Evgenia Kalyabina

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Romeo and Juliet 1920’s New Orleans. Location survey and design ideas.

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For the into scene I’ve decided to stick to the original Shakespeare text and go for the market place. However, after doing some research on New Orleans and French quarter specifically I found some authentic photographs I felt really inspired with.

1908 Smallest News and post card stand in New Orleans 103 Royal Street Fruit stand French Market 1855 - 1936

The house structure in the French quarter is this: the ground floor is the shops and restaurants (so, public spaces) and the firest and other floors up are the houses and actual living spaces. I thought it would be a good idea to have this into scene set at the street market with the timy shops and kiosks with newspapers and food and things like that.

The other thing which is the main feature of the French QUarter in New Orleans is the ironwork balconies constructions that look absolutely amazing and can state the place where the story is set very clearly. The thing is that as I need to find the location within London to film this into scene I definitely wouldn’t be able to find something like this. However, I dont think that would be the main problem as that is the detail that could easily be constracted and added to the main building. My real problems are the bricks, the building colours and the windows. Another feature that really is important is the railings but this is not the thing that I would be adding in – it is the thing I would have to get rid of somehow because they are literally everywhere in London with the ground floor actually going a bit lower the actual ground level, which would be impossible to have in New Orleans as it is situated not just at the see level but even a bit lower so the flood is a big issue, therefore underground spases just would work for that.

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det 4a28933u, 11/8/07, 8:34 AM, 8C, 5814×7238 (168+551), 100%, Custom, 1/80 s, R49.4, G36.7, B65.7

So, the place I was looking for was the street with the most plain facades I could find (as the windows in French Quarter are very simple French windows usually covered with shutters). I was looking at Chelsea and South Kensington area at first as the French Quarter was obviously built by French and so were those areas in London, I managed to find some pictures of the streets that could work for what I was gonna do with the street. However, I could finf the proper adress so I could go and check it out by myself. I was looking mostly at the living areas as the facades were more simple there, but there was always that problem with railings that were always on the way and I couldn’t see how I could have fixed that. I was also looking at mews in London as those houses reminded me of what I was looking for, however, the proportion of the street wasn’t very good as those streets are usually quite narrow and if I build up those balconies there would be no space for the actual road left.

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In the end I’ve decided to take a look at actual marlet places in London and I’ve started with Camden market but the roads there were too wide and the whole athmosphere wasn’t very right as it would be very hard to cover the decorations of the street in generel. Next, I went for the Portobello road market and there I found the building which shape riminded me of the one I saw on pictures. Well, the colours of the buildings were not matching very well, one of the buildings still had railings around it, but the proportions were right and all of the ground floor was used by the shops so I would have to change that too much anyway.

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Location survey was rwally hard to be honest. As other people were surveying parks and rivers, my thing was the actual street and I had that idea about doing the proportional drawing using Google maps and 3d views there so I could just come to the place and measure things rather than drawing them there directly. It was actually a very good idea as I was commimg there late hours when the market would be closed so I didn’t disturb anyone and also so I could actually measure things as people usually had the outside stands blocking the walls and windows. The weather was also chalanging as it was raining at some points but overall I had a lot of fun doing the location survey.

The people is what was actually the most exhiting and unexpected part of the surveying as there were a lot of them trying to help by holding a tape measure and things like that. They were also very positive about the project when asking quiestions and getting the answeres.

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After doing these scale drawings I’ve also desided to do a close version of the shop windows because there were too many measurements to put in and too little space. However, I didn’t have enough time to do all of them and when I was already on llocation and there was no time to draw things I’ve just used the photographs I’ve already printed and put the measurements right there.

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The thing is that I really want to do the technical drawing for the exterior just because I like doing technical drawings and I really think that could be a great practice. My problem is that it has to be done in imperial scale and I just have no idea of how it actually works.

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