New Year's Day in London

3 Jan 2010



This was the first time I'd explored Shoreditch and it's surprising how the buildings change as you walk away from Liverpool Street. This disused pub used to serve beer from Truman Brewery. It's only a couple of minutes away from the big banks, and there are rows and rows of abandoned buildings. Some of the roads feel quite sad.

This is the building (above) that I've chosen for my project - it's on the corner of Club Row and Old Nichol Street. It's a 1930s warehouse that was originally used by a printers called Walkden & Wetherall; the area was the centre of the printing and paper industry. I love the style of the building with the long windows. It's currently being used by a catering company called Chester Boyd and I'm going to contact them to see if I can measure it internally. I imagine this being turned into an art gallery and a centre for art classes for the local community, as well as somewhere for artists to rent studio space. It's quite big: 13 m x 17 m and I think there would be scope for it to be extended in height as the neighbouring buildings are a lot taller.

When I was looking at other buildings I think I was on the lookout for something too run down. Realistically I need something that is structurally sound, and I convert it rather than rebuild. I can imagine transforming this space, whereas I didn't know where to start with some of the other sites. I think it could be really beautiful.
This Victorian building is only a couple of doors down from the site I've chosen. I think there was a fire at some point as the extractor fan has melted and some of the floors and part of the roof are missing. I did an online search to find out more about Old Nichol Street and found that Quinn Architecture have submitted a planning application to knock down this building (because it is in such a poor structural state) and replace it with a block of flats with a gallery in the basement and ground floor.
As it was a public holiday, it was very quiet along Bishopsgate (it's normally full of business men in suits!). It reminded me of the beginning of Vanilla Sky when Tom Cruise is in a deserted Times Square!
On the way back to London Bridge we walked past The Gherkin, aka 30 St Mary Axe. We went right up to it - it's so imposing, but actually quite beautiful due to the soft shape and the reflections on the glass. I'd never been that close before!

7 comments:

Kelley Anne said...

That's really interesting. The deserted streets are quite sad. I can't wait to read more about your project.

anne said...

very interesting! i love reading your blog!

Stephanie Sabbe said...

we need to plan a trip to London! And the Gerkin (which I have never seen until today) is another great example of phallic architecture definitely designed by a man with a huge ego:)

painted fish studio said...

thanks for the tour! i've got a bit of european wanderlust, but not enough funding in the bank. been loving your photos!

katrina said...

these places resemble some parts of downtown san francisco, and so it's a strange feeling to your photos without people. how clean and gorgeous these places are still.

Little Monarch said...

this is my hunting ground! next time your in the area lets hook up x

Anonymous said...

Where are you studying? I would love to do an interior design course.
Your blog and the ones you have linked have inspired me to start one... Just need the time to set it up.

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