Man sitting in a yellow-painted beach shelter
Architecture Post-War Architecture Religious Architecture

These Places in England are Accidentally Wes Anderson

Will one of these places be the setting for the next West Anderson next film?

Wes Anderson is an American filmmaker. His films include ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

They are known for their distinctive visual style of symmetrical viewpoints and bold colours.

In recent years, the phrase ‘Accidentally Wes Anderson’ was popularised by the Instagram account @accidentallywesanderson to describe places photographed similarly.

How do you shoot in the style of Wes Anderson?

Wes Anderson’s style draws on architectural photography principles that our photographers use.

His style is possibly influenced by iconic ‘straight photography’ artists like Eugène Atget, August Sander, Candida Höfer, and Hilla and Bernd Becher.

A photograph of a dilapidated Art Deco hotel painted white with yellow trim around the windows.
The Royal York Hotel in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. © Historic England Archive. View image DP139024.

You won’t find many converging verticals in Anderson’s films, where the building’s form is compromised by viewing upwards. Perspective control and keeping the camera level are essential.

Architectural photographers set out to articulate the built environment as succinctly as possible. Anderson utilises simplicity as a critical component of his compositional style. Appropriate accoutrements are allowed, but unnecessary objects are removed, which is why Anderson’s scenes look clinical.

10 places in England that are Accidentally Wes Anderson

If you’re inspired to take some Wes Anderson-style photography, look at our examples below.

1. The Crown House in Ely, Cambridgeshire

The buildings in Waterside, Ely, show that the area underwent extensive reconstruction in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Though this building appears to be from the 18th century from the outside, an investigation of its interior suggests an earlier date that may reflect the changing use of the area in the post-medieval period.

A photograph of a vintage green car parked in front of an asymmetrical house with a red door.
The Crown House at 33 Waterside in Ely, Cambridgeshire, with a Morris Minor car parked outside. © Historic England Archive. View image DP187978.

2. Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham, West Midlands

Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham is one of England’s most complete examples of an Edwardian Bath House.

They are the only Baths in the country built before 1914 to have continuously hosted swimming since they opened.

A photograph of the interior of a swimming pool in a white room with white cast iron arches and arched windows. Two lifeguards stand in front of the pool.
The Grade II* listed Moseley Road Baths in Birmingham, West Midlands. © Historic England Archive. View image DP218865.

3. Canary Cottage, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Built around 1750, Canary Cottage at Knarr Farm near Peterborough in Cambridgeshire is a rare surviving example of a mid-18th century fenland cottage.

It’s thought to have been built shortly after the drainage of the local fens.

A photograph of a small cottage painted white with a yellow door and window frames, and thatched roof.
The Grade II listed Canary Cottage at Knarr Farm in Cambridgeshire. © Historic England Archive. View image DP247862.

4. HMP Garth, Lancashire

Garth is a men’s high-security prison near Leyland, Lancashire. It was opened in 1988.

A photograph of the wing interior of the prison with two pool tables.
HMP Garth in Lancashire. © Historic England Archive. AA97/07352.

5. The Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

The seaside’s most characteristic buildings are often piers, established at the beginning of the 19th century to provide landings for steam ferries.

They soon became used for strolling or promenading. Weston-super-Mare pier was first built between 1903 and 1904 to the designs of engineer P. Munroe.

The Grand Pier building in Weston-super-Mare, on the beach. People mill around.
The Grade II listed Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. © Historic England Archive. View image DP218022.

6. The Isle of Dogs Pumping Station, London

Architect John Outram’s ‘Temple of Storms’ was built as part of the 1980s regeneration of London’s Docklands.

Built on a small budget, the pumping station is typical of Outram’s work, extensively referencing classical architecture and mythology.

Isle of Dogs Pumping Station with two colourful, decorative columns flanking the doorway. Black and white roof detail in the centre.
The Grade II* listed Isle of Dogs pumping station in London. © Historic England Archive. View image DP195583.

7. Seating shelter, Southsea, Hampshire

The seafront. A place to sit, look at the sea, eat an ice cream, build a sand castle.

Decorative yellow seating shelter in Southsea on the beach.
Southsea seafront in Hampshire. © Historic England Archive. DP196970.

8. Civic Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear

Designed by architect George Kenyon, the Civic Centre was built for Newcastle City Council in 1967.

A photograph of a lime green leather sofa in front of a decorative yellow wall on a green rug.
A sofa in an unidentified room at the Grade II* listed Newcastle Civic Centre. © Historic England Archive. View image FF003760.

9. Sandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Sandford Parks Lido is a remarkably intact example of a 1930s lido in the Arts and Crafts style.

It opened in May 1935, and the café has winged covered terraces representative of the 1930s enthusiasm for outdoor leisure, particularly in spa resorts such as Cheltenham.

Fountain in the centre of an outdoor swimming pool with a white building at the head of the pool.
The Grade II listed Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. © Historic England Archive. View image DP249102.

10. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, West Midlands

The Barber Institute at Birmingham University is thought to be one of, if not the first, facility of its type for teaching music and the arts, with gallery and exhibition space.

A photograph of an auditorium with peach coloured rows of seating and a wooden wall with ornate doors.
The Grade I listed Barber Institute’s concert hall. © Historic England Archive. View image DP249007.

Further reading

2 comments on “These Places in England are Accidentally Wes Anderson

  1. Charlotte K

    I sure hope he sees this. These are wonderful!

  2. Anne Strathie

    Great blog, thank you. Delighted to live near one (Sandford Lido) and within visiting distance of several others!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: