I went to King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston last Friday to take pictures of buildings which are in the pamphlet of Living with Building. There were mixture of different historical buildings in the same area. The exhibition was about how environment affect people. For example, health and architecture. They experimented how architecture can be a role of delicate healing space that can actually change the healthcare and wellbeing through out the world. I followed the step of Joe Kerr, an architectural historian through the area and captured the estates, hospitals, courts and other buildings.
By walking through the buildings, I found that King’s Cross and St Pancras station was close to each other and the design of the building were both modern, new, and clean. There was a market right next to The German Gymnasium, so I also went to that market and bought some bread for lunch. Bakers were from other part of Europe, but they spoke good English and were very friendly. Then, I followed the map and go through the buildings. I saw Google and YouTube of the way to Old St Pancras Churchyard. The office building of Google was so nice, the whole building was mostly made of glass, so that people can see through the office rooms from outside. I saw some Android cushions on the sofa. Then at the time I was in front of the churchyard, I was amazed by the beautiful autumn leaves in the yard. The whole yard was glowing in gold and it was just amazing. Since the church was open to public, I went inside and took a look. The church was built in the 4th century and it is believed to be one of the oldest places of Christian worship in London. It is also related to St. Pancras railway station for the encroachment of its mid Victorian railway lines that were going through the churchyard. And about the churchyard, it is said that it used to be a place for Midland Railway lines from St. Pancras station before 1860s. Then, many of the ancient burials were moved after that and again in 2000s for High Speed Rail. I couldn’t imagine that there were railway lines through these places in the past just by glancing and walking by. Another place that I was especially interested was The Polygon / Oakshott Court. The hill in the middle of the L-shaped court was a bit weird to me, because the hill is right in front of the rooms that are in the ground floor. To get to the ground floor, first you need to go downstairs. Which means for the people who live there, ground floor mean underground. From outside of the court, it’s hard to see inside their rooms, which is good, because we all need privacy. But the green space in the middle to me, it was a bit weird yet interesting.
Living with Building was part of Wellcome Collection, and on the ground floor, there was a room for the exhibition. I saw some films about the history buildings, health problems and also about wellbeing. Also, there were the drafts of some posters and housing models, too. The photo of the Mouchotte Building which was taken in 1993 shocked me the most. Because of the population growth, people needed places to live, so the architect Jean Dubuisson decided to built it on the street of Commandant-Mouchotte. This building is the largest single residential building in Paris. It is located in Maine-Montparnasse, which was a complex area in Paris in the 1960s, hence a vast urban renewal operation took place. The building was built from 1959-1964, as the strong demographic and economic growth were occurring at that period. The building itself contains 750 housing units for roughly 2,000 residents. The photo I saw was a multiple images that were grafted together in postproduction to produce a single overwhelming panorama view, so it was actually a digital edited picture. It was truly overwhelming but at the same time, when I saw the photo, it has a different power than others. I strongly felt the message of it.
I think this exhibition did fulfil its aim. Now I can see different story when I am looking at a building, not just simply thinking about the design or only by visually liking the architecture but go deeper and try to understand the story and history that actually happen.