This scaly wall is the exterior facade of a building in London. For a while it may have been the most Instagrammed wall in the world, or at least in London. But the building no longer exists.
It was called the Yardhouse and was created by a U.K. architectural group called Assemble adjacent to its offices in Sugarhouse Yard in the Stratford area of the city. It was designed as a temporary, modular structure, which could be easily disassembled and reassembled later.
The new-construction building provided an affordable, communal urban workspace with studios for local artists. At the end of the land lease, Assemble had to move out of Sugarhouse Yard, and the Yardhouse building was taken down and its pieces put into storage.
For a while, images of the Yardhouse could be seen frequently popping up across Instagram and other social media feeds, as well s on sites like Pinterest. This was because of its facade, which is covered in pastel, concrete tiles that makes the wall look like lizard skin. The wall attracted increasing numbers of Instragrammers and tourists wanting to take photos and selfies in front of the building. The number of people showing up at the Yardhouse just to take pictures got to the point where there was virtually a non-stop stream of people showing up throughout the day.
The popularity of places like the Yardhouse Wall as subject or backdrop of so many Instagram photos has led to a trend the past few years of architects, decorators, and designers creating buildings and spaces that are “highly Instagrammable” and will attract visitors.
Other popular Instagram photo spots like the pink wall at the Paul Smith store in Los Angeles were never intended for this audience, but creating spaces that will inspire people to photograph it is now a consideration with newer structures. It’s a trend in part driven by marketing and the power of visual culture. This has inevitably led to the creation of commercial places like the Color Factory and the Museum of Ice Cream, environments as experiences designed solely for the purpose of taking photos to feed Instagram and other social media.