Sunday, 1 March 2015
Wednesday, 4 February 2015
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
Monday, 8 April 2013
Walking from the city centre of Newcastle towards the Ouseburn river we could hear vast, echoing noises that sounded like the groanings, creakings, crackings and stompings of a ginormous animal, tearing away at some jurassic trees or the like. As we followed the curve of the bank, there was indeed something like an animal, doing violent things, tearing away at something. A tall, long, chomping pincer was eating its way slowly, methodically, through a big old concrete warehouse, the last of its kind on the grand old Tyne. The building was massive, heavy, and looked so permanent, but the demolition dinosaur was inevitably going to win as it precisely tore away chunks of floor, pulled out tangles of rebar, revealed doors, locked and unlocked, toilets, kitchens, office desks and windows in an awesome display of sped-up architectural decomposition.
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
A bouquet of buildings picturesquely clinging to each other at a junction on the edge of the Roppongi area of Tokyo, looking for all the world as if they were one discrete, hyper complex architectural composition. I saw this kind of situation happening in various places around the city, as I'd seen previously in Kobe on another holiday, but this was the most singular instance I encountered on this trip.
As far as I've seen there is no such thing as a party wall in Tokyo, with buildings often separated by extremely narrow gaps of between 30 and 50cm, which for the life of my I cannot understand how people keep clean, but which they must do since they are almost always nice and tidy. These gaps, tiny plots and total lack of space mean that thin and tall 'pencil' buildings are quite common, sometimes with staggering height to base-width ratios.
These buildings are however usually clustered together like commuters on a crowded train along the city's streets, or like architectural bouquets in isolated clumps-in-the-round, often in the middle of a tangle of roads. On the way to Ginza, walking through Shinbashi, I passed this singularly proud little extrusion, a typically tiny building with one room on each floor, windows on two sides, and five stories high, but here he is standing alone in the corner of a car park, only really taking up as much space as one of the cars parked around him, acting bravely as sentinel to the junction he fronts.