Posted in London

Archtrove Travels To The East End – London’s Hipster Quarter

London’s East End is known for its quirky finds. It diversity has helped with its street-food, its eye-popping street art and its general shabby chic street decorations.

However London changes, Brick Lane and surrounding areas still have a old school charm of brickclad, cobbled street and ethnic street signs.

Due to area being “cheaper” than the rest of London, it remains authentic to what London once was.

Along the way a street art tour is a must.

The fantastic cultural vibrancy and diversity of Brick Lane seen today is the result of centuries of change, as wave after wave of immigrants have settled in the area and each added their unique ingredients to the strong cultural mix of the East End.

Irish, Jewish and Bangladeshi communities have each settled in turn in the area and given rise to a rich tapestry of street names, buildings and culinary specialities.

Hence, elegant rows of Georgian town houses, textile industries, bagel shops and Bengali restaurants all sit alongside each other and now play part in a cultural strategy for the area that builds on and celebrates this legacy.




Posted in UAE

Archtrove Travels To Abu Dhabi – the UAE Capital


Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is not a city I thought I would be visiting before the arrival of Instagram. I have always visited Dubai as a result of flights to other parts of the world and therefore have never had an interest to go. As my sister was working was working in Dubai, I stayed for a bit longer and therefore had an oppertunity to go to Abu Dhabi.

A couple of hours away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and Abu Dhabi emerges from the desert (well that is what it did) and an oasis of beauty, calm and peace automatically hits you.

The main buildings i wanted to see were the Palace, the Louvre and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (which is everywhere on instagram).

Louvre, Abu Dhabi

The Louvre, (although my heart will belong to the original in Paris) is a beautifully designed building. Jean Nouvel has taken a mix of a eastern and wester design and combined it seemlessly. It consists of a floating web-patterned dome allowing the sun to filter through. The overall effect is meant to represent “rays of sunlight passing through date palms through a oasis.



Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The architecture of the Mosque is simply stunning (although all Mosque’s are, I might be biased). A pure white oasis, like something out of Aladdin. It has know been known as the largest mosque in the world attracting tourists from all over the world.

The White Pearl of the Gulf, this magnificent structure of marble and gold, flanked by finely trimmed grass and clear pools, is a feast for your eyes. The hollows of its onion-top domes meticulously engraved with verses from the Quran is sure to leave you in complete awe. Voted the world’s third favorite landmark by TripAdvisor, it is not hard to see why.

Tip: Go during the day, at night it is busier.




Posted in Architecture, Warwickshire

8 Reasons Why Archtrove Travels To Coventry

Coventry is home to three cathedrals and a naked Lady Godiva riding through the streets. It is the second largest city after Birmingham in the West Midlands. Usually it gets overlooked due to its post war look and and industrial feel. Although, this has made it a hub for motor companies. Most of Coventry was destroyed during World War II.

Now that’s changing, with Coventry being made the 2021 City of Culture.


The current Coventry Cathedral was built after the 14th-century cathedral church of Saint Michael was destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the Coventry Blitz of 14 November 1940., leaving only the outer walls and spire. This makes it one of the newest Cathedrale’s in England.



Another visitor attraction in the city centre is the free-to-enter Coventry Transport Museum, which has the largest collection of British-made road vehicles in the world. The museum received a refurbishment in 2004 which included the creation of a new entrance as part of the city’s Phoenix Initiative project.



The £5 million Fargo Village creative quarter shopping precinct was open in 2014 on Far Gosford Street. Since then it has become a hipster, millennial HQ in Coventry! With its industrial and artsy look with graffiti on the way and full of independent businesses. Each business gives a different look architecturally making it a beautiful aesthetic site




The church dates from the 12th century and is the only Medieval church in Coventry that is still complete.



The Old Blue Coat School is a unique and historic building nestling between Priory Row and the new Phoenix Initiative in Coventry city centre. The current building dates from 1856, the actual school having been founded as the first Charity School for girls in Coventry in 1714.



In Spon Street, one of the most historic areas in Coventry, a terrace of six cottages built in 1455 has been brought back to life. One of the cottages has been restored to show how it would have looked in 1540. This shows how John Croke, a Coventry narrow-loom weaver and his family would have lived and worked. At the back of the Weaver’s House is a medieval garden showing the plants that would have been grown for food, flavouring, medicine and household use.


Of the original twelve city gates, only two remain, Cook Street Gate and Swanswell Gate, also known in times gone by as Priory gate.



Coventry has many univeristy buildings scattered in the city centre. Some accomodation, some academic, some modern, some dated.


Have I missed a couple, message below what you think?

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Posted in Architecture, Brussels

Archtrove Travels To Bruges – Small and Mighty

Bruges is a small city located an hour from Belgium. After coming from Brussels, the size is contrasting. However, the small size does not mean it doesn’t pack a punch. A UNESCO-listed old town, architecturally rich with well-preserved authentic gems.

As you make your way from the train station to the city centre, (a short 10-minute walk), you come across a multitude of different building styles, sizes and demeanours. From tiny windows to crooked doors, to gates and different colours.

Gothic Architecture

It started in the Industrial Revolution with Gothic Architecture with its full-on Gothic extravagance amid splendid colours, ornate altars and religiously themed art.

Walking in Bruges

Walking really is the best way to see the city of Bruges with its cobbled streets and winding roads, the romance of the city makes it hard not to fall in love with beauty at every turn.

Posted in #, Architecture, Brussels

Archtrove Travels To Belgium – Chocolate and More

Belgium Architecture

Belgium architecture like most of Europe is known for its conquests and its occupiers, predominantly, the French and the Dutch so expect beautifully coloured buildings, finesse and style everywhere you turn.

As a pinnacle centre for science and the arts, it has been known for its riches and these have seen investment into its architecture and hence the styles of the late 1800s and early 1900s are still around. Its most predominant styles are Art Deco and Art Nouveau buildings. These types of buildings are scattered all over the city.

Victor Horta

Victor Horta was a famous designer, known throughout Europe for his contemporary architectural constructions and now you can see his influence and his work in the city.


the capital and home to the European Parliament, with a whole area dedicated to government buildings, hosts a variety of areas each with its own distinct feature.

The city centre also hosts a multitude of comic book characters depicted on the wall.


Find out more about Brussels here.


the UNESCO chocolate box style architecture is dotted around in this small but tightly packed city. Rich and preserved architectural gems scatter alongside the canals making the entire city a walking history tour.




Find out more about Bruges here.


Posted in #, Architecture, Birmingham, England

15 Reasons Why Archtrove Travels To Birmingham

Birmingham, the second-largest city in England is often overlooked even though it has some of the best things to see and do which include, the home to Lord of The Rings, Cadburys Factory and the Industrial Revolution.

Most of the city’s architecture is relatively new, and expansion over the last 10 years has allowed some much-needed development to take place and that included some innovative suggestions including the first blobitecture to happen in the shape of the Selfridges building. It is also home to some iconic traditional buildings such as the Custard factory, Cadburys World and Birmingham University (including the Tower inspo in Lord of the Rings).


One of the most iconic buildings in Birmingham (which has put it on the Architectural map) is the Selfridges building with its blobitecture with *THOSE* iconic round circles.



The Library of Birmingham is one of the most recent iconic buildings to define the city. With its striking circular facade, impressive interior and the largest library in Europe, its no wonder it is one of the best sites to see outside of London.



An independent shopping destination and creative and digital business workspace location in Deritend Birmingham, England. Located on the site of what was the Bird’s Custard factory.



The Tower at the University was the inspiration for the Twin Towers in the JRR Tolkien books. The tower is still standing and has been for some time.



A recent development comprising of shops and restaurants. This was the former site of the post office hence the name.


Designed by a Spanish architect, the grand central station replaces the old new street station. The revamp includes new eateries and shops.



Set in pigeon park, the cathedral is a monument to behold. People gather to sit in the park and centre themselves around the cathedral.



Birmingham Town Hall is a Grade I listed concert hall and venue for popular assemblies opened in 1834 and situated in Victoria Square.



A 25 storey mixed-use development in the centre of Birmingham, England. It contains 135 flats, offices, shops, a hotel and a ‘skyline’ restaurant.


Gas Street Basin is a canal basin in the centre of Birmingham, England, where the Worcester and Birmingham Canal meets the BCN Main Line.



Millennium Point is a multi-use meeting complex in Birmingham. The building is constructed mainly as a cuboid, with a cylindrical offshoot holding the cinema. This annexe glows different colours at night.



Winterbourne Botanic Garden is the botanic garden of the University of Birmingham. Set in 7 acres, it is notable as a rare surviving example of an early 20th-century high-status suburban “villa” garden.



Selly Manor is a timber-framed building in Bournville, that was moved to its current site in 1916 by the chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist George Cadbury.



Aston Hall is a magnificent seventeenth-century red-brick mansion situated in a public park on the north side of Birmingham.



The Victoria Law Courts is a Grade I listed red brick and terracotta building. The interior, including the Great Hall, is faced with sandy-yellow terracotta and intricate ornamentation.


Have I missed a couple, message below what you think?

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Posted in #, America, Architecture

Archtrove Travels To Chicago – The Home of Skyscrapers (and Pizza)

Chicago, nicknamed the Windy City, is true to its name, but it is so much more. Not only does it have the status of being the home of the first skyscraper, it also has character. Something you would not expect from a city that had historical buildings destroyed in a Great Fire and skyscrapers now overlord instead.

The Great Fire and Chicago

When fire strikes, nothing can hold and this was true to the case of Chicago. The whole of the downtown was destroyed and had to be rebuilt. Its historical building ceased to exist. Minus the Water Tower. In the middle of this new and modern city, sits a historical structure, a reminder. A reminder that through the struggle can come great beauty. The Water Tower is like something out of a gothic fairytale with its tall tower overlooking.  20180330_190216

Skyscrapers and Chicago

Along the river, which runs through central Chicago are indeed an abundance of skyscrapers, each trying to be outdone by the other. As this can be daunting when looking up, the use of glass is well done as it reflects the water from the river and makes everything calm again. Also, it does, however, make for a beautiful skyline.

Starchitects and Chicago

Every prominent American Architect seems to have had a hand in developing this city, building it from the rubble and testing out new ideas before going off to the big, big city. From various styles including modern and futuristic to traditional and clean cut. The rich history is also reflected by its monuments, such as The Bean.


The Bean and Chicago

When you see pictures of Chicago, you will most definitely end up seeing a picture of the Bean. A Giant metal bean, placed in the park. A simple design yet so effective. Not only is it accessible for all to admire, it has also become a great place to harmonise and take a selfie. A free souvenir for all. And all do descend upon it, old and young, men and wome, some making it a day out with a picnic, some making it part of the tourist trail.


Architectural Sites in Chicago

  • The Water Tower
  • Sears Tower
  • John Hancock Centre