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Whitechapel High Street - David Cowlard, 1999.

12 April 2007

Whitechapel High Street – David Cowlard, 1999.
Photographer since 1996, EPUK member since 2007.

What I love about this picture is the double take…it always takes people who see it a moment before they realise it is London.

I took this picture with a competition organised by the Architecture Association (AA) in mind. London: Postcolonial City. I was working from an office in Whitechapel at the time and had decided last minute to put something in.

I spent a few days walking around what I had taken as familiar territory but enjoyed that feeling where you see things in a completely new light. I had recently shot a feature on housing estates, revisiting some of the ‘modernist classics’ such as Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar and was intrigued by how many had taken on a subtly different character with the large proportion of Asian families living in them. This was also the same with Whitechapel where the influences of different immigrant groups are overlayed and form the urban fabric of our day to day lives.

I also really like the picture because it has that feeling of looking through an American Diner window, but shows what makes London the international city that it is. The picture was short listed and was then used as a wrap around cover for the AA’s theoretical journal AAFiles.

David Cowlard is a London based photographer specialising in architecture and construction. His work has featured in publications such as Blueprint magazine, RIBA Journal, the Architect’s Journal and the Independent magazine. For the last five years he has documented the construction of the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link, one of the largest civil engineering projects in Europe.

Photographer since 1996, EPUK member since 2007.

See more work by David Cowlard

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