I was recently commissioned to shoot the visually striking new Clapham Library interior, and exterior shots of the wider £80 million Clapham One development of which it forms a significant part. Designed by Studio Egret West for developer Cathedral Group, this scheme really is a break from the norm (if there is a norm for library design these days).
Clapham One is actually on two sites (the other is tucked behind the other side of Clapham High Street) which together provide affordable housing as well as privately-owned flats, plus a leisure centre, family health centre and library as quite an extreme (and pleasing) example of planning gain.
The library building was positively reviewed by Ellis Woodman a couple of weeks back in Building Design, spread over four pages, making dramatic use of my photography.
BD’s imminent need of images meant that we brought forward my exterior shoot of the building, which meant crossing many fingers for good weather. Luckily, we had some amazing sunshine which enabled me to get a range of daylight and twilight photos. The biggest challenge was dealing with the large number of, shall we say, merry people promenading between the many bars on Clapham High Street. There is something about putting a camera on a tripod in a busy place which attracts attention, usually of the “would you like me to model for you?” kind. However, my biggest source of amusement is always the half-hearted camera ‘duck’ that passers-by feel obliged to perform when walking in front of the camera, even if I’m not actively taking shots.