Towering Residential Blocks, Dubai | Photograph by Leva Saudargaitė
“Every great architect is — necessarily — a great poet”, said legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Student Accomodation in Ecublens, Switzerland | Photograph by Fernando Guerra
But unlike poetry, buildings struggle to travel. Concrete floors and tall skyscrapers don’t ideally fit into a book and are often only experienced in person. Disseminating all that content into something lightweight requires skilful navigation of accurate yet aesthetically pleasing representations. Photographs abstract a certain reality of the experience for us to appreciate. Take for instance Fernando’s award winning piece at the annual Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards, you can almost imagine the silhouettes of the occupants moving. Fernando said he waited all day to get this photo,”Five minutes before I took it, the place was completely empty because everyone else was inside their quarters watching the football match.”
Important partnerships have spring up between architect and photographer, such as that of Le Corbusier and Lucien Hervé. Hervé rejected the tradition of taking wide shots of a building, instead fashioning flowing, yet abstracted, series that focused on the details. An emotional journey was portrayed through a building, rather than simply a standpoint outside it. Le Corbusier described Hervé as having the soul of an architect, and often changed his plans in response to his work.
High Court of Justice, Chandigarh, 1955 | Source: ArchDaily, Photograph by Lucien Hervé
Buildings have always been highly valued photographic subjects, mirroring society’s appreciation for architecture and its cultural significance. The photographer should always capture the architects’ intent, encapsulating great buildings of different eras.