The Design Museum new Café and Tank installation offers images of London’s lesser-known architecture. These structures and buildings, including subways and transport infrastructure, are often overlooked, but necessary parts of London’s urban landscape and history. The photographs encourages the viewer to take a second look, and to explore this alternate mapping of the city’s built environment.
Photographer Theo Simpson offers starkly graphic monochrome prints of 10 significant but overlooked architectural icons, each nominated by prominent architectural critics.
Some of these 'lesser known' buildings are indeed hidden historical gems in London’s landscape, such as the dynamic spiralling stairwell of the sleekly modernist Bevin Court building, designed by Bertold Lubetkin in 1954. Others, such as the Stockwell Bus Garage (previously championed by novelist Will Self as London's most important building), Clipstone Headstocks and Powerhouse, and the Occidental Oil Refinery jetty merit a second look.
Ben Mclaughlin’s minimalist photographic prints expose the structures and sculptural forms in their full beauty. These images are enticing and mysterious, even when showing apparently 'banal' or simple buildings, such as Nissen huts in a field, or the patterns formed by cement shapes, girders, rails and tiles.
This superb exhibition is curated by Elias Redstone, founder of ARCHIZINES and the London Architecture Diary. The visitor is encouraged to seek out these structures across London, so that the lesser-known will become illuminated.
By Sarah Stewart