Upper Ground, South Bank
images / Romeo & Ivania
words by Ivania
The shape of the structure with all its individual blocks, different levels and layers feels like an organic concrete landscape organised in a very natural way. The massive blocks stand out from anything else when crossing the Waterloo bridge in London. When in town, our camera rolls are always dominated by pictures of The National Gallery (Somerset House, the main Fashion Week venue being exactly on the opposite side of the river).
Usually the British weather makes the concrete wet and dark, even more dramatic and confrontational. But this time around we saw The National Gallery in a different light, -literally- because the sun was shining bright causing many more layers of shadows and highlights on the magnificent concrete sculpture.
A design by architect Denys Lasdun, completed in 1976. The National Theatre is one of best known structures from the Brutalist movement, an misinterpreted name often associated with ‘brutalities’. Brutalism is actually named after the movement’s signature material ‘raw concrete’ or ‘béton-brut’ in French.