Structures – St James’ Park Newcastle Click on thumbnail to enlarge image, view caption and use slideshow options. To return to this page click on the image background St James’ Park Stadium stands on rising ground north of the city centre from where its boldly engineered structure dominates the skyline. In the English Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club has played on this site since 1892, the stadium itself undergoing a long series of demolitions, modifications and renewals across the twentieth century.The Stadium name has caused linguistic discussion over the years. Some say that it should be St James’s Park whilst others say the Club’s use of St James’ Park is a valid alternative. St James Street runs east of the stadium and St James’ Boulevard to the west whilst the Metro train station to the south is simply St James.I’m not really interested in football, a school activity that brought coaching to those showing some early promise and nothing at all to those with two left feet. However, the lack of football skills or passion for the game is no hindrance to appreciating the creative engineering and visual forms of the structures enclosing playing fields and spectators.This set of photographs has been selected from a collection accrued over several years. The images in colour were made with my first digital camera in 2004. The latest taken specifically for black and white were made in 2011. It also seemed appropriate to echo United’s traditional black and white playing kit and their popular name, ‘The Magpies’, within the set.The piecemeal development of the stands around the St James’ pitch has provided a variety of building styles. My interest centred solely on the structure backing on to Gallowgate/St James’ Boulevard. This was once the route for condemned felons taken from the cells of the New Gate in the city’s medieval walls to execution on the Town Moor gallows to the north.The massive steel tube cantilevers supporting the glass roof and screens dominate the streetscape from near and far. It’s visually fascinating to walk on Gallowgate and observe the constantly changing relationships of the repetitive shapes and forms.The best times for lighting the structure are during early spring and late autumn. The lower sun at an appropriate time of day created well-lit forms and strongly cast shadows, with clear skies an essential for contrast across off-white and light grey surface finishes.Recessed within the main structure, the double staircase set behind a curving tinted glass screen creates a lightweight counterpoint.I liked this viewpoint with its subtle variations of form, colour, perspective, detail and lighting contained within a generally symmetrical design.A variation on Image 02, the strong vertical perspective gained by working almost against the building with the camera set close to the perpendicular appealed.As a composition device a reversed and inverted ‘L’ abstract of sky part framing the subject appears in other images in architectural galleries.I also like to align a principal part of a building with the picture frame, creating a structured perspective across the image. Repetition of identical forms is another preference in composition. The shadows are an important element in this image.Here, I liked the combination of triangles and diagonals in this ‘gable’ form.A change of position and lens created a variation on basically the same image.A formal composition of solid surfaces and voids aligned within the frame.I wanted to enlarge this structural detail from 11, 13 and 14.A staircase detail gives scale and contrast to the larger structure.I was particularly interested in the black to almost white contrast created within the formal structural geometry.