Going underground again

Further to our recent post about underground worlds, Digital Urban links to the Nottingham Cave Survey, using laser scanning to map and capture the incredible subterranean network below the streets. From the site:

‘…beneath the city there are nearly 500 man-made caves cut into the natural sandstone. Some date back to the medieval period and possibly even earlier… They have been used for a vast array of purposes, including dungeons, beer cellars, cess-pits, tanneries, malt-kilns, houses, wine cellars, tunnels, summer-houses, air-raid shelters, sand mines, follies, dovecotes and even a bowling alley. Some of these caves are currently utilised for commercial purposes and visitor attractions, including the City of Caves attraction in the Broadmarsh Centre, Mortimer’s Hole beneath the Castle, the cave- restaurant at the Hand & Heart public house and the cellar-caves at the Trip to Jerusalem pub. Some are occasionally publicly accessible by means of organised tours, including the Bridlesmith Gate cave system and those beneath the Salutation public house.’

The survey is creating extraordinary images, films and virtual tours. Some were used as bomb shelters during the last war. One of the qualities of the scanning is that it gives 3D environments a lacey, slightly fragmented appearance, most notably in the survey movies, which have an eerie, post-apocalyptic FPS appearance.


From the ‘what about my cave?’ section: ‘What counts as a cave? Good question! We’re counting any man-made cut into the natural sandstone, as long as some sandstone is visible. So a fully brick-lined cellar we would normally not count, but a brick cellar with part of one wall showing the natural sandstone we would like to include. If you have exposed rock in your garden with rooms, cupboards or alcoves cut into it, we’d like to survey that too.’


Architectural imagery at Iqbal Aalam’s photostream / see also Seier + Seier’s travels through contemporary architecture / we’ve probably linked this before, but everyday structures bears revisiting, focusing as it does on the often far-from-invisible ways that digital infrastructure and culture entangles itself into the urban landscape / ‘a series of photos of desire lines taken from the Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse located the northern end of Atlantic City’, at the Philadelphia-focused NFR. Also relevant, Urban Neighbourhood, a grab-bag of future urbanism concepts.


The Value of Garbage, on the management of rubbish and waste and aesthetic and artistic responses, such asIlya Kabakov’s The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away / ‘Has airline livery design at last hit rock bottom‘ Yes.


Colin Booth’s Institute of Play at the Laing Art Gallery. See also David Rockwell’s Imagination Playground.


FaveRunner, ‘Or: Not How Metafilter Actually Works’, a platform game / Like Thaat!, a tumblr / incredible, vast, maps of the ancient courses of the Mississippi River at Pruned. See also their (Im)possible Chicagos, ‘a series of hallucinatory joyrides through one hundred and twenty five asynchronous Chicagos’. / ‘The Mariner on the Deck of the Ship’, a detail from an illustration by Mervyn Peake, now in his centenary year.

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  1. Pingback: Another side of optimism | things magazine

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