Friday, 28 February 2014

King's Cross Station: Western Concourse

Last week I was in London. For a change, I found myself at King's Cross Station without being in a rush, so I took a few moments to take some photos. 

The Western concourse with its' spectacular vaulted steel roof structure was opened in March 2012. Designed by British architects John McAslan and Partners in collaboration with Arup engineers, the semi circular concourse to the west of the existing station serves as a new entrance to the station. 

Arup said about the structure “[it] rises up a great steel stalk in the centre and then spreads into a tree-like canopy of intersecting branches, before descending into a ring of supports at the circumference. In so doing, it avoids the need to drop columns into the ticket hall of the underground station underneath the main space.”

The vast concourse is 7 500 sqm with a span of 150 metres rising 20 metres above ground level. Incorporated into the roof structure there are apparently 1400 photovoltaic panels which are meant to generate 10% of the buildings energy needs. 

70% of the roof cladding is anodised steel and the remaining 30% is laminated glass. If the whole roof had been glazed the solar gain in the concourse below would have been too high.


The geometry of the secondary roof structure is the same as the primary structure except that the primary radial beams are curved and the cladding and glazed elements to the roof are faceted.


A good article with more information about the design and development of King's Cross Station can be found here (BD online, 'King’s Cross station, western concourse').

A few more photos I took can be seen on my Flickr account here.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Magical Monday - Galloping Over Paris Rooftops


Every Monday, Magical Monday, I post a photo that is hopefully puzzling, fantastical, unexpected or just plain daft. Unless otherwise mentioned, no Photoshop involved.

More photos from the Magical Mondays series can be found here.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

A Quayside Walk

For the first time in ten years I am alone in Paris for five days. No kids. No Other Half. It feels a little odd and very quiet, but okay. I headed out yesterday afternoon, without a plan. As I walked up Rue Joseph de Maistre the 95 bus drew up at the bus stop I was walking past. I decided to hop on and head towards the river. Sometimes when I take photographs I am looking for a particular theme to capture. Sometimes I have no particular idea in mind. Yesterday was like this, I was waiting to be inspired. I got off the bus at the Louvre and headed down towards the river. It had been grey and dull all morning but when I reached the river the sun was coming out. The light was beautiful, fresh and crisp.

Here is a photo taken from the quai by the Musée d'Orsay, looking towards the Louvre and the Quai des Tuileries.



Down on the Quai des Tuileries that runs along the Rive Droite the water was lapping over the edges of the walkway.


I love the different textures of stone and iron, enhanced by the low winter sun.


The shadows were so sharp. The colours so soft, gentle and soothing. 



A crow caught my attention, though it was never still for more than a few seconds and I had to be quick.


This cat shadow was easier to capture!


More photographs from my stroll can be found on my Flickr account, here (thumbnails) and here (slideshow).

Friday, 14 February 2014

Harvesting Hearts

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
14th Dalai Lama

Time to harvest some hearts.

First of all, some monochrome hearts. This is one of my favourites, spotted by our son in a manhole in Donegal. So romantic!


A foot print in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

Another romantic one, a chewing gum heart.


A weeping heart.


Now for a little colour. A giant love lock. I'm curious to know what the barcode would reveal. 'Made in China' perhaps?


A surprise heart inside a butternut squash.


Mosaic hearts hidden within a mosaic work of art up in Belleville, Paris.


A simple pink heart.


A bold pink heart at the end of the Villa des Tulipes, Paris.


Small red hearts.


Bigger red hearts.



A bold multicoloured heart in the Stravinsky Fountain by the Pompidou Centre.


The same heart viewed from the other side...a beautiful rich red.


Heart gathering ventures from previous years can be found here.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Magical Monday - The Bull Grabs the Eiffel Tower by the...



Every Monday, Magical Monday, I post a photo that is hopefully puzzling, fantastical, unexpected or just plain daft. Unless otherwise mentioned, no Photoshop involved.

More photos from the Magical Mondays series can be found here.

Friday, 7 February 2014

A Long and Winding Road: Rue du Chevalier de la Barre

Rue du Chevalier de la Barre is a long road that starts off at Rue Ramey to the north-east of the Sacré Cœur and ends by the Place de Tertre. It only became Rue du Chevalier de la Barre in 1907. Prior to that it was simply Rue de la Barre and back in the mid 1800s it comprised two roads called Rue des Rosiers (at the Place de Tertre end) and Rue de Fontenelle (at the Rue Ramey end). It was called Rue du Chevalier de la Barre after a young man called Jean-François Lefèvre who was decapitated in 1766 for not taking off his hat when a religious procession passed by (!!!).

All this to say, that this road does feel like several different roads, winding up from quite a working class neighbourhood at the lower-eastern end, to the prohibitively expensive and crowded touristy area up by the Place de Tertre. At the lower end of the road you feel as though you are far away from Paris, in a small village. With restricted access to traffic it is quiet, with stairs and a narrow path way at the very bottom.

Looking up.

Looking down.


Some of the apartment buildings look neglected, probably lying empty while an inheritance dispute rumbles on.

The shutters show the passing of time.


Have a look at this delectable decay, a shaggy beast of peeling paint.


A little further up the hill you pass Le Carmel de Montmartre, a convent founded in 1928.

And finally you end up in the touristy zone, with small boutiques and galleries selling knick-knacks.

More delectable decay here.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Magical Monday - A Winter Selfie

Winter doesn't agree with me.


Every Monday, Magical Monday, I post a photo that is hopefully puzzling, fantastical, unexpected or just plain daft. Unless otherwise mentioned, no Photoshop involved.

More photos from the Magical Mondays series can be found here.