New pavilion at Herne Hill Velodrome

 
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I'm lucky enough to live a short bike ride from Herne Hill Velodrome, which has been home to track cycling in south-east London for over 125 years. After falling into disrepair, an effort led by local riders through the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust secured the funding to repair the track and then to rebuild the pavilion, providing facilities for events, changing rooms, and seating for spectators.

Hopkins Architects - who designed the London Olympic velodrome - have created a beautiful curved timber building that reincorporates the Victorian columns from the original pavilion. The Trust crowd-funded a whopping £89,000 to complete the internal fit out. I took a set of photos for the Trust to document this fit-out and the pavilion and track in use on a sun-drenched Track League evening. Good work everyone...

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Sunrise at Box Tunnel on Brunel's birthday

A pretty special assignment - taking photos of the rising sun from within Box Tunnel on the London-Bristol mainline. The tunnel was designed by Brunel, completed in 1841, and legend has it that the sun shines all the way through the 1.83 mile tunnel on his birthday (April 9th). I joined an expedition organised by GWR to see first hand if that is true.

Results were inconclusive,: the sun certainly aligns with the tunnel, and if it wasn't for the light mist it may have shone all the way through. Some of these photos appeared in the Telegraph and The Guardian the next day. 

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The Time Warp House: shooting before the strip-out

I was asked recently by Turner Architects to shoot a full-house renovation project in North London for them, but in this case to shoot it before the builders moved in. The house had been lived in for decades by the previous owner, who had not only left the decor unaltered for half a century, but had modified, customised and hacked the house to suit his needs. So a downstairs living room had been a workshop, a bedroom had been a darkroom complete with home-made timer clocks and infra-red lamps, and the loft rooms - I guess unoccupied most of the time - were sealed off behind a 'spaceship door' on the stairs to keep the heat in the lower part of the house.

It was a fascinating house to shoot: a testament to how our living standards have transformed in the last 50 years, and the traces of an unconventional life. Turner Architects' plans are to turn it into a modern and comfortable family home, while still preserving some of the Victorian elements. I'm really glad we were able to capture this slice of history before it is updated into the twenty-first century. 

They don't make wallpaper like they used to

They don't make wallpaper like they used to

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Ground floor workshop

Ground floor workshop

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That's a loo roll holder with integrated radio

That's a loo roll holder with integrated radio

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The darkroom

The darkroom

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The spaceship door to the loft rooms

The spaceship door to the loft rooms

A loft-room ceiling held up by the wiring

A loft-room ceiling held up by the wiring

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Three locations in one day for Clayworks

I recently spent a day traversing London on a commission for Clayworks. They make clay plaster wall coverings with beautiful depth, texture, and colour, and they asked me to capture their products on location in three very different environments.

First up was a trade stand at the huge Decorex interiors show in west London. The Clayworks plaster was providing the backdrop for Benchmark Furniture's products. We got the shoot done before the public were allowed into the show - it's in a giant tent so the major challenge was how much the floor wobbled as people walked nearby.

 
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Next stop was in East London, at AMQ's Spitalfields fashion store, where the clay plaster had been used to replicate (very convincingly) the look of shuttered concrete.

 
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The last stop was Japanese restaurant Sosharu in Clerkenwell, where all the walls were covered in a grey plaster with a gorgeous hand-finished texture.

 
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The day was an exercise in travelling light and working fast while also taking care with lighting and colour management to show the products in their best light. It even involved some rapid Photoshop work on the Central Line as the client wanted to publish some of the photos while the trade show was still open!

New work for Turner Architects

Since the beginning of the year I've been helping Turner Architects (www.turnerarchitects.co.uk) record a large number of their finished projects.

They're based near me in south-east London and specialise in residential work. They've had a very busy and successful first few years of practice, so had a lot of completed work to showcase. Working together over several months allowed us to keep a sense of continuity across the shoots, and also to work efficiently, often shooting two projects in a day.

Their new website is live, and I'm proud to be able to point to a site where almost every photo is one of mine, including the team portraits!

Here's a few of my favourite photos of their work:

A Kitchen on Wheels, North London - creating an adaptable ground floor in a small cottage: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/n22

A Kitchen on Wheels, North London - creating an adaptable ground floor in a small cottage: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/n22

A penthouse apartment above London Fields - the ultimate party flat? www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/beacon

A penthouse apartment above London Fields - the ultimate party flat? www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/beacon

Clever joinery to elegantly squeeze a lot into a small kitchen-diner www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/sw17

Clever joinery to elegantly squeeze a lot into a small kitchen-diner www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/sw17

An understated 2-storey extension: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/e11

An understated 2-storey extension: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work#/e11

A transformative house renovation in South London: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/work/#/sw18

The Turner Architects team: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/about

The Turner Architects team: www.turnerarchitects.co.uk/about

How to find an architectural photographer and have a successful shoot

As an architect or designer, you've spent months on your latest project, battling with clients, planners and builders to get a result that you're proud to put to your name to. And now you may only have one chance to capture brilliant photos that will show your hard work to the world.

Here's my top ten tips on how to find an architectural photographer and have a really successful shoot:

Read More

Wahaca Brighton restaurant photography for Softroom

It was great to shoot another Wahaca restaurant, this time in Brighton. It's a fantastic space with distinct zones marked out by the structure and the interior design, and stunning murals by Mexican street artist Mazatl. There's a private dining area screened from the street by a multi-coloured chain-link Virgin Mary. The architect/interior designer is Softroom with lighting design by Kate and Sam

Wahaca have been certified carbon neutral and given a top rating for sustainability - it's great to know that both the food and the restaurant design have minimised their impact on the planet, even while they have maximum effect on your tastebuds and retinas...