Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Serpentine Pavilion.

You will find the  Serpentine Art Gallery in  Hyde Park.  Each year an architect is commissioned to build a functional installation outside the gallery known as The Pavilion. This year the Serpentine Pavilion is designed by Bjarke Ingels Group. It is  a wall that transforms from a straight line to a three dimensional  space which becomes a cafe during the day and a space for events in the evening.

Alongside the Pavilion are four Summer Houses designed by four chosen architects. One condition of their choice is that the architects have not yet built a permanent building in the UK. Each of the Summer Houses was inspired by Queen Charlotte's Temple, a classical style 1734 Summer House.

Barcow Leibinger, an American German architectural practice, was inspired by another 18th cent pavilion which rotated and could show 360 deg of the park.

Kumle Adevenu's Summer House is an inverse replica of Queen Caroline's Temple

Asif Khan, a British architect, was inspired by the fact that Queen Caroline's Temple was positioned in a way that would allow it to catch the sunlight from The Serpentine Lake.

Designed by Hungerian born French architect Yona Friedman the fourth Summer House takes the form of a modular structure composedof cubes that can be disassembled and assembled in different formations and builds on the architects pioneering project from the 1950s ' Spatial City'.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Leighton House Museum (London Museum #27)

Leighton House Museum is in Kensington, West London. The home of Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), a Victorian artist

Leighton House Museum, London, UNITED KINGDOM | 2012 EU PRIZ ...Photography is not allowed so I have taken these from the internet to give you an idea of the opulent interior. This is the Arab Hall, designed to to display Leighton's collection of Islamic tiles. There is a golden frieze surrounding the domed ceiling. In the centre of the room is a fountain.

Photos courtesy of Flickr share

Another room has marble pillars and brilliant blue tiles.

Upstairs you can see his studio with its large window which encouraged other artists to move into the road to live in similar houses. They must have been wealthy artists to live in this area.

Monday, 25 July 2016


When I travelled to the coast last week, I drove to the small town of Hythe and then went on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, a small gauge light railway which runs the 13.5 miles from Hythe to Dungeness on the South-East coast. It opened in 1927 as a 15inch gauge ( one third full size) fully working steam railway.

I bought a Rover ticket so I could on and off at the different stations on the line. It was my first trip on this railway so I was like an excited child.

It's quite compact inside the carriages but it was early in the day plus school holidays hadn't started so I had lots of space to myself.

I travelled to the end of the line at Dungeness. It is an unusual landcape and has been designated as a National Nature Reserve, Pecial Protection Area and Area of Conservation..Dungeness is one of the best single beaches in the world and is home to 600 species of plants which is a third of all plants found in the UK.


There are two lighthouses in Dungeness, the old one(shown above) which is now privately owned and is open to the public. You can also see the roundhouse base of the oldest lighthouse on the right.  Below is the new lighthouse.

You can't visit Dungeness without seeing the Nuclear power Station dominating the landscape.

On the way back to Hythe I stopped off at New Rowney to see the model railway

Also got out at Dymchurch, a typical small sea side town.

With its small funfair

and sandy beach

Then back on the train to Hythe

Friday, 22 July 2016

Weekend Reflection

To escape the heat in London this week I took a journey to the coast

Sharing with James at weekend reflection

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Hive at Kew

The Hive is an installation and experience created by Wolfgang Buttress.It was commissioned by the UK Government to form the centrepiece of the UK pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Wolfgang was inspired by the work of Dr Martin Bencsik on bee vibration and communication patterns

The structure highlights the importance of bees as pollinators.

Illuminated by 1000 LED lights, the Hive represents a vast honey bee hive. It's linked to one of Kew's hives and the lights flicker in time to vibrations caused when the bees communicate with one another.

The Hive is surrounded by a wild meadow.

At Kew Gardens the scientists and horticulturists are exploring the worrying decline of bee populations and investigating the relationship between plants and their pollinators. 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Old Curiosity Shop

Built in 1567 this is the oldest shop in Central London. Some people think this was the inspiration for Charles Dickens's novel of the same name but there is no evidence to support that claim other than Dickens living nearby. This timber framed building managed to escape not only the Great Fire of London but also the bombing of WW2.
The shop is tucked away surrounded by the London School of Economics yet it is so close to The Strand and Fleet Street that I can't believe I have never walked past it until this week. Constructed from ship salvaged wood it is no longer full of curiosities but handmade shoes. After 500 years it is still a shop. Quite an achievement.