Tag Archives: architecture

City of the Arts and Sciences At Night

I was just flipping through some (I mean hundred really) of my photographs from my trip to Valencia, Spain.

This photo of the City of the Arts and Sciences at night has to be on of the best architecture photos I’ve taken. The quality of the photograph isn’t great or anything, but the composition and its aesthetics, like the water reflection, is why I like it so much.

Several City of the Arts and Sciences buildings.

3 Comments

Filed under Culture, documentary

What I do understand about Lloyd’s of London

I don’t know economics. That’s why I am taking an international economics and trade course. A lot of it is over my head. But I do understand politics and some law and governance and that sort of thing. I also understand aesthetically pleasing architecture, which was the highlight of my visit to Lloyd’s.

Over looking Lloyd's from the middle floor.

 

Lloyd’s is an insurance market. Or, according to their quick guide brochure, “The world’s leading specialist insurance market, conducting business in over 200 countries and territories worldwide – and is often the first to insure new, unusual or complex risks.”

This doesn't even do the office space justice.

 

It all started with coffee really. Three hundred years ago in London, the thing to do was go out and have coffee and watch other people drink it too. It was very much a social affair. These coffee houses were often associated with larger businesses. The Edward Lloyd’s coffee house was the place to go to find insurance for ships and boats. Or, according to the brochure, “A place where shipowners could meet people with capital to insure them.”

This bell is still used.

 

Good shape.

 

What happens at Lloyd’s is the process of negotiating and signing for the risk. “Brokers bring business into the market on behalf of clients, other brokers and intermediaries. As with any market, brokers shop around to see which syndicates can cover their specific risk – and on what terms,” according to the brochure. Lloyd’s has an approach in which individual needs are met, rather than one getting an “off-the-shelf” package. 

The system is kept somewhat traditional in which a paper book of losses is kept and written in with a quill pen. But of course they have computers and all sorts of modern technology. 

The books of losses.

 

According to my guide, a quarter of the world’s ships are insured at Lloyd’s. And they insurance many other sort of items from antique cars to Microsoft to works of art to film stars to footballers to the 2012 Olympics to rock stars. I’d say the most fascinating thing they’ve insured is a pink water skiing elephant, which appeared in Honky Tonk Freeway.

So this is it.

What I liked most about Lloyd’s, however, was the architecture of the building. It was built by Richard Rogers and was constructed “inside out.” The buildings gears and cranks are exposed and are primarily on the outside. The inside hosts an open office space built with exposed steel and lots of glass. It’s certainly a gem that shimmers.

Who thought escalators could be so impressive?

 

Magnificent.

 

From the ground floor.

 

Just outside Lloyd's.

Leave a comment

Filed under documentary

Photo of the Day – Lloyds Building

March 24, 2010

This is Lloyds, and these are people at work.

Leave a comment

Filed under documentary

Lost, Stolen, Exploited – The British Museum

The British Museum

Lost.

 

Stolen.

 

Exploited.

I’ve been to the British Museum twice now. I have twice missed the Rosetta Stone. It’s a neat building. It has a lot of artifacts from pretty much every time period and pretty much anywhere. That might be the problem, though.

The aesthetically pleasing Great Hall.

 

Many of these artifacts were taken, or should I use the word stolen, under unreasonable circumstances. This comes up quite often when museums have possession of artifacts, often culturally appropriated.

Lining new walls with old walls.

 

Who owns the artifacts? The artifacts have come been in possession for hundred of years. What’s the big deal? The cultural origin of the artifact has its rights to the piece. The museum has some rights to the piece. People have some rights to see the piece. Should we share these significant artifacts with the whole world?Lock them away? Share with few? Use and use? It’s a gray area for sure. While the debate probably will never cease to exit, it is certainly important to acknowledge. 

What is the source of our knowledge?

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, documentary, People, Politic, Trend