The Arboria Luminarium

24 November 2019 – Arboria Luminaria, Lloyd Park, Walthamstow.

I have had a very good run of being able to spend Friday working at the flat, as well as being able to do a couple of Thursdays as well. For the past couple of months I have been there once a week, which is a lot more than I expected. I am quite happy with this. I will get back next weekend, but that will be it until Christmas when we have the week off and will spend most of it in St Leonards.

El and I both worked there on Friday, even managing to be at the same table for the entire day and being quite productive. It was the start of a nice weekend.

We had planned to meet some friends back in Walthamstow at lunch time on Sunday so we were on the 9:53 train from St Leonards and back in London with enough time for me to nip down to the supermarket for a couple of provisions.

On the way I took some photos of the trees of Lime Tree Walk outside Walthamstow’s mall. There is a plan to massively expand the mall and to add at least two very tall residential towers on top. This plan has doomed the lime trees in the square by the front of the mall. This has upset a lot of people, us included. These are beautiful trees, and provide a lovely shaded walk from the mall to the station in the summer. Less so as winter approaches!

Our friends came round soon after we got home and sorted and we all walked to nearby Lloyd Park, home of the wonderful William Morris Gallery, to see Arboria.

I am not quite sure how to describe Arboria, a luminarium designed and built by Architects of Air. I will quote some words from their literature. “ARBORIA is inspired by the beauty of natural geometry and by Islamic architecture. It features winding passages of small domes inspired by the repetitious forms found in the bazaars of Iran.” Does that help ?

It is a series of large ‘tents’ sealed and pressurised to maintain shape, the tents are joined by a series of passages and made from a coloured material that allows light and shadow to play inside. It was free and very family orientated, there was a huge queue and a lot of kids. We had a priority booking which meant we skipped the queue, thankfully. This was a perfect place for kids to be running about and having fun, and I did not mind them one little bit.

After taking our shoes off we enter through one door into an ‘airlock’, before entering through a second door into the pressurised Green Dome. It was pretty wow in there. Amazing light, hot air is pumped in causing a small amount of humid mist, it was not very obvious inside, but photos show fuzziness around heads.

There were a few people in there, impossible to get a photo without people, but it wasn’t over busy, and people, especially the young kids running through the tunnels, made it more enjoyable.

There are three domes, red, green and main, and three trees, red, green and blue, all connected by short passages. I had taken the camera and was very glad I did!

Red Trees. I liked the nooks for sitting in.

Main Dome

Red Dome.

We both took photos of each other.

After an enjoyable 30 minutes or so we left the luminarium and wandered up the road to the Collab for vege burgers and beer. A great end to a very good day.

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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.