My photography of the award winning First Light Pavilion at Jodrell Bank currently features in the October / November edition of “Architecture Magazine”.
The First Light Pavilion was designed to tell the inspirational stories of Jodrell Bank’s world-leading contribution to science, heritage and culture.
The architecturally remarkable building was designed by Hassell Studios and engineered by Atelier One with the executive architects of JM Architect’s overlooking the entire project, Kier Construction building the large concrete dome and Armourcoat providing an insulated render that optimises the thermal performance of the building.
I was commissioned to photograph the new First Light Pavilion, to capture its stunning architecture and clever design within its location of the Jodrell Bank Observatory centre.
The hospitality industry has seen some significant changes recently. Hotels are recognising that they must build their brand experience around a solution-selling strategy. Brand confidence means being a trusted advisor making customers feel relaxed with every interaction.
The Hilton Birmingham Metropole is the largest hotel in England outside London – with 790 rooms and suites, and approximately 6,000 m2 (65,000 sq ft) of conference halls. First opening in 1976 the current hotel is a combination of two adjacent hotels connected by a glazed tunnel and merged under the Metropole brand.
This week marks the first anniversary since the re-opening of the Hilton Birmingham Metropole following a massive refurbishment.
Earlier this year I was commissioned to photograph the new reception lobby, Guild Lounge, Brightsmith Bar & Restaurant, Executive lounge, and the Arbour breakfast room.
When working with an established brand like the Hilton there is the heritage to be considered, as well as the future of the brand. Sometimes innovative design is not about reinventing the wheel but setting it on a new course.
In my photography brief I was asked to capture the spirit of the design that defined it as the Hilton Metropole Birmingham. I was also made aware that the refurbishment had already been photographed by a number of other photographers. I chose not to look at these.
As I spent time in the space, I began to realise that the most amazing aspect of the new design was not represented in any one particular feature, or area. It was that the soul of the building had been ‘restored’ through the refurbishment, resulting in the brand being elevated through the design of the overall space.
Throughout the hotel, the new decor celebrates Birmingham’s rich heritage and embraces its culture. Nods to industrialism combine with a celebration of local craftsmanship to mark the city’s prolific history. Harrison was appointed by Hilton to completely transform this iconic destination hotel. The Hilton Birmingham Metropole hosts over 2,000 events per year and has already welcomed both new and returning clients.
It is one thing to renovate, transform and repurpose a space, but to give a building a new soul is something else. Freehausdesign architects in collaboration with the interior designer Tola Ojuolape and brand agency Mam'gobozi Design Factory have done just that with The Africa Centre’s new home in Southwark.
I was commissioned to photograph and capture how the design team has breathed new life into the building, filling it with the colours, tastes, and vibe of Africa.
The Africa Centre started life in the 1960’s as a cultural hub for the UK’s African Diaspora, and for a long time was based in Covent Garden. It was a place to inspire, challenge, enlighten and encourage, hosting distinguished cultural, literary and political figures of African heritage.
The new headquarters in Great Suffolk Street has been completely rejuvenated into a multi-purpose site that offers flexible spaces for a variety of events and activities such as art exhibitions, pop-ups, and networking.
Inside, the 2216 sq. ft is divided across three floors with a new feature staircase connecting the first and second ﬂoors.
In contrast to the black painted exterior there is a palette of sandy clay plaster walls, rustic polished concrete floor, African inspired feature pendant lighting, authentic carved wooden furniture, vibrant fabrics and artwork. The ground floor opens out to a reception plus collaborative meeting space, and houses “Tatale”, a contemporary pan-African restaurant. The building has been extended at the back, with a row of glass doors that fold open completely, connecting the restaurant to an animated alleyway of railway arches.
The second floor is an events area, complete with bar clad in African geometric tiles and lounge with a mixture of contemporary African seating options. Both areas open out onto their own balconies, with the front terrace being supported by a sturdy black steel canopy that the architects added on the exterior as a welcoming feature.
On the third floor is the gallery space for artists to support the centre’s values and inspire others.
The Africa Centre has already featured in a number of prominent online forums and publications, including the Architects Journal, the Guardian, the Evening Standard, Wallpaper Magazine, Dezeen Magazine, The RIBA Journal and Forbes Africa.
Nando’s has evolved into a 458-restaurant cultural phenomenon with a progressive peri-peri approach to their brand. I have been supplying them photography for a number of years, working with some incredible creatives.
Nando’s has always recognised that they had to be about much more than just the chicken that they served. From collaborations and associations with music artists (including a recording studio in their Soho restaurant), to partnering with Spier Arts Trust with a long-term commitment to contemporary Southern African art, peri-peri sauce now flavours many forms of popular culture.
Nando’s takes a progressive approach to promoting their #everyoneiswelcome stance through various different platforms. Their UK social media followers on Twitter and Instagram far exceeds their competitors. Nando’s millennial engagement and content has adopted music takeovers, reworks of memes or TikTok recipes using their sauces, and campaigns surrounding everything from the pandemic to student results, mental wellbeing and entrepreneurship.
Nando’s culture of diversity takes a “neighbourhood” approach to expansion driven by local demographics. If the clientele in Nando’s restaurants is modern, multiracial Britain made manifest, it could be because it engages its audience in a genuine, holistic way.
I recently photographed the new Nottingham, Netherfield Nando’s at Victoria Park Way. The restaurant was designed by Harrison with 118 internal, and 20 external covers. The exterior entrance is clad in timber and has both the Nando’s sign and logo, which light up in the evening. There is also a feature seated canopy area with box planters.
The interior is a kaleidoscope picture of the Nando’s palette, materials, lighting, and furniture. The flooring is a combination of Ted Todd wooden floor panels and tiles. The walls range from micro concrete trowelled finished render, to ribbed concrete tiles, exposed brick finish and vertical mosaic tiles with a deep glaze. There is a large selection of original South African art along with interspersed planters.
The seating is a mixture of large “live” edge banqueting tables, individual marble and chestnut top tables plus booths that divide the space. There is a suspended angled lath ceiling feature which is illuminated by linear LED strips, along with track lighting and Hoola Hoop pendant lights above the booths.
The evolution of the Nando’s progressive peri-peri brand is inspired by their adventurous spirit and values of Pride, Passion, Courage, Integrity and Family.