19 November 2011

Big Building, Little Building – A gallery of contrasting scales in architecture

When discussing new buildings with planners, local councillors or neighbours, people often assume that a new building should not be any taller than its immediate neighbours. Many people assume that a change in scale, say from two storeys to four is inevitably insensitive and damaging to the older buildings.

While this view is popular, it isn't particularly traditional and is arguably a modern manifestation of NIMBYism. It is also very damaging, as the world be a very bland place if every building had to be the same height as its neighbours.

With this in mind we have drawn together an image gallery of buildings that show how little and large buildings can happily sit side by side. We've intentionally concentrated on older buildings, often in desirable or affluent areas of London.
Open Big Building / Little Building in a new tab

View Big Building / Little Building in a larger map
Open Big Building / Little Building in a new tab

The photos are presented geographically using a customised Google Map of London. You can use the map to find an example near your development site or to find the building and visit it to take your own photo.

All but one of the images were found on photo-sharing website Flickr.com. If you'd like to use a photo from the gallery, say when discussing 'scale' in a Design and Access Statement, you can follow the links to download the original size image. You should also contact the copyright holders in order to agree licensing terms.

The gallery is also an experiment in crowdsourcing. If you'd like to add a photo to the gallery or suggest a building that we've missed, the map can be edited by anyone with a Google account or email address. Alternatively, you can email your photo to studio425@london.com or tweet John Inglis via @john_goes_boom