Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion by Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Location: Cannon Bridge House (The River Building) 25 Dowgate Hill, London UK.
Architect: Stiff + Trevillion
Developer / Contractor: Blackstone Group / Lend Lease
Photography Client: Structura UK

The multidisciplinary West London architectural and design practice Stiff + Trevillion have recently completed both an internal and external refurbishment of Cannon Bridge House, which is situated on the north bank of the Thames River in central London. As the internal fit-out was nearing completion the client Structura UK requested photography of the interior office spaces, with a focus specifically on the curtain walling system they installed.  

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House or The River Building as it is now known had gone unmodernised since the early 1990's and was no longer suitable to cater for the demands of a 21st century office space. With the buildings central location it was a prime subject for redevelopment by the developer and owner Blackstone.

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

The alterations made to the original structure are succinctly noted by the architects: 

'Upgrading of the southern building elevation. Redesign of the existing building entrances on Cousin Lane. Improved  glass link on the 1st floor between the Atrium and River Building. Reduction in the size of the River Building atrium roof.'

Cannon Bridge House Interior. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House Interior. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

One of the defining features of the building internally is the convergence of two diagonal panels of glazing, which at their meeting point command amazing views South of the Thames River. If that wasn't stimulating enough for the buildings soon to be occupiers there are also trains silently passing under the building as they cross the river along Cannon Street Rail Bridge. Internally it is hard to picture the building from the outside as its now modern interior contrasts sharply with its yellow brick exterior and the wide arches that perforate it at intervals.

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Another exciting part of the development, which I am unfortunately unable to provide photographic evidence of, is the new roof garden which provides an area of respite for the busy office workers below. Unusually for a city often hidden beneath a horizontal wall of grey, watery vapour the sky garden has emerged as an essential feature of any new office development. This has given rise to all manner of extra curricular horticultural happenings taking place in the cities upper atmosphere, unbeknownst to the uninitiated citizens of the streets below. Adjacent roof gardens now rival each other for the most finely preened shrubs in an undeclared topiary showdown which has produced hedges of logic defying geometries.

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House by Stiff + Trevillion. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Returning inside the building you are greeted by a central atrium which rises up two floors to be met by an arched, glazed roof allowing natural light to flood into the building. Unfortunately at the time i was photographing the site there were still on-going maintenance works around the atrium which limited the images I could capture.

Cannon Bridge House Atrium. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Cannon Bridge House Atrium. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Leaving Cannon Bridge House that day after several hours of photography I couldn't help wishing that I might one day spend a day there as a worker, enjoying the view of the trains traversing the river below and popping up to the roof garden at lunch time for a spot of high-rise relaxation among the finely sculpted foliage. Having not seen the building internally before its makeover it is hard to visualise what existed in its place. What is evident though, is that Stiff + Trevillion's redevelopment has created a modern, light filled space which incorporates elements of the original structure, brickwork and steel, in a manner that gives prominence to them rather than hides them from view.  It is a great space, with many additional attributes provided by its location and history.

Photographers Diary: Architecture 02 by Alex Upton

Here's another quick update of some recent architectural photography projects I have been working on over the past few weeks, months, years - keeping this page up to date demands a surplus of time which I currently don't possess. More images of the individual projects will become available when I am permited to release them, for now please enjoy these teasers.

Creechurch Place by Sheppard Robson Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Creechurch Place by Sheppard Robson Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Creechurch Place, City of London, London, UK.

Joining the ever increasing cluster of high-rise office developments in the City of London's preeminent finance district is Creechurch Place designed by Sheppard Robson Architects for developers Helical. Providing 17 storeys of high-grade, modern, felxible office space the building also features two basement levels with changing rooms, bike storage and more. This is a project I have photographed both externally and internally for the client Sheppard Robson. A more comprehensive set of images covering the development will be added to my portfolio soon so please keep checking back for updates.

Sammy Ofer Centre by Sheppard Robson Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Sammy Ofer Centre by Sheppard Robson Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

London Business School, The Sammy Ofer Centre, London, UK.

Again working for the client Sheppard Robson Architects I was commissioned to photograph several exterior shots of their recently completed Sammy Ofer Centre at London Business School. The design, with its distinguished glass and steel entrance connecting two sections of the building is part of a larger transformation of the iconic Old Marylebone Town Hall. The project includes the refurbishment of the Hall’s Council House and Annexe buildings and transforms them into a major new faculty for the London Business School. More images to follow.

BH2 Bournemouth Leisure Centre. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

BH2 Bournemouth Leisure Centre. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

BH2 Bournemouth, Uk.

BH2 Bournemouth is a major new leisure development in Bournemouth's town centre. The project includes an Odeon cinema, restaurants and retails facilities. I was commissioned to photograph the site by Kalwall UK providers of the translucent cladding system which allows light to permeate from the buildings interior out through its facade illuminating the building. Some interesting events accompanied the photography of this building, all shall be revealed in a future update on the project.

Muswell Hill by PH Plus Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Muswell Hill by PH Plus Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Muswell Hill, London, UK.

Easily going unobserved due to its slightly concealed location, Muswell Hill, designed by PHplus Architects is a beautiful little development comprising a community centre, commercial space and several residential units. I was commissioned by facade specialists Taylor Maxwell to photograph the site which utilises the distinctive brick work the supplied for the project. The distinctive design of the residential units follows the contours of the sloping site and I can't help wishing i was a resident of one of the lovely apartments. More images coming soon.

Wilfred Brownby Sheppard Robson Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Wilfred Brownby Sheppard Robson Architects. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Brunel University, Wilfred Brown Building, Uxbridge, London, UK

Recently opened at the start of the new 2017 academic term is another building designed by Sheppard Robson Architects. The Wilfred Brown Building at Brunel University in West London is a major redevelopment of the firms original building that occupied the site since 1968. The building has been transformed into a modern space to accommodate new technologies and provide dynamic spaces for academic collaboration and research. The project is now occupied by the recently formed College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences. More images on their way soon.

Victoria Gate by Acme Architects by Alex Upton

Victoria Gate Shopping Centre. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Victoria Gate Shopping Centre. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Location: 44 Victoria Gate, George Street, Leeds, LS2 7AU
Architect: Acme Architects
Developer: Hammerson

London architectural practice Acme have recently come to prominence with the completion of a number of notable schemes across the UK, picking up several awards in the process. One such award was the RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year 2017 bestowed upon their Victoria Gate Shopping Centre in Leeds. Formally completed in 2016, with the odd bit of ongoing work still taking place externally, the building has become a notable landmark for the city.

Victoria Gate Arcade, Eastgate Road Elevation. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Victoria Gate Arcade, Eastgate Road Elevation. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Arriving in Leeds, weary and hungry, one early evening in late 2016 after working on several projects in Yorkshire i was greeted by a beautiful autumn sunset and a sky daubed with a wafer-thin layer of fluffy cloud. Realising this evanescent light would dissipate faster than i could satisfy my hunger i hastily ran back to my car to reunite with my camera. The following photographs, taken without a tripod, are what I managed to obtain during that brief moment.

Victoria Gate Facade. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Victoria Gate Facade. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Both internally and externally you are greeted by the kind of opulence and grandeur that wouldn't be out of place on a religious edifice of times past - it certainly doesn't conform to the mediocrity that is inherent in most shopping centres found around the United Kingdom. Acme say the the main body of the Victoria Gate shopping centre - the section cloaked in intricate panels of terracotta - was influenced by the Art Deco and Victorian buildings that sit adjacent to the site.

Victoria Gate John Lewis Department Store. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Victoria Gate John Lewis Department Store. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

The John Lewis department store is adorned with an etched, white concrete, diamond-latticed facade, who's geometries again appears to be befitting of a structure of religious origin. Would it be too simple to conclude, here is the new Mecca of the 21st Century, one to consumerism? Probably it would. 

The asymmetrically placed diamond glass panels intermittently punctuate the concrete strips allowing natural light to enter the store. The varying depth and textures of these surfaces allow a cascade of light and shadow to gently trace their topography, making for beautiful photographs.

Victoria Gate John Lewis Diamond Latticed Facade.Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Victoria Gate John Lewis Diamond Latticed Facade.Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

One thing that becomes immediately apparent when viewing the buildings is that the developer Hammerson has spared no expense when it comes to the buildings construction. The materials it employs, their intricacies and abundance can not have been cheap and its nice to see a scheme that hasn't fallen victim to devloper cutbacks.

Victoria Gate Lattice Roof Detail. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Victoria Gate Lattice Roof Detail. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Internally the architects maintain the grandeur found on the exterior - unfortunately due to the dimming light and lack of a tripod i was unable to photograph these areas. Designed to reference Leeds' historic shopping arcades the individual shops feature curving glass shopfronts and more high-quality detailing. Covering the arcade is a complex geometric roof formed of latticed steel and glass which allows natural light to illuminate the space below.

John Lewis Car Park Facade. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

John Lewis Car Park Facade. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Adjoining John Lewis is a car park draped in spiralling sheets of metal, which in the afternoon sun began to look aflame. It was with this vision of fire in mind that i was suddenly reminded of food sizzling in a frying pan and my increasing hunger which accompanied such images. Putting away my camera I eagerly went in search of food. I hope to return to the site at a later date and photograph the building as a whole rather than simply focusing on details, since on this visit I was hampered by the lack of a tripod and the utility works cluttering the surrounding area.

Victoria Gate is a wonderful scheme by Acme which is likely to propel the relatively small and hitherto somewhat inconspicuous practice to a level of prominence which will hopefully see them receive further high-profile commissions where they can again demonstrate their innovative approach to design and architecture. For image sales of the Victoria Gate shopping centre please contact Alex.

Blueprint Magazine 'Instagrammer of the Week' by Alex Upton

Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

The generous team over at Blueprint Magazine, the renowned architecture publication, kindly bestowed the award of 'Insagrammer of the week' upon me, which is indeed a great honour. The magazine features some of the best architecture and, photographers of architecture, from around the globe and was an inspiration to me during my years at university. If you don't already follow me on Instagram please do head over and take a look, you can find lots of exclusive photographs that don't make it onto my website or any other forms of social media. 

St Helen's Tower AJ Retrofit Award Nomination by Alex Upton

St Helen's Tower, City of London. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

St Helen's Tower, City of London. Photography: Copyright © Alex Upton

St Helen's Tower, a project which I photographed in late 2016 for glazing specialists OAG has recently been shortlisted for the prestigious Architects Journal AJ Awards 2017 in the Retrofit category. Here's wishing the architects TTSP all the best, its truly a great piece of design and deserves some recognition. For those more curious about the building and wishing to see photographs of the refurbishment you can find a detailed account in my earlier post on photographing 1 Undershaft.

Photographers Diary: Architecture 01 by Alex Upton

In this new series of posts I will reveal some of my architectural photography taken on recent trips around London and the rest of the UK. While some images will be of commissioned works most are from my personal collection, showing both completed buildings and those still under construction. Notes of interest regarding the buildings, their architects and the conditions under which the photography was taken are provided where appropriate.

Manhattan Loft Gardens by SOM Architects (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

Manhattan Loft Gardens by SOM Architects (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

Manhattan Loft Gardens, Stratford London.

Experience has taught me there are few positive aspects to waking up at 4:30 am which are able to console the weary, reluctant mind and body into thinking it is doing something perfectly natural and profitable. Yet one such consolation, I have discovered, is the potential to glimpse a rarely seen ephemeral light, one which bathes the sleeping world and its structures in a palette of eccentric, outlandish hues. Leaving Stratford at this unwelcome hour, on my way to Hastings to undertake some interior photography, i was greeted with the above spectacle of the Manhattan Loft Gardens development; it's surface decorated in a transient veil of red and pink, the sky above daubed in barley discernible patches of cloud, the discomfort of being awake, diminished.

About the building:

Manhattan Loft Gardens is a multi-purpose 42-storey tower currently under construction in Stratford, London. When complete the building will contain a 150 room hotel at the lower levels and 34 stories of residential apartments situated above. The tower was designed by International architectural practice SOM Architects (Skidmore Owings Merrill). Standing at 143 meters in hight the building is noitable for its unique cantilevered design which will provide open, green spaces, at several intervals, accessible to the towers residents.

8 Finsbury Circus by WilkinsonEyre Architects.

8 Finsbury Circus by WilkinsonEyre Architects.

8 Finsbury Circus, City of London.

Waiting for the right light to photograph a building in the inclement British summer can be an testing experience. That's why always having a camera at hand can be a beneficial practice in negating the fickle nature of the seasons. Having walked past WilkinsonEyre Architects 8 Finsbury Circus building numerous times on my way to Liverpool Street Station i was on occasion greeted by a beautiful golden light which accented the ornate features of the retained facade.

About the building:

The above photographed captures the retained facade on the buildings north face which dates from the 1920's. The section to the right, which is only partially visible, is also part of the building, although this is an entirely new part of the development. London architectural practice WilkinsonEyre were the team appointed to redevelop the building, formerly known as River Plate House, after a design competition in 2011. The new building, which provides grade A office space has two entrances, one on South Place the other on Finsbury Circus.

Chobham Academy by AHMM Architects

Chobham Academy by AHMM Architects

Chobham Academy, East Village, London

Living only a short distance from Chobham Academy I have been able to observe the building under various lighting conditions over the period of a year. In doing so I have come to understand how different a building can appear on any given day at any given time or season. The range of nuances created by the suns position and its intensity in relation to a building offer endless scope for visualizing architecture through the photographic medium. Unfortunately the practicalities of an indefinite time scale for a photographic shoot limit such scope for experimentation, but its good to know that once a project has been photographed its always possible to return and take a completely unique set of images.

About the building:

Chobham Academy was first utilised as gym and security hub during the 2012 London Olympic Games and has since become an all-age school for over 1300 students. Located in East Village, Stratford the building is notable for its circular, central unit which has a facade covered in protruding vents, as captured in the photograph above. The Academy was designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM Architects) for client Lend Lease and was completed in 2012. The building has been creatively broken down into distinct yet coherent sections, with a range of materials and colours put to use to make the site appear smaller than it is, with careful consideration given to the surrounding public realm.

The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health & Wellbeing Centre by Penoyre & Prasad.

The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health & Wellbeing Centre by Penoyre & Prasad.

The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health & Wellbeing Centre, East Village, London

Located less than a five minuet walk from Chobham Academy in East Village, Stratford, The Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health & Wellbeing Centre provides state-of-the-art accommodation for the NHS's primary care service. The RIBA London regional Award winning building was designed Penoyre & Prasad and is easily distinguished within its surroundings due to its sharp angular design. Unfortunately, from a architectural photographers perspective the building is rarely seen without a row of cars lined up outside impairing its visual beauty.

Finsbury Circus House by Fletcher Priest Architects.

Finsbury Circus House by Fletcher Priest Architects.

Finsbury Circus House, City of London.

If you recognise Finsbury Circus House it is because you may have already glimpsed it in the above photograph of 8 Finsbury Circus. This clean, minimalist design, with its large, protruding, reflective glass windows was designed by Fletcher Priest Architects. The building is the redevelopment of a former 1980's office block which originally occupied the site, and like its neighbor it too has a north and south facing entrance. The side here is the more playful of the two, while the other entrance is more restrained and respective of its Edwardian neighbors.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the images featured in this series please contact Alex.

Warwick Hall by Associated Architects by Alex Upton

Warwick Hall by Associated Architects - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Warwick Hall by Associated Architects - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Location: Warwick Hall, Myton Road, Warwick CV34 6PP
Architect: Associated Architects
Developer: The Warwick School
Client: Forterra

Formerly known as Guy Nelson Hall, the original 1960's building has recently undergone a dramatic transformation into a modern performing arts facility for The Warwick School. In the process it has gained a new name and is now known simply as Warwick Hall - at the expense of poor Guy Nelson, no longer held in regard by histories favour. The building was designed by Birmingham based architectural practice Associated Architects whom have built a reputation in the education sector, having recently completed a number of buildings for Birmingham University.

Warwick Hall Window Detail - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Warwick Hall Window Detail - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Photographing Warwick Hall

I was commissioned to photograph the building in late winter 2016 for Forterra Building Products, as the building was due to be entered into a brick awards competition later the following year. Arriving in the late afternoon I was greeted with a beautiful golden light and the outstretched shadows of neighbouring trees creeping up the buildings facade.

Warwick Hall Side Elevation - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Warwick Hall Side Elevation - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

The structures design is unique when viewed from each elevation, the two sides and rear are flat with windows that intersect with cuts in the brickwork, while the front is cylindrical, made of glass and punctuated by brick columns. The red brick references the neighbouring Headmaster's House which is a grand historic building.

Warwick Hall Brickwork Detail - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Warwick Hall Brickwork Detail - Photography Copyright © Alex Upton

Associated Architects note that flexibility is the key to their design, with the building now containing telescopic theatre seats and a new balcony area which allows the transformation of the school assembly hall into a 1000 seat concert venue. Having not seen the buildings interior i can not comment but externally it is a nice design which sits quietly in its surroundings. A more detailed set of photographs documenting Warwick Hall will be added to my projects at a later date so please check back.

Hercules House Park Plaza Hotel by ESA Architecture by Alex Upton

Hercules House Park Plaza Hotel by ESA Architecture - Copyright © Alex Upton

Hercules House Park Plaza Hotel by ESA Architecture - Copyright © Alex Upton

Architectural Photography of Hercules House, Park Plaza Hotel

Location: Hercules Road, Waterloo, London
Architect: ESA Architecture
Developer: Park Plaza Hotels Europe
Client: Taylor Maxwell

In keeping with the theme of my recent posts, Hercules House is another redevelopment of a former office building, this one originally built in the 1960's, which now finds a new lease of life as a 500 room Park Plaza Hotel. In light of this repeated evidence, it would appear London's tired, forlorn architecture from the later half of the 20th century is everywhere, quietly shedding its drab skin in the manner of a despondent concrete reptile and eagerly sliding into sleek new outfits befitting of the 21st century.

The redevelopment of Hercules House was undertaken by London architectural and design practice ESA Architecture. Its central location, just south of Waterloo and the river bank provides convenient, accessibility to many of London's tourist attractions.

Hercules House, Facade Detail - Copyright © Alex Upton

Hercules House, Facade Detail - Copyright © Alex Upton

The building is composed of two distinct elements; the lower half that fronts the road is adorned with a purple Corium cladding system, supplied by the client Taylor Maxwell and subject of my photography, while the upper half, which sits to the back of the structure rises several storeys higher. The windows on the lower portion are notable for their alternating, diagonal protrusions, which defiantly reject conformity to the structures otherwise flat horizontal plane.

Hercules House, Cladding Detail - Copyright © Alex Upton

Hercules House, Cladding Detail - Copyright © Alex Upton

Notes on the Photography

Like many of the buildings i happen to find myself photographing in London, Hercules House was located on a fairly compact site and offers limited viewing points from which the building, in its entirety, can be shot. It just so often happens, that the ideal position for taking the photograph is in the middle of a precarious road junction, where life and limb have to be risked for the sake of the perfect image, who said architectural photography was a profession for the timid? 

After such adrenalin inducing circumstances it seemed appropriate to return to a state of calm by sampling the delicacies in the Hotels public cafe, which runs along the ground floor of the building, below the rooms with the excited windows. After a rather embarrassing attempt at ordering a Salmon sandwich in the convoluted, suspiciously French sounding nomenclature penned on the surface of a tiny sheet of white card and plunged into the bread on a cocktail stick - like a for sale sign outside a French Mansion - i took a seat in the impressively decorated interior. It was at this point that i felt a little dismayed that i was only there to photograph the exterior as from what I could see the interior was very impressive indeed and merited further exploration.

Hercules House, Front Elevation - Copyright © Alex Upton

Hercules House, Front Elevation - Copyright © Alex Upton

It is hoped Hercules House will be a catalyst to further regeneration in the area. For now it provides a impressive space for tourists visiting London as well as for locals wishing to sample the food on offer in the cafe, bar and restaurant. ESA Architects considered use of colour in the cladding and the separation of the mass into distinct parts provides an nice aesthetic and is a welcome improvement to what was a former, no-descript office building.