Shadows in London

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I found these pictures when I was sorting them out last night. They are from the treetop walkway at Kew Gardens. I want to mention that shadow is always a key for designing. What I think of the treetop walkway is that it’s a great idea but it’s hard to make a very interesting design in such a concept. The result is that the entire walkway is flat, for instance in sections there’s no height change at the top. However I think the architect made it interesting in another way – playing with shadows.

We see more and more screen in contemporary designs. By screen I mean for example those metal columns that are on the railing which create these fantastic shadows on the path. I think this is such a great idea because the canopy is higher than all the trees which means it’s going to get lots of sun that grants it really high shadow value. I love how the screens are designed but what’s more is that the shadow that’s created. The shadow somehow falls onto the structure under the walkway. This means it is not just randomly designed and there are lots of calculations and thinking behind the design. I think this is what we must have for our designs. We can just make cool things but what’s more important is to make things cool with meanings and thoughtful ideas behind them.

2 thoughts on “Shadows in London

  1. I also agree that this treetop walkway was a little underwhelming as a whole. I was actually really looking forward to it and Shauna and I went out of our way to get to it but it was indeed, very flat, and static. I also noticed that the height of the walkway in relation to the trees was quite low. The trees were not even in bloom and the sights were limited. I can imagine a while ago when the trees were lower and you could look out across Kew and see kids playing, joggers running with their dogs, couples having picnics, and it all sounds pretty great. I remember the English gardens in I think Germany, and they were filled with these types of scenes and people outside enjoying the green spaces and follies. That is what I wished for the treetop walkway and I hope that it is better when the trees are in bloom. At least that’s how I want to think of them.
    I am glad you mentioned the uniqueness of the shadows however so now I will go back and look and my pictures and see if I captured any neat photos of them as well. The pictures you took show the shadows nicely. It looks like the sun caught the shadows of the fence and the trees. Good point, I appreciate that since that is something I did not catch onto.

  2. I agree that in order for this tree top walkway to really be affective- 1. The surrounding trees and gardens need to be in bloom and somehow mask the rest of the path leaving some kind of ambiguity to its shape and to the next move it will make 2. The materials chosen for its sides and railing should be less massive and simply structural to really portray the floating concept that I assume any tree top walk way would be going for. In thinning out the material choice, the structure could still work just the same in creating these beautiful shadows! Maybe we just came at the wrong time of year for this part of Kew- but overall I was not as impressed as I had expected.

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