It is always a delight to have some time in London between meetings or social events to photograph the city's extraordinarily diverse architecture.
Yesterday I was in the St James's Park district, a mixture of beautiful Georgian and early Victorian town houses (some of which have been turned into offices) and modern, almost brutalist buildings where barracks have been extended or new offices have been created.
At the heart of this area, above the tube station, are the offices London Underground, an art deco building, replete with sculptures and faces that are like a combination of Soviet-inspired muscular men celebrating the blue collar worker, with Eric Gill's sensuous lines. The building rises like something out of Fritz Lang's Metropolis with ledges at various heights breaking up a sheer façade punctured by uniform windows. It is functional but also has an elegance that captures the physical beauty of the workers it celebrates.
Only a stone's throw from that building is a portico to an early Victorian terraced building that feels Jacobean. The wood that frames what would otherwise be a typical, unremarkable, Georgian or early Victorian entrance has been stripped and reveals beautiful carvings reminiscent of Tudor or Jacobean woodwork - at one and the same time it is rather an anomaly in this street but also striking in its confidence.
A short walk away is St James' Park itself, on this particular day full of lovers and families lying on the glass or picnicking or standing on the bridge above the lake feeding a wide variety of water fowl. Depending on your standpoint, the lake reflects at various points Buckingham Palace, buildings on Whitehall and the London Eye - all very different landmarks in a city that never stops evolving yet appears to be able to retain its identity and protect its heritage.
So, there is never a shortage of architectural surprises for the photographer - whether in the detail, the juxtaposition of style or the unexpected vista.