Look up, wherever you are!

You’ve probably noticed this year’s intake of new architectural design students positioning themselves, coats and bags as temporary pavement cushioning, sketchbook in hand, focused on some of Nottingham’s lesser known architectural details.

It’s a fundamental part of our early teaching in architectural appreciation – looking beyond what you see in the everyday - at street level - to discover a rich tapestry of brick and stone detailing, roofscapes, architectural graphics and fenestration.

In a recent board meeting, a tangential discussion reviewed Nottingham’s Central Library – how it was of little architectural merit as a bland 1970s intervention. Richard however, was defiant, confident of it’s fine period façade above street level! Quick reference to Google Earth proved him to be right!

Even after all our training and our many years in practice, in Nottingham, it was only one out of the four of us on which the library had left its lasting impression.

Does that mean that only 25% of the population takes in views above street level?! There is much to distract us at street level, of course! Since our collective revelation, I’ve noticed that I’m walking through Nottingham’s city centre, no longer focused on the chewing gum peppered pavements, or this season’s must haves, but our rich architectural heritage displayed in the upper storey museum of our streets.

Challenge yourself to do it one lunchtime. Take a photo and tweet it #LookUp, wherever you are!