dublin-based architectural photographer ste murray pays a tribute to british architect richard seifert and his significant ‘space house’ on occasion of its 50th anniversary. the photo-essay depicts the building from various angles and in different situations in london’s daylight and dusk. designboom features the photographer’s story sharing his impression of the building.


all images © ste murrey

 

 

‘the headlines on the daily morning newspapers told me that it would be the highest ever recorded temperature for that day in history. there was indeed a whiff of sunscreen on the tube as I made my way to the center to celebrate another milestone; the space house turns 50 this year. designed by george marsh and richard seifert, construction started on the cylindrical volume in 1964, and finished four years later,’ says murray.

 

 

’15 stories of precast cruciform blocks sit upon Y-shaped supports at ground level. I was interested in how this building, practically symmetrical in its uniform circular shape, reacted to its context and vice-versa. there is an inherent stubbornness with bold modernist buildings such as this; confident in their own agenda, they can sometimes turn their back on an area.’

 

 

‘the space house feels quietly self-assured in its own self-esteem, allowing the various other buildings in the area to work alongside it. the structure was bathed in sunlight, so I decided to underexpose a few of the photos to bring this contrast out. I wanted to let those highlights shine, alongside the darker parts of the image, where people took shade from the sun.’

 

 

‘as a visitor to london, I’m drawn to the constant paths and trails left by airplanes overhead. this seemed appropriate to include them in some of the images, given the building’s purpose as an office for the civil aviation authority.’

 

 

‘indeed, it is rumoured that the space house was originally meant to be twice as tall and used as a luxury hotel. one wonders when the lease is up at the end of 2019, if it could be made more accessible for public; helping it relate and connect even more with its surroundings, and cement itself as a favourite among sweaty londoners and visitors alike.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: maria erman | designboom

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