Camera Obscura

Finkernagel Ross Architects, London, 2014

 

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A Camera Obscura built on the rooftop of a Shoreditch office building

As part of the RIBA London Open Studios: Shoreditch + Clerkenwell on 5 June 2014 and in exploration of the suggested theme of 'Capital', the architect built a Camera Obscura on the rooftop of its office building capturing the approaching cityscape.

Shoreditch is on the brink of a significant transformation with a number of large-scale developments in the planning, especially in the area around Shoreditch station.

Right at the doorstep, construction of a 50-storey tower – Principal Place - has just commenced. This will fundamentally not just change the physical, urban fabric, but undoubtedly also alter the social and creative capital of this particular part of London.

The Shoreditch Camera Obscura captures the city of London, a ‘cliff’ of steel and glass which has been creeping towards Shoreditch and will be soon engulfing the area.

As the viewer’s eye adjusts to the darkness of the room a soft, upside-down image slowly emerges.

The idea for the Camera Obscura was in part inspired by the work of the artist Rodney Graham whose large-scale tree photographs displayed upside-down play with the notion of human observation and perception. Inverting the image turns the subject into a kind of symbolic image and also corresponds to the natural reaction of the human eye. The world is initially registered upside-down, to be reversed by the brain alone. It is left to the visitor to reflect on the image and form their own interpretation and view.

Data

  • Begun: May 2014
  • Completed: Jun 2014
  • Floor area: 13m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £1,094
  • Funding: Private
  • Address: 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ, United Kingdom

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