Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Architecture - The Old and the New

I’ve lived in Christchurch for the last twenty years (almost) and in that time, I’ve never found it to be a particularly progressive city when it comes to contemporary architecture – especially in the commercial arena. Perhaps it is too hung-up on its clichéd ‘English’ image. That said, it does boast some of the finest Victorian Gothic architecture in the country; and some of the finest large Edwardian and Victorian homes. Many of its best commercial buildings are also from the Victorian and Edwardian period, although some would say that the 1960s and 70s also produced a reasonable tally of excellent Modernist buildings. I’m not arguing.
I have a habit of roaming about the city with my camera and I’m always photographing buildings and architectural details – little slithers of buildings, a column here, a set of windows there, a façade over there, a roofline beyond. I love the negative spaces between buildings and the way one high-rise might reflect against another. I love the shadows some structures cast; and the way others ‘interact’ with surrounding trees. The two images I’ve featured here are two examples that I snapped last weekend – a modern building in central city that I photographed from a distance, capturing just the upper section of it poking above a host of other buildings (not shown) in the foreground; and the wonderful brick building on Oxford Terrace that is now home to Otautahi-Our Place. I was particularly drawn to the way it rose up proudly amid a tangle of shadows cast by the neighbouring trees.

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