London: Random Selection May 2019

Life is mostly unexpected, despite how much we believe we can control. I like to embrace this notion and be reminded of it when I’m traveling between destinations, only to find that perhaps it was everything along the way that really mattered.

The pattern I’m seeing in these 3 random discoveries is that they are all at sunset or in the evening. Attention paid to lighting, or the shadows are emerge as the sun goes down always catches they eye unlike in broad daylight.

What caught my attention about the Ismaili Centre was the windows- leveled at the edges so each window looked like a jewel- they reflected light at a magical intensity at sunset. The use of materials in the wooden frames provided a contrast in the craft of the rest of the building, which felt just more commonplace. After looking the building up online, it seems like there is a lovely courtyard inside as well.


university college

One of the buildings of University College, right by Russell Square, honestly just looked like a low budget concrete mass disguised as being brutalist in its design. While I can’t disagree with my initial assessment, the lighting at night made this building look like something straight out of Star Wars- it reminded me immediately of the shipping dock cranes here in the Oakland port. What can I say- I have a thing for designed stairwells (perhaps my missed architectural calling).


At 5am in the morning, who knows what someone will discover- hidden treasures are everywhere at dawn. The Westminster Mall is the epitome of commercial shopping, with an M&M store at the helm of this building. During the day, without the lights, I can imagine this building disappearing into the rest, but at night- the lighting is a delightful change of pace.

Special thanks to Shikhiu for sharing his pictures in these 2019 London posts.