At Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Contemporary

Everybody is talking about it, so here’s a photo set of Nottingham Contemporary on the opening weekend. People were queuing to get in on the day and the visitor numbers continue to be healthy. It’s a serious piece of architecture that responds well to the scale of Middle Pavement and Weekday Cross, although I am slightly troubled by the massing of the building from the uphill approach – Nottingham is littered with buildings which turn their backs to the main vehicular routes and the gallery appears to do the same, but in a highly crafted way (see picture below for the approach up the hill).

Nottingham Contemporary

The lace pattern is apparently controversial for some people. I wish it had been more explicit, less tentative. From a distance it is a milky sheen. The architects didn’t want to be ‘Pop’. The overall elevational treatment with it’s folds, borders and panels reminded me of Joseph Hoffmann’s work. To pursue the Secessionist theme, is the ribbed golden container on the roof a reference to Olbrich’s ‘golden cabbage’?

Nottingham Contemporary

I was not allowed to photograph the interior. It is very good – simple, robust, well-lit.

The best article I have read about the building is by Ellis Woodman in Building Design.

Flickr Photoset

Thiepval in August


Superimposed red line marking the axis between the Thiepval arch (east) and the River Ancre (west) in the Somme region.


Note the persistent marks of trench systems below the cultivation.


Early evening in late August 2009 and the sun is almost coinciding with the east/west axis. The light glances off surfaces and catches exposed corners.

The Thiepval Arch, The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Inscribed with the names of 73,357 British soldiers of the Somme campaign whose remains were not identified. Unveiled August 1932. Architect: Edwin Lutyens.

More pictures of Thiepval in August: Photoset