OK, I realise that photo-blogging London in the rain in black and white can become a little tired, but… hey, my life at the moment is all about London in the rain. I could use Hipstamatic’s many colour combinations, but Canary Wharf is grey at the best of times. In the rain, it is grey on grey so I may as well use monochrome to make it look like I’m in control of the colour!
I nipped out during my lunch break and braved the pathetic drizzle to capture a very wet Wharf.
This carbuncle below is a big deal for me at the moment. It is being erected at lighting pace and is blocking my view from my office window (yes, ‘poor you’ I hear you all chorus). I am obviously not a structural engineer or an architect, but I believe that it is actually a hollow and temporary shell protecting the concrete core/lift shaft being constructed inside for a new glass and steel tower.
The cable car?
Below is a ground level view of the ‘O2’ (or “the dome” in non-sponsor-speak) which is also visible from my office. Less visible are the tiny pylon things to the left of the dome. That is the ‘Emirates Air Line’ (or “cable car” in non-sponsor speak) which is the first urban cable car in any UK city.
The wharf in the foreground is one of many interconnected waterways at Canary Wharf and you can see the mouth into the Thames. My gym is at water-level of a connecting piece of water and I have seen a wild Common Seal playing with a metal pipe there. No, I am not lying.
To many people, the building below IS Canary Wharf (the famous flashing pyramid roof is not visible from this ground-level perspective). It is the original and tallest building in the Wharf (only recently knocked off its overall UK top-spot by the Shard) and is more correctly named ‘1 Canada Square’. I like the tiny eagle you can see soaring around the building just to the right of the tower.
Oh alright! It’s not an eagle, but a Herring Gull in the photo. I was just trying to spice things up a bit having raised expectations with the seal. We do get Peregrine Falcons at the Wharf though and I have interrupted important meetings on the 30th floor of my building to “corr!” and “wow!” at the fastest creature on earth plummeting down off our roof after some poor unsuspecting pigeon.
Metal and glass
Canary Wharf is all about metal and glass. There is a lot of metal and lot of glass including most of the sculpture and artwork (as below outside one of the office towers).
The new Wharf
Ever since the experiment began in the ’90s to build a new business district in London in one of the traditionally poorest and most run-down areas of the country (let alone the capital), there has continued to be a huge amount of development down here. Just as I started this post with a building site, so I finish with one. This poor sod below was sweeping the muddy puddles off the new concrete that has been laid for one of the largest construction projects the in the country: Crossrail.
Many people attack Canary Wharf for being soulless. I wouldn’t want to live there, but I genuinely enjoy working there (despite it not having the history of the ‘City of London’) and I wouldn’t want to bet that this young and thrusting concrete, metal and glass upstart doesn’t actually have a soul of sorts after all.