Thursday, February 09, 2006

Liverpool Light and Shadow

Went to Liverpool this morning and it is nice to see that the grandly entitled Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (ie the catholic cathedral) has now had its main entrance, promenade and visitor centre completed.

Further afield I note that the real catalyst for contemporary architecture is Liverpool University with several new buildings of various sizes and dispositions.

Aldham Robarts Learning and Resource Centre, Mount Pleasant, 1994, Austin Smith Lord

I noticed the shadow's of the trees against the plain white backdrop of the University of Liverpool's Aldham Robarts centre, and it got me wondering whether some architects are actually able to plan certain shadow and light effects on the surfaces of new buildings. As an architect, this would be a wonderful area to explore - especially in this age where a building can be placed into a virtual world with sunlight and shadow.

Take this even further and you could plan certain shadows from various sculpted points in the landscape to reach certain parts of the building at certain times. Imagine also surfaces which react to slight variations in temperature and change colour or leave an imprint for a short time just like a pinhole camera.

Hang on - hasn't this light and shadow trick been done before - Stonehenge?

More recently I was impressed by the way tree landscaping formed shadow effects on Tadao Ando's screen in Manchester - see below..

View More Images of Liverpool

View More Images of Tadao Ando's Screen

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