The Shard from Wykeham House, Union Street, SE1

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A bit of Wykeham House is on the right. It’s a brick built, Art Deco type building. I was sitting on the steps of the flats, behind the iron railing. Twice during my drawing, residents edged past me, very politely, trying not to disturb me.

On an adjacent building, Waynfleet House,  I saw a notice:

“This tablet commemorates the official opening of these buildings by
THE RT REV RICHAD GODFREY PARSONS the Lord Bishop of Southwark
on Saturday 14th May 1938.”

The badge was that of the “Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England”.

In the Southwark Council publication “South of Union Street and North of Borough Road Character Area Appraisal 2007” I read that:

“There are a number of sites which contribute poorly to the character and appearance of the area and the historic environment. As such it is recommended that they be nominated for re-development”.

Wykeham House and its neighbours is so listed. The group is also excluded from the “Union Street Conservation Area” currently on the Southwark Council Website.

This is a pity, in my view. They have these lovely curved bricks which I have tried to draw, and represent this period of architecture well.

From Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1

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On the right, Bargehouse Oxo, with all those colours in the brickwork of the wall.
Ahead, “Sea Containers House” 22 Upper Ground SE1.
This is now a luxury hotel “Mondrian” and office space.

Rising above them, the tower block is One Blackfriars, under construction.

Drawn from outdoors balcony on the first floor of the Oxo Tower, about one and a half hours, drawn and coloured on location.

When I was selling software services to Central Government, in the 1980s, I visited Sea Containers House. It was then the headquarters of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise. The story was that they had accepted this rather swanky hotel in lieu of VAT payment. At that time, the smart offices seemed to have landed from another planet into dilapidated former docks. I picked my way on wooden boards over mud, taking care of my smart shoes. On the door was an officer in a starched shirt, and gold epaulettes.

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Sea Containers House, about 2010

In 2011 Sea Containers House was renovated, and has only recently been completed. The Golden Balls on the river side were removed, and sold.

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Sea Containers House 2017 – minus the decorative golden globes

 

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Golden balls from Sea Containers House, on sale now for £3950
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The smaller globes have already been sold.

 

Postscript:

Walking along a dock in Aberdeen I saw this notice:

Customs, Sea Containers
14 July 2017, Pocra quay, Aberdeen

The notice is dated “March 1995”. The address, “New King’s Beam House” is Sea Containers.

Barbican Staircase 

This is the staircase from Podium Level down to the Lakeside. It’s a magnificent sculptural piece of architecture: it appears free floating, a mass of concrete in the air. 

Drawn in the sun after a lunch in the Barbican Kitchen. The wind kept shifting my art equipment around, and the shadows changed as the clouds came and went. 

About an hour and 15 minutes, drawn and coloured on location. 

Andalucian Sketchbook

Here are my sketches from our visit to Fuengirola, Costa del Sol, Spain, 2nd-9th March 2017.

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Drawn fom outside the Castle. It rained a little. Fuengirola is ahead, and you see its new bridge. There was a lot of construction work near the bridge.
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From the flat, the view towards the sea. When the building we were staying in was built, it had a view to the sea. Then those tall flats went up.
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Drawn in the amazing and unexpected Alcazaba in Malaga.
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Very windy and cold in the high fort above the Alcazaba, but I did a picture. You see the shipping port of Malaga, its dry dock and shelters for vessels. There were tall chimneys, like those of tin mines. We did not discover what they were.
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We drove to Ronda, an hour and 45 minutes. We had a meal in a restaurant near this bridge. After we walked around, we encountered a carnival, with children dressed up as superheroes.
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From the terrace restaurant on Paseo de los Tristas. The view of the Alhambra was magnificent. The food was mediocre. We stayed at the Casa Morisca.
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A quick sketch during the 15 minute pause in the tour of the Alhambra. The guide said 15 “English” minutes, not Spanish ones. And when he gave the french version he said the minutes were ” Swiss”.
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A longer sketch from a similiar position, but looking the other way. I did this when we were on our own, after the tour.
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Note the time. The castle closed at “14:30” according to the leaflet. But as I drew this, John went for a walk around, and found we had been locked in.
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I drew this by the castle gate, while we waited for them to come and let us out. This was after John has explained in approximate but emphatic Spanish and English, on the mobile phone,  that we were inside the castle, yes, inside. Good thing we had a mobile phone.
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Lounging on the beach, after release from the castle.

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Various sketches IMG_9891in Malaga airport. There was a strike of French air traffic controllers. So there were long queues.John thought he recognised someone in the queue. He mentally blackened the white hair, flattened the large stomach, and smoothed out the wrinkles, and saw an old school friend. But he couldn’t be sure. The airport was full of English types.

Crossrail site from Moorgate

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I wanted to draw this view before it disappeared. Today, Moorgate was closed completely to motor traffic, so it was calm to draw, though windy and cold. It rained, as you see from the droplets on City Point.

 The Globe Pub, 19th Century, is on the left. The small square notice says:

“In a House on this site
the Swan and Hoop
John Keats
Poet
was born 1795”

The City Point tower is in the background. This was built in 1967, and refurbished in 2000, when the curved projection at the top was added. The designer for the refurbishment was Sheppard Robson. Here’s what the Citypoint website says. 

“The building’s spectacular entrance canopy is approached through the public square, leading to two dramatic twelve storey cathedral-like galleria, offering an inviting and exhilarating experience for both occupiers and visitors alike. The two gallerias allow natural daylight to penetrate into the heart of the development, creating a feeling of scale and corporate arrival.” – http://www.citypoint.org.uk/

The building next to the Globe pub is propped up with steel girders. The “Jones Bootmakers” sign hangs on. Cables pour out of one of the windows.

This took about 1½ hours, pen and ink on location. I coloured it later, at home. On the way back the wind blew. Outside the Barbican Centre, the wind caught the hair of a woman on a mobile phone and blew it straight upright. She had very long blonde hair, so she looked amazing, like someone in a cartoon dropping down a lift shaft.

Here’s the black and white sketch:

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