Welcome to "The Brutalist"

My diary as I attempt to photograph as many Brutalist buildings as possible as I work towards the ARPS distinction with the Royal Photographic Society

What’s In A Name?

This is One Kemble Street, AKA Space House, AKA Civil Aviation Authority House (CAA House). This is actually 2 buildings joined by a walk way…and a building I will certainly have to revisit and re-photograph again.

A Brutalsit Support at One Kemble Street
Showing the Y-shaped columns of capstone concrete at the base of the building

The shots I got on this first visit were fine…but I didn’t get the compositions I wanted and completely missed at least one side of the building…quite why I didn’t walk around the building entirely I’m not sure. There was also really strong sunshine which was great for the tower but cast a really strong shadow over the CAA block part and the shots I got of that really aren’t up to scratch.

One Kemble Street oblique angle

When I go out with my camera I do have a bad habit of taking the kitchen sink, and this was one such occasion. I am pleased to report that, unlike many other ocassions I did use every lens I took and my tripod on this one building…I might not have got the shot I was looking for, but I certainly gave the gear a good work out.

Cruciform blocks at One Kemble Street
Showing the cruciform blocks that make up each floor of the building

Anyway, back to the building. This was designed by George Marsh, a partner in Richard Seifert’s architectural firm. Seifert and his firm is credited with designing the Centre Point tower and Tower 42 (previously the NatWest Tower) amongst others. It was built between 1964 and 1968 and it was listed grade II with Historic England in January 2015

The tower part is 16-storeys high and was built using a façade of precast cruciform blocks of white concrete joined by dowels and dry grout with the next door block being of 8 storeys.

It’s certainly an interesting building so I’ll be back soon!

  1. Dec 5, 2019 11:11 am

    I like the first image Mark and the black sky really works well ! Hope you have a lot of fun and success with your project, I’m sure you will !!

    • Dec 5, 2019 11:35 am

      @tony

      Thanks Tony, appreciate your comment – I enjoyed my first London trip for this project, I saw a lot of London around Holborn / Farringdon / Barbican that I’ve not seen before…mind you I walked far too far and my feet certainly knew about it at the end of the day!

  2. Dec 6, 2019 7:59 am

    I enjoyed both the write up and the photos, particularly the one showing the Y shape. Excellent

    • Dec 6, 2019 3:54 pm

      @Liz Happer

      Thnaks for takong the time to comment Liz 🙂

  3. Dec 10, 2019 8:57 am

    Hi Mark,
    Am interesting site that I’ll be following. I love the stark shapes of the Brutalist style. Some great photos!

    • Dec 10, 2019 9:44 am

      @Nick

      Thanks for your support Nick

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.