to give people the chance to holiday in exemplary examples of modern architecture, commissioning some of the finest architects in the world, in the hope the public might start to warm to the contemporary again.

Last month a group of us went to stay at NORD Architecture’s Living Architecture project in Dungeness; The Shingle House. NORD are a young Scottish practice with a great reputation for strong and striking buildings and this house is no different. I was asked to write a guest post for Collate’s blog on my stay there, where I go into lots of detail about the architecture and philosophy behind the home as well as what it was like to stay there. Rather than repeating that, I’ll just point you in it’s direction. You can read that post in full by clicking Two years ago the writer and philosopher, Alain de Botton set up Living Architecture. de Botton is the author of a number of books on subjects as diverse as love, travel and philosophy but it was after the publication of “The Architecture of Happiness” and the subsequent tours and talks he did, that he became convinced of a “desire to shift perceptions of modern architecture”.

From the Living Architecture website… “We wanted to allow people to experience what it is like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by an outstanding architectural practice. While there are examples of great modern buildings in Britain, they tend to be in places that one passes through (eg. airports, museums, offices) and the few modern houses that exist are almost all in private hands and cannot be visited” Living Architecture exists to give people the chance to holiday in exemplary examples of modern architecture, commissioning some of the finest architects in the world, in the hope the public might start to warm to the contemporary again. Last month a group of us went to stay at NORD Architecture’s Living Architecture project in Dungeness; The Shingle House. NORD are a young Scottish practice with a great reputation for strong and striking buildings and this house is no different. I was asked to write a guest post for Collate’s blog on my stay there, where I go into lots of detail about the architecture and philosophy behind the home as well as what it was like to stay there. Rather than repeating that, I’ll just point you in it’s direction. You can read that post in full by clicking here.

In the meantime, here’s a load of pictures of the property (more after clicking "Read More")…

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Conran at the Design Museum / London / February 2012

Last week, Conran & Partners commissioned me to head over to the Design Museum to document the exhibition they have on at the moment marking the life and work of Terence Conran. From the Design Museum’s website… “The Design Museum marks Sir Terence Conran’s 80th birthday with a major exhibition that explores his unique impact on contemporary life in Britain. Through his own design work, and also through his entrepreneurial flair, Conran has transformed the British way of life. The Way We Live Now explores Conran’s impact and legacy, whilst also showing his design approach and inspirations. The exhibition traces his career from post-war austerity through to the new sensibility of the Festival of Britain in the 1950s, the birth of the Independent Group and the Pop Culture of the 1960s, to the design boom of the 1980s and on to the present day”

More pictures after clicking "Read More"...

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Rowley Way / London / June 2011

Yesterday (Saturday, if you’re reading this on a Sunday), I went to the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate in Camden, London with Paula Knee, Simon Kennedy and Aleks Krotoski. The estate, frequently called the Rowley Way estate, is about as good as it gets for me. Loads of concrete, utopian ideals, trees and plants, a community-minded spirit and designed by borough architects (Neave Brown of Camden Council’s Architects Department).

I appreciate I’m viewing this estate, and many others of the same era, with slightly rose-tinted glasses and without the knowledge gained from living there, so whilst photographing estates I always try to chat to some of the residents. Ron had been there for 25yrs and was kind enough to show me his home. Although he had some misgiving about the design and, in particular the way the services worked, he loves living there and praised the community spirit. He was proud of his home and to say he lived on the estate.

It was a lovely day, ended with a nice chat in a nearby cafe with my fellow photographers and a wander along the canal to Kings Cross in the sunshine, before joining a couple of mates for a few drinks back in Camden. Lovely stuff. Click "Read More" for more images…

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Taylor & Green / Norfolk & Suffolk / May 2011

For the upcoming Festival of Architecture, Norwich and Norfolk (FANNXI) I spent a few days in the countryside photographing the post-war and mid-century housing by architects Tayler & Green.

Working almost exclusively in one area of Norfolk and Suffolk, the work of T&G is often criminally overlooked (largely because they didn’t do a great deal of work in London). The housing they built in the 50’s and 60’s is extremely regionally distinctive, in that nothing else in the area looks like it, and it bucked the popular European Modernism trend at the time. It was a pleasure to photograph the work and the short talk that architect Matt Wood gave for residents of one of the estates at Davy Place.

As well as forming part of my ongoing personal project, documenting this era of housing all over the country (including work on Span Developments and Rowley Way), these images will be used throughout the festival and by Professor Alan Powers for a lecture he will be giving on the architects.

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Southbank Bandstand / London / May 2011

Early on in the summer, which seems like a while ago now, I photographed a small project initiated by RIBA London where a group of Part 1 and 2 architecture students were commissioned to design (and build) a temporary bandstand in front of Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank, London.

It’s fairly rare in architecture for students in their early twenties to get the chance to see a design process all the way from inception to production information, construction and completion, so this was a great opportunity for those involved to get this experience. When completed, the bandstand proved incredibly popular with the public, with events hosted on and around it for the whole summer. These images, and the accompanying video (after clicking "Read More"), were commissioned by the students involved.

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