—by Grace Jerejian
While visiting the city for a week in September, in order to attend the Pentawards, the leading packaging awards ceremony taking place in London this year, we witnessed firsthand the city’s varied and rich architecture as well as the fascinating aesthetics of its urban planning,
Let’s put into words its magic and attempt to explain what gives London that ‘’je ne sais quoi’’ factor, making it intriguing, unique and a culturally rich destination, simply one of the most coveted and visited cities in the world.
Layers of time: A blend between the old and the new
London is an old city, and when you roam its streets, you can clearly sense that its past legacy is very much well preserved and honored. However, in the meantime London is also one of the most advanced, innovative and ultra-modern cities in the world. This smooth and coexistence between the past and the present time is well shown in the Architecture and urban organization of the city. Rather than being demolished and replaced, London conserves the buildings that have stood the test of time.
This coexistence of those different layers makes London very enriching on a visual level and a culturally dense place. When you look at the buildings and the organization of the urbanism of London you can clearly understand what I am talking about. From the lavish Tudor buildings, to the Victorian style of the mid to late 19th century, passing by the Art deco influence of the 20’s and 30’s to the contemporary architectural masterpieces of our modern time ‘’star’’ architects such as the Shard of Renzo Piano, or the Gherkin of Foster + partners. Furthermore, London is choosing to some of the recent most futuristic and daring edifices in the World. Those elements make the city a charming place that makes you positively overwhelmed, London has it all: it keeps itself up to date, while at the same evoking the nostalgia effect on people, it is oriented towards the future while at the same time cherishing its past, it is always growing and open to new ideas without forgetting to show the world the importance of its History.
For us as designers, witnessing those different styles is really inspiring and interesting, since it is a visual demonstration on the evolution of design and trends over the centuries.
An organized Chaos
Amid this dense variety of styles and designs, you would think that London is a total mayhem, a chaos with a multitude visuals information all contradicting each other and colliding with one another! Well, that is not the case, actually it is quite the opposite! Somehow those completely different styles coexist perfectly side by side and dare we say complement each other, making the city bask in a visual harmony and aesthetics that are pleasing to the eye. The reason for this is that even though it is one of the most populated cities in the world, all this density is structured in a very well thought of and meticulously planned manner. Everything has its own place in London, and there is a cause why it is there! Nothing is left to chance, every detail counts and every little element is there for a reason.