Northern Bright

Nov 27 - 2018

Holmen Industrial Area, Vesterålen, Norway

Industry, weather, landscape, architecture & graphics combined:

4 rectangular structures housing a modern fishing facility – farming, trawling, processing and corporate HQ – arranged to camouflage industrial traffic, protect from a severe winter climate and safeguard the landscape. The composition of necessarily functional, durable materials in surprisingly strong colours make this a beautiful addition rather than an interruption.


Architect Snøhetta

Client Holmøy Maritime

Photography Ketil Jacobsen, Stephen Citrone

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Holmen 2 Holmen 3 Holmen 1

Green Extra

Jun 07 - 2018

While I was thinking about green walls and noticing them, and noticing also the proliferation of plastic plants outside hotels for example, and astroturf all around, I saw this sweet spontaneous outburst on my street. 2 days later it was gone, pulled out or sprayed I can’t tell, but it seems to be making a comeback now.

Bonus: the photo won the Desso #CDWStreetView Twitter Competition, so off to Sky Garden to review their landscaping next.

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Spontaneous green wall Spontaneous death

Green Elephant

May 24 - 2018

A story of three green walls on my walk to work.

Best of all the magnificent wall at the side of the Bakerloo Line entrance at Elephant & Castle, well established and now in full glorious bloom. Presumably this space could be earning someone a large amount of advertising cash, instead if you glance up for a moment you get a vertical garden above the traffic. Brilliant.

New-ish on the side of a residential tower opposite the Castle Pool is a more modest but no less lovely block of planting, at people-height so more visible, part of generally good landscaping around this part of the development. While it gets settled in it looks like a half-finished tapestry and the stop-start of the plants is the thing that is so enjoyable, in stark contrast to

this: very new and very sad, an entirely plastic green wall outside Uncle, designed by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners. With a weirdly uniform repeat and hyper-green colour it has nothing to do with anything natural. What is the thought process here? No doubt a living wall is an investment, and a bit of a hassle to maintain but this poor relation looks hideous, and I wouldn't bank on it lasting very long. More importantly, surely indefensible while we are banning plastic straws and talking plastic-free isles in supermarkets, amongst other things. If you can’t afford a green wall don't have one, do something else, but don't substitute plastic.

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Glorious Elephant green wall New Elephant green wall elevation New Elephant close up Uncle plastic plants 3 Union plastic plants 1

South Downs

Jan 01 - 2014

January in Alfriston, Sussex, grey, scratchy grass, driving rain, if you live in England you need to love this.

Nine Rows and Early May, John Blackburn
Chalk Paths, Eric Ravilious 1935

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south downs