Strata SE1 – Eco or Ugly?

Having taken this photo during my visit to London last year, and following on from yesterdays post and the theme of architecture I decided to find out just what this building was. I have since learned that it is called Strata SE1, is located in Elephant and Castle, Southwark and is the tallest residential building at 43 stories high. The feature that really sparks your imagination though is the 3 turbines sitting at the top of the building, looking like something from a futuristic James Bond film, ready to chop you into pieces should you skydive through them (as only James Bond would of course!). At one point in it’s history the building was voted ugliest building, however it was actually designed to be eco-friendly, with the 3 turbines designed to provide 8% of the electricity demands of the building. Unfortunately the residents in the penthouses complained that when the turbines were running, it was too noisy and the vibrations sent them insane, so the turbines were only allowed to run at certain times of the day. I cant decide whether I love it or hate it, maybe it should have been called the marmite tower…..you decide……

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Gallows at Dusk

Last year I had the pleasure of a visit to London for a long weekend, a place that you cannot fail to find photographic inspiration….that’s if you can get close enough to anything long enough to take the shot before the next herd of tourists converge….of course I was one of those tourists!! During this visit I discovered a  love of architecture and structures, something I haven’t really dabbled with before, probably as the town that I live in is somewhat lacking in dramatic architecture, so I don’t tend to look at the bigger picture so much. But in London, its all around you, you cant help but see it on every corner, in every view, and for me the best way to see it is from the top of a London Red bus or the balcony of your apartment. I was lucky to stay in an apartment set behind the London Eye, near the Borough Market across the Thames from the well known sights and the skyline was stunning. This shot was taken at random, with a small Canon camera, but I love the grainy texture to this shot, it makes is so atmospheric. I didn’t realise what I had captured until closer inspection, however you can just make out the top of the Tower of London, the infamous site of many a gruesome hanging, but somewhat over awed by the towering cranes filling up the sky high above it. To me they look like tall gibbets, gallows waiting for their next victim to swing to their doom, almost softening the Tower of London by their modernism and minimalist dressing. The dark side of the London skyline…..

 

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