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17 February 2012 | By: TimW

The Friday Photos: Glass And Steel

The Friday Photos: Glass And Steel

Head to any cluster of commerce on a sunny day — the City, Canary Wharf, the 'More London' development next to City Hall — and odds on you'll spot someone with a hulking great camera snapping away, perhaps lying on the ground with lens pointing skyward.

Angular lines; the play of light on monochrome surfaces; the reflection of other buildings or water — photographers are drawn to areas where lots of glass and steel provide endless variations for interesting images. Perhaps it is fitting that modern architecture, whether in the form of skyscrapers or shopping centres, is so heavily photographed, because glass and steel dominates so many London viewpoints.

Familiar structures, chiefly Richard Rogers's Lloyd's of London building, inevitably make an appearance here, but many others provide arresting images: the Heron Tower, the Shard and Kings Place.

Many thanks to Londonist Flickr pool contributors for these images: including three from David Bank (his personal website here), richwat2011, tripowski, Brron, Kris Doubleyou, bobaliciouslondon and andrew off-road.


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 Glorious pics!


This form of architecture which dominates much of lower Manhattan or New York City was at one time branded as "fascist" much as Mussolini's EUR (Exposicion Urbana Romana) of the 1930's. It tends to create a thicket of steel, glass and cement so overwhelming that the individual passing underneath would feel dehumanized as in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Bayswater in London offers like Greenwich Village in Manhattan an alternative to a feeling of harmony between self and environment that  although man made and artificial lessens the sense of being overpowered as with  New York skyscrappers.

Tabish Khan

What I love about London is that the modern is mixed in with the historical building so you never feel overwhelmed by its scale, a la NYC.


Unfortunatelly the Nazi blitz of 1939-40 did much to mar the appearance of the city much as it did other parts of the island.  There is very little of the Victorian era surviving but of course one does have St. Paul's, the Houses of Parliament, Greenwich to mention just a few.  New York City did not undergo the punishment London experienced until just recently with 9/11.  It is the absence of catastrophic wars which has made the American mind one different from people across the pond.