An artist and a lawyer walked into a bar...London through an artist's eyes

 Last night the LexisNexis PSL Property team and their guests enjoyed a unique evening at the 20 Fenchurch Street Sky Garden (view photographs here).
827What do you see when you look down on London from an elevated position? Tall buildings? The river? Famous sights such as the London Eye, or the palace?
Richard Wentworth CBE, as he explained to us yesterday, sees none of these things. When he looks down on London, he sees you. In fact, he sees all of us.

There is, however, no need to cast an anxious glance skywards. You won't find Richard flying by in a helicopter with a high-powered telescope.

As an artist and a curator, he is known for challenging the accepted function of (often everyday) objects. Similarly, when Richard looks down on London he doesn't see an immovable "snapshot" that can be described as a list of  "things".

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Instead, he sees the current - but constantly changing - result of millions of decisions made by other humans over the course of our history. In the form of a building, for example, he sees the dreams of an architect; the skill of a craftsman; and of course the professional guidance of a property lawyer or two! This applies equally to the height and location of a tree or the colour of a London bus.

The fluidity that results from this can be seen in the changing face of London's landmark buildings. To illustrate this, Richard contrasted two buildings by another Richard (Rogers) - the "practically hand-built" Lloyd's Building ("probably the last 'arts and crafts' building in London) and the "digital meccano" of its more modern neighbour, the Cheese Grater'.

867It was with this new-found perspective that those of us lucky enough to be at the Sky Garden bar yesterday evening took in the panoramic view from the 35th floor of the "Walkie Talkie".

We hope it will augment your experience as much as it did ours the next time you're looking down over the city.

Finally, with more good weather in store for London, we'll leave you with the same two bits of advice Richard ended on:

1. Seen an interesting building? Try the door-handle - you may be suprised how many buidings are publicly accessible (as are many of London's "secret" gardens); and

2. Remember to look up - there's always a chance that, above that chain restaurant, you'll find some interesting architecture!

(Article: Panicos Iordanou Images: Rachel Buchanan)

 

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