Opened in 1964, and a Grade II* listed building, it is steeped in sporting history. It is situated on the original Crystal Palace Football Club’s football ground, and the site also hosted the FA Cup final from 1895 to 1914 as well as other sports.
How sports are housed says a lot about a nation, and where sports sits within it. Sports venues tend to be bold statements on a nation’s sporting pride. Although, the National Sports Centre is being usurped somewhat by the Olympic Park in Stratford, it has played a significant role in Britain’s sporting heritage.
As a photographer, I find myself drawn to modernist architecture as it often lends itself well to be photography. However, on a personal level, I have mixed feeling towards modern architecture. When done right, it can be light, airy, spacious and forward thinking. When done poorly, it is brutal and unwelcoming.
Not surprisingly, the National Sports Centre is a very functional building, and the modern architecture reflects the 1960s. It is a bold, modern statement and looking towards the future, and state of the art for its time.
What really drew my eye to the Centre were the lights in front of the building. The white, pointed structures can be easily mistaken as art. It was not until I was leaving the Centre that I realised they were lights – as I only ever saw the building during the day.
The white structures give contrast and texture to the grey concrete of the Centre. They are almost space-like.
Often I am passing by the National Sports Centre en route to somewhere else, but have taken snapshots on my digital point and shoot digital camera.
I do plan, however, to take photos on a larger camera. However, I have yet to decide whether to take them in black and white or colour. It may be best to photograph them in both!