London, UK

London, UK by Javier Bravo

Constant Contrast

Article published in POINTES 2010-2015 (Ediciones Asimétricas).
The diversity of elements can be found permanently in all areas of the city. Constant evolution has fostered large cities showing broad contrasts on all scales. Urbanism, neighborhoods, streets, buildings, materials. A tour of different world capitals is tantamount to a review of the history of the city and is shows us how humans have adapted to cities. New York is proud of its cathedral completed in 1865. A young city, it boasts of its “old” building.
Amid so many skyscrapers, the reflections from the adjacent glass on the stone make this cathedral church someting special. The environment lends it character. The shine stands out even more against the roughness of the stone. The temple is subject to constant contrast. A divergence of opinions and different perspectives on things is enriching. They contribute new ways of looking at reality, creating new perspectives that would have been impossible to imagine if things had been approached in a closed-minded way.
The same happens in architecture when new buildings are inevitably put up in old areas; the dialogue between them is novel, provoking situations that did not exist up to that point. The contribution should be positive; drawing conclusions afterward is simple. Although it’s true that this doesn’t always work since the correlation between the elements is not accidental, given such dissimilar situations the solution requires skill; but the lack of monotony is to be appreciated on streets where you could get lost because all the corners look the same.
The city of London is growing up against older buildings, overshadowing them in height, revealing insides through glass façades that show what’s going on inside, hoping to crown the city and showing strength through height. The oldest buildings stand out against the newest, leading to a generous contrast with many nuances. Monochromatic or virtually transparent buildings except for their large structures, against stone that settles low. Lightness vs. massivity. Floor to ceiling glass vs. closed façades. Curved lines vs. straight lines. Shine vs. matte.
Establishing contrast.

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