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Saturday, January 7, 2017

CHIMNEYS OF LONDON

Hello World,

Long time. No see. I have been wanting to share this view since September 2015. I visited London back then and got an opportunity to roam around the city during the weekend. Among the hundreds of interesting things I saw, the London Chimneys stole my heart. I found them so interesting that I ended up taking around 1700 shots of the London Chimneys. So here is my account of London Chimneys and what I think about them. Scroll down to the end if you wish to skip the reading and check out the photos in a slide show [60 images].

Pretty much all the buildings in London have chimneys. There are so many kinds of chimneys and I think, I captured at least 30 different types. When I say Chimneys, I am referring to the chimney pots and cowls that are visible on the roof-tops of buildings.

I am not an expert on chimneys and therefore I am going to stick to just what I think about this, irrespective of its fit with what might be the fact. I however will not discount logic as I see it.

My View on London Chimneys

I see a case of centralised decentralisation in the chimney architecture [referring to their scheme and not the build]. Each room in a building gets a fireplace and so chimneys originate from different corners of the building across various levels. However, all the chimneys converge at one point on the roof. The rows of chimney pots and cowls on roof tops is the centralisation of decentralised placement of fireplaces.

From a material standpoint, having the chimneys along the walls of the building [inside] would have helped realise the capability with relatively shorter piping. From an operational standpoint, having the chimneys [the pots at top] at one place will help cleaning them less complicated. Having the chimney pots at one place to me indicates that the operational costs outweighed the material costs. While the initial investment got a bit bloated with more material and man hours, the customers have [supposedly] realized lower operational costs in maintaining those chimneys. 


On a different note, based on the limited London structures that I observed, those that belonged to the members of the royal family had lot of protrusions out of the building profiles. This included faces and borders protruding out of the building. However, the remainder of the buildings, those that of the ‘commons’ [anyone who ones real estate in London cannot be called so but let’s not get there now :)] have very conservative profiles. The protrusions/carvings/borders are towards the inside of the structures. Each side of the building will have almost flat-out profiles on all sides. Anything decorative will be a relief towards the inside of the building. The windows of such buildings stay a good 6-8 inches inside from the outer wall/plane.

Here is the slide show:

Click on the image below to open the album [60 images]






Usually, when we visit a new place, we travel there 'looking around.' In case of a travel to London, do 'look-up' when you navigate the city. The smoke vents from the past are still standing telling so much about heating requirements and how British architecture responded to them. I am presuming there are laws now that prohibit burning of charcoal/firewood for heating. The buildings use wall-mounted fluid based heating systems these days.

As strange as it sounds, I find the chimneys as a fascinating part of London. If you know anything about London chimneys, I waiting to hear. 

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