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Travel Sketches: Europe 

(July-August, 2019) 

A collection of photographs and sketches from my personal travels through Europe. Part visual diary part architectural study these images express my personal interests upon design; that placed in sequence are seen to evolve over the course of my time away.

Perth to London


The Lloyds of London: Leadenhall Street

Architecture of Richard Rodgers


Lloyds of London: Facade

The Lloyds of London

Bringing a high-tech aesthetic to the medieval centre of London, in a similar fashion to his prior Pompidou Centre the building is designed inside out with services placed on the buildings exterior. This freeing internal space to enable a highly flexible open planned office within

The Leadenhall building: Undershaft Street
The Leadenhall building: Facade
The Leadenhall building: Public forum

The Leadenhall Building

Opposite the Lloyds of London, the Leadenhall Building shows the refinement of Rodger's architectural ideals. Artfully adorning its exposed services with vibrant colour and lifting the buildings mass to create a grand public promenade, the building becomes a kinetic sculpture to be enjoyed by its occupants and pedestrians.

One Poultry Lane

One Poultry Lane

With its stripy facade, rounded clock tower and vibrant courtyard, the postmodernist 'One Poultry Lane' by the late James Stirling sits in stark contrast to the neoclassical architecture within the heart of London.

The Barbican: Cromwell Tower
The Barbican: Greenhouse

The Barbican 

Chamberlin, Powell & Bon


An urban microcosm - composed of residential block towers that enclose a variety of communal and cultural facilities - my accidental collision with the Barbican Estate whilst meandering through the streets of London quickly evolved from idle curiosity to intense architectural infatuation and study.


Notably 'corbusian', with its monolithic materiality and similarities to his 'vertical garden city' vision, labelling the Barbican as simply 'Brutalist' seemed an injustice to the depth and detail practiced by its architects within design.


Upon close study, the building was revealed as a harmonious composition of the architect’s collective life experiences. As demonstrated by the recurring motif of the 'cartouche' and use of tropical  flora to adorn its buildings exposed edges, potentially drawn from the architects past travels of Egypt.


It is from these observations that I would contest it's brutalist identity and retort with a sincere example of architectural expressionism.

The Barbican Centre Hall
The Barbican: Brick Detail

[Top Left] A diptych comparing the Egyptian Cartouche as found within hieroglyphs and a series of vents found against a Barbican service tower

[Top Right] A Perspective sketch of the Barbican Centre

[Bottom Right] A hand drawn plan of the Barbican Centre, drawn on site.

The Barbican: Service Tower Cartouche
The Barbican: Thomas Moore Block
The Barbican: Gilbert Block
The Barbican: Defoe Block

Studies of The Barbican's Apartment Blocks

[Top Left] Typical slab plans. Faint guidelines illustrate the structural logic of the design.

[Bottom Left] Elevations of the Defoe block tower

[Right] Drawings exploring the internal configuration of split level apartments within the Willoughby complex. Such a configuration when reflected reduces the need of internal halls by half.

The Barbican Centre: Balastraude
The Barbican Centre: Elevators

Detailed Study

Details evidencing 'the cartouche' motif. Rather than superficial; or an cheaply replicable technique; the use of 'the cartouche' symbolizes the architects loyal adherence toward their coceptual approach and unites the estates contrasting faculties in a harmonious composition.

[Left] An internal elevation of the ground floor elevators within the Barbican centre. This single wall detailing multiple uses of the cartouche motif.

[Right]An axonometric perspective of an internal balastraude within the Barbican Centre.

The Barbican Centre: Testing wall

Testing Wall

Revealed upon a guided tour; an internal service walkway hides a 'testing wall' where the architects explored a variety of finishes for the estates concrete facade.

Ultimately selecting a bush-hammered finish that in consideration of the shear scale of the development added a considerable financial cost.

The British Museum


The British Museum: Queen Elizabeth II Great Court
Kings Cross Station Western Concourse
Kings Cross Station: Railshed

Kings Cross Station

John McAslan + Partners


The stations western concourse was particularly striking. A semi-circular vaulted lattice tapering to a central funnel, creating an interesting juxtaposition against the preserved backdrop of the original rail entrance

St. Pancras Station


St. Pancras: Bay Window
Coal Drops Yard: Entry
Coal Drops Yard: Concourse

Heatherwick Studio

Coal Drops Yard


The fluid manipulation of the banal 1850's heritage buildings roof form was a creative architectural intervention that completely redefined the space. This was an impressive example of conservational architecture designed in a manner I had not before experienced; expanding the perceived boundaries of an acceptable adaption from history. 

Coal Drops Yard: Elevator Button 1
Coal Drops Yard: Elevator Button 2
Coal Drops Yard: Elevator Button 3


Of particular notice were the highly refined quality of different apparatus and details discovered upon close review. Exploring different manipulations of metals and objects which introduced a layer of wonder and discovery to the project.

[Left] Axonometric projections of a number of the different housing's for the yards lift buttons

[Above] Elevations of the yards balastrauding. Solid cast metal; likely inspired by the trains which formerly inhabited the buildings

St. Paul's Cathedral


St Paul's Cathedral: Dome Internal Support Structure
St Paul's Cathedral: Nave Vaulted Ceiling
St Paul's Cathedral: Central Dome facing alter
St Paul's Cathedral: Canon Alley External View

Tate Modern


Tate Modern: External Brick facade
Tate Modern: Tower Support Structure penetrating basement
Tate Modern: Spiralling Stair

London to Paris


Centre Pomidou  butte Montmartre summit
Centre Pompidou Facade
Centre Pompidou Facade Services
Centre Pompidou Structure

Centre Pompidou

Richard Rodgers & Renzo Piano


At a glance an incomprehensible mass of rainbow coloured steel, the high-tech monolith known as the Centre Pompidou represents a radical shift from traditional museum design.  


Reminiscent of the utopic diagrams of Archigram and Superstudio - prominent at the time of the building’s inception – its inverted approach and unobstructed floor spans creates a highly flexible cultural space, defined by the architects as an ‘evolving spatial diagram’


Studying this building and its many internal exhibitions was insightful; offering the nearest example of ‘applied architectural theory’ I have ever before witnessed.

Centre Pompidou Elevation sketch
Centre Pompidou Lvl 2 Library
Centre Pompidou Lvl 4 Gallery Thoroughfare

Spanning Floor Trusses Study

Centre Pompidou Details sketch small scale
Centre Pompidou Details large scae
Centre Pompidou Modular Exhibition Space

Modular gallery rooms study

Centre Pompidou Modular Art Exhibits

Creating indirect lighting by its reflection from angled ceiling elements, patrons were treated to a pleasant viewing experience of the galleries diverse works - minimizing glare or shadow which could potentially alter the artworks intended effect

Exhibition Photos

Joseph Kosuth
Pablo Picasso
Raymond Duchamp
Oscar Nitzchke - Facade Study
Oscar Nitzchke - Concept F.D.R Memorial
MAD Exhibition
Matthew Nowicki

Paris Philharmonic

Jean Nouvel


Paris Philharmonic
Paris Philharmonic Facade
Parc de la Villette Folly Canal de l'Oue
Parc de la Villette Folly Le Geode

Parc de la Villette 

Bernard Tschumi


Exploring the follies of Bernard Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette was similar to a trip to an exhibition, shifting from work to work. Each positioned upon a logical point grid system which ensured one was oriented within the parks vast landscape.


Sharing a similar structural grammar - a gridded frame reminiscent of early modernist structures - the follies of Bernard’s design harbour no coherent function or meaning. A number being adopted over time to take upon a range of contrasting programs including retail outlets, fitness clubs and even architectural offices.


This was in fact the purpose of the desconstructivist design, choosing to deny the formal architectural conventions that define our cities and urban spaces. In turn creating a park where space, event and movement converge to create a true reflection of Parisian culture.

Parc de la Villette Plan
Parc de la Villette Folly N1
Parc de la Villette Folly N4
Parc de la Villette Folly N7

Parc de la Villette Folly sketches

Parc de la Villette Follies
Parc de la Villette Folly
Parc de la Villette Folly
Parc de la Villette Canopy
Parc de la Villette Folly L8

Canopy structure study

The canopy bisecting the North-South spine of the park was revealed to echo the deconstructivist approach of the greater park. The rhythm of its up and down wave conflicting with that of its structural supports suspended above. This was not obvious at a glance but an unexpected surprise upon study, evidence of the rigor of Tschumi’s conceptual approach.

Parc de la Villette Canopy Details

The Pantheon, Paris

Library: Henri Lebrouste


Resting atop Montagne Sainte-Geneviève hill, the neoclassical pantheon of Paris (Greek for 'temple of the Gods') commands a prominent position within city


Upon exploring the structure and its surrounding urban scape, each street seemed to frame the monuments imposing dome as if in an act of reverence. This observation prompting the memory of Gordon Cullen’s book ‘Townscapes’ and his concept of ‘serial vision’, which I attempted to analyse in the incomplete axonometric below

The Pantheon, Paris Axonometric.jpg

St. Genevieve Library

Although closed for renovations at the time, the external façade of Saint Genevieve Library was still interesting point for study. At its gallery level, the stone walling being inscribed with the names of philosophers and academics at the precise placement of their works within. As if the library were proudly presenting its knowledge to passing Parisians.

The sketch below being a precedent study produced in research for my thesis project.

St. Genevieve

Louis Vuitton foundation

Frank Gehry


louis vuitton foundation north facade
louis vuitton foundation east facade
louis vuitton foundation rooftop space
louis vuitton foundation sail structure
louis vuitton foundation internal stairwell
Musee D'Orsay sketches
MuseeD'Orsay Barrel Vault atrium
Musee D'Orsay Coffer decoration

Musee D'Orsay

With galleries running parallel to the barrel-vaulted atrium of the Musee D’Orsay, their bizarrely angled partition walls became a particular object of intrigue. Upon closer inspection these were found to create an enjoyable optical illusion when standing inside galleries facing outward. Their slanted sections seemingly aligning with the coffered decorations of the vault owed to its warped view in perspective.


An interesting observation which was recorded within the sketches below.


The Louvre Exterior Court
The Louvre Pyramid detail
The Louvre subterranean entry
The Louvre subterranean entry coffered celing

The Louvre

Renovation: I.M. Pei


The Louvre Adjacent room study

Due to successive renovations in the transition from palace to museum, beyond works of art the Louvre exhibits a vast collection of internal galleries and rooms. The sketch below being a study upon a single gallery bisected by two podiums of four columns. One side having a single groin vaulted ceiling and the other broken with a central fresco.


Experiencing this gallery and others in enfilade was a constant source of entertainment within the vast complex.

Paris to Amsterdam


Urban Sketching Site 1
Urban Sketching Site 2
Urban Sketching Site 3

Urban Sketchers Syposium: Amsterdam


When a friendly hello from another guest at my hostel led to the discovery an Urban Sketching Symposium within the city! These sketches were produced whilst touring the town with my new friend Jacob and a legion of other passionate sketches. With quick pace and performed standing in these sketches I tried to capture the ‘essence’ of each scene.


Find ‘jam_397’ on Instagram to witness the early works of the future master ‘Jacob of the Bauhaus’

URBAN Sketing Symposium #2
URBAN Sketing Symposium Sketch #1
Beurs Van Berlage from the Amsterdam Centre Station

Beurs Van Berlage

Hendrik Petrus Berlage.


Capping the Damrak at the centre of city commands the peculiar  ‘Beurs van Berlage’ of Hendrik Petrus Berlage. A stock exchange which the architect subvertly designed as a ‘community house’ expecting the economies demise as a strict socialist.


Gazing at its principle façade from across the river, its asymmetry, syncopated fenestration and collection of square, pointed and octagonal towers make the building particularly difficult to assign to singular style. The architect drawing inspiration from the many competing movements of his city in a very early example of eclecticism.

Beurs Van Berlage worms eye perspective
Beurs Van Berlage Aperture Elevation and Section
Conservatorium Van Amsterdam

Conservatorium van Amsterdam


The incredible irredescant facade of the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam. Spotted whilst viewing its neighbouring OBA Library

Iridescencant Facade

The Nemo Science Museum

Renzo Piano


Nemo Science Musuem
Nemo Science Musuem Underpass
Nemo Science Musuem Principle Facade
Nemo Science Musuem Roof Entry.JPG

Vincent Van Gogh Museum

Gerrit Rietveld & Kisho Kurokawa


Left, the Rietveld Building of Gerrit Rietveld, principle member of the Dutch De Stilg and prominent member of the Bauhaus. Right, the Kurokawa Wing of Kisho Kurokawa, a leading Japanese architect and founding member of the Metabolist movement.

Concrete to metal, symmetry to asymmetry, industrial to environmental. Despite such binary oppositions these two buildings harmonize in unexpected but delightful unity as if channelling the complexities of its celebrated artist.

Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum perspective
The Eye Film Museum
The Eye Film Museum

EYE - New Dutch film Institute

Delugan Meissl Associated Architects


Left, the Rietveld Building of Gerrit Rietveld, principle member of the Dutch De Stilg and prominent member of the Bauhaus. Right, the Kurokawa Wing of Kisho Kurokawa, a leading Japanese architect and founding member of the Metabolist movement.

Concrete to metal, symmetry to asymmetry, industrial to environmental. Despite such binary oppositions these two buildings harmonize in unexpected but delightful unity as if channelling the complexities of its celebrated artist.

Eye Museum Internal Perspective
Canal Row Houses

Canal Homes


The celebrated canal  homes seemed to lack a common  floor datum which  attributed to their quirky aesthetic cementing their popularity today. I found the decorative gables of particular interest which seemed to conform to an established collection of designs.

Canal House Street Elevation
Anchor Plates

'Anchor Plates'

So long confused of that these ornamental features were, a chance conversation with a friendly resident revealed them to be anchor plates - improving the buildings structural rigidity on its water logged foundations

Cinema Tuschinski

Pathé Tuschinski


Amsterdam to Rome


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