Travel meets Architecture
- Cameron Follas – Architectural Assistant
As we move toward winter with shorter days, dark mornings and colder nights we thought that now might be the time to shine a light on one of our team’s summer expeditions.
Cameron who joined LJA in 2021 takes us on his journey across some of Europe’s most wonderful cities. Cameron comments “The vast cultural and historical tapestry that is Europe becomes a playground for this budding southern hemisphere architectural import. What follows is a curation of my experiences seen through the lens of architecture.”
Lost in a sea of Domes on the border of mainland Europe and Asia, the Turkish delights of Istanbul aren’t restricted to the culinary delicacies found on every corner. The city serves as a walkable encyclopaedia, with buildings reaching back to the birth of modern civilisation. Massive marble mosques etched with history give way to meandering passageways rich with character and an air of wonder. It’s hard to see beyond the bustling streets teeming with many aromas. Still, carefully curated spaces lie between the built form providing sanctuary, and a place to ponder and reflect.
Luxembourg, a city between styles and times, split by 2 valleys, 1 river and 3 architectural styles that glimmer with their own splendour. A harmonious relationship exists between Art Nouveau, Art Deco and contemporary styles, shadowed by the backbone of ancient bastions, and the towering arches of the railway track. The Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge spans bravely across the valley and sits juxtaposed, with its bold paintwork, to the backdrop of the oldtown below.
Ancient Fortifications and hues of ceramic roofs define the coastal splendour of Dubrovnik. Dubbed the Pearl of the Adriatic, it’s understated Architecture gives materiality and colour a stage upon which to perform. Within the walls of the old city the lines between modern interventions and ancient structures dissolve through a considered approach and a respect for the existing palette, setting a precedent for how the past and future can sit as neighbours.
The once quiet Nordic town of Copenhagen now boasts a thriving accessible metropolis spread over two islands bound together by the Nyhavn River. There is a rich Architectural language that isn’t afraid to test the classical rigours of the past, and actively seeks to promote modernist form, which is echoed by the thriving art scene and the avant-garde cuisine. Inventive student housing schemes and re-use of existing structures are BIG moves the city of Copenhagen isn’t ready to shy away from.
But it is the Expressionist masterpiece of Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint that steals the show. Located a short distance from the city centre, Grundtvig Church and it’s 6 million hand-laid bricks, redefine how materiality can make a space feel. Washed in soft natural light, the heavy characteristic of the brick is crushed by the careful consideration of scale, colour, and orientation elevating the humble material to new heights.
My journeys continue to demonstrate that through experiencing architecture good architecture will follow. I never thought that I would be defining my travels through the medium of Architecture but this summer demonstrated to me what can be learnt from the rich and diverse urban environments this continent has to offer…..not to mention the great food, fantastic beers and friendly welcomes!
Between adventures I enjoy sampling the local craft beer and music scenes closer to home. Ensuring I don’t dabble too much in the former I frequent the gym, and lace up my football boots when I can, though I won’t be gracing Old Trafford anytime soon.