Ghostly windows

IMG_8329Debenhams flagship store on London’s Oxford Street underwent a makeover two years ago. The exterior was given a kinetic facade of brushed aluminium tiles that ripple like water in the wind. The architect was Californian Ned Kahn. Read more about it here.

I glance up at this building regularly as I pass it on my way to the Royal Society of Medicine. On this particular day, sun was hitting the windows directly opposite and being reflected back onto  the aluminium tiles and the appearance was of ghostly white rectangles. Despite seeing this building approximately every month or two for two years, I’ve never seen this effect before.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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14 Responses to Ghostly windows

  1. Very nice Andy. I like this effect 🙂

  2. oneowner says:

    This is why you can never stop observing your surroundings!

  3. shoreacres says:

    A kinetic facade? I never would have imagined such a thing. But it certainly gave you a fine image, and it must be fascinating to warch it ripple in the wind. It’s beautiful, that’s for sure. I really liked the images in the linked article. I hope it’s positioned so that it can catch and reflect either sunrise or sunset. What a show that would be!

    Just yesterday I was reading something I didn’t understand about calibrating monitors (and doing other things, too.) The writer provided an image of tiny black and white squares, that should appear smooth gray if everything is working as it should. I finally got out the magnifying glass and saw them — the tiles look like a larger version!

    • LensScaper says:

      I’d never heard the term ‘kinetic facade’ myself until I searched for a bit of information on this building. I’ve never been there at sunrise or sunset so I can’t answer the question. even if one of the facades faces the wright way it may well depend on how light reaches the building in a high density environment. Maybe this summer might provide an answer…

  4. Really nice photograph, Andy. The B&W works well, and “ghostly” seems just the right word. Can you take a video of this so we can see it move?

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. There are videos up on YouTube of it. Type ‘Debenhams Oxford Street Kinetic facade’ into your browser and you will find at least two videos to view.

  5. Sue says:

    Great image, Andy – look forward to discovering whether you come across this effect again!

  6. Chillbrook says:

    Fascintating effect. This must really have looked quite something!

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