Pixangle blog on our photography, floor plan and EPC experiences in London and the South East

London's Alternative Architecture: Imposing and Edgy

Being London-based means gaining a specialised knowledge of this incredible city, as we are out and about in it every day. Our work takes us into corners of London that you wouldn't normally stumble across, and every day is a mini exploration.

One of our favourite aspects of this is getting to see the massive variety of architecture in London, and while the pretty Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian buildings are the go-to picture postcard shots, we also love the modern stuff which gives London its edge.

Here is a collection of some of our favourite alternative architectural shots from the last year.

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Welcome to Vista! This collection of new build flats on Queenstown Road has expanded rapidly over the last few years, and Altissima House is one of the newer additions. The unusual curvilinear shape was conceived by architects Scott Brownrigg to minimise their bulk and better fit in with the nature of Battersea Park directly opposite.

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Given the busyness of Queenstown Road, stepping between the buildings to the neatly designed external spaces brings and impressive amount of peace and quiet.

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Moving on to a very well known one: The News Building, which is part of the Shard Quarter and was completed in 2013. Hanging out next to the Shard, it was initially known as the "Baby Shard" until being renamed upon opening in 2014. It was designed by Renzo Piano, whose staggering career has included the design of the Shard itself and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The News Building always catches our eye whenever we're in London Bridge, and it's hard to resist getting a shot.

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Taken in a large estate, we love the wall of solar panels!

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There's something quite surreal about this curved terrace of town houses in Raynes Park. The grounds are oddly Teletubby Land-like, but the warm red brick contrasts nicely with the grounds. Check it out from the other side:

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See what we mean? Nothing you can quite put your finger on, but something quite cartoonish nevertheless...

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Moving on, Croydon street art is hugely prolific and this is probably our favourite mural. Artist David Hollier was commissioned by local gallery owner Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison with the permission of Croydon Council and the building owner to paint this huge mural of Winston Churchill, made up of his We Shall Fight On The Beaches speech, in the town centre. This is the technique for which David Hollier is most famous and although Churchill had no direct connection with Croydon, it's still a fantastic addition to the town.

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20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie-Talkie, and home to the Sky Garden, is one of London's more controversial architectural additions. As well as creating an unforeseen wind tunnel at street level, the building in its early days reflected the sun so strongly that it melted the bodywork on a nearby car, and a local cafe took the opportunity to fry an egg in the lightbeam. Architect Rafael Vinoly blamed the sun for being too high in the sky, and said, "When I first came to London years ago, it wasn't like this," he said. "Now you have all these sunny days. So you should blame this thing on global warming too, right?"

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Berenger Tower is an 18-storey tower block in the World's End estate in Chelsea, designed in the 1960s and completed in the 70s. The estate's construction involved the demolition of many Victorian terraces, and 11 acres of land was cleared to do so. In the end, 750 units were created to house all those who had had their homes demolished.

The architecture is the definition of Brutalism, and opinion is still divided to this day as to whether this is an attractive look or a complete eyesore, but either way you can't deny that Berenger Tower, along with its siblings on the estate, is not to be ignored.

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The 29-storey riverside block, Aragon Tower, is an anomaly - it's a residential block which was built in 1962, but its 2006 refurb has left it looking utterly brand new. You can see that several floors have been added onto the original build, with the addition of 14 penthouse units. But the most stomach-dropping feature of the block can be seen on the left-hand side of the building in this image: What you're looking at is a covered staircase running the entire height of the 29 floors. A photoshoot took us to the 20th floor, and standing at the top of the fire escape was a dizzying experience.

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But the views really are absolutely spectacular!

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Hurrah for Art Deco! Hartington Court was completed in 1938 and was designed to have a sleek, nautical feel to it, due to its position right next to the river. We love the long vertical line of windows...

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...and also the very distinctive 30s-style type used in the wrought iron lettering. It helps that this building has been kept in absolutely pristine condition!

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Designed by Patel Taylor Architects and completed in 2017, Lombard Wharf in Battersea has some excellent features for photography. Firstly, that slightly twisting shape that you see has been created by rotating each floor by two degrees, resulting in different shape from every angle that you view the building. Secondly, the smooth curvature of the levels create a very fluid feel to the building, especially when viewed from below. And thirdly, you can't beat that location!

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