Some of the tensions I seek to engage with as an architectural photographer are sumarised in the following quotations:
“The object of architectural photography is to make a building understandable to someone who has not been to visit it.” Jeff Wall*
“Most of [architectural photography] tends to fetishise the structure and texture of a building rather than illustrate its purpose, focusing on the architect’s resolution of shape and volume rather than the trickier task of resolving the dynamics of a space with its occupancy.” Simon Bainbridge†
“Within the strict definition of the term, architectural photography is product photography, and is actually not that interesting….” Gerry Badgerº
“I used to take hold of [a particular door handle] when I went to my aunt’s garden. That door handle still seems to me like a special sign of entry into a world of different moods and smells. I remember the sound of the gravel under my feet, the soft gleam of the waxed oak staircase, I can hear the heavy front door closing behind me as I walk along the dark corridor and enter the kitchen, the only really brightly lit room in the house.
Looking back, it seems as if this was the only room in the house in which the ceiling did not disappear into twilight; the small hexagonal tiles of the floor, dark red and fitted so tightly together that the cracks between them were almost imperceptible.
Memories like these contain the deepest architectural experience that I know. They are the reservoirs of the architectural atmospheres and images that I explore in my work as an architect.” Peter Zumthor^
* Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History (Canadian Centre for Architecture & Lars Müller Publishers, 2002/2005) p.66
† British Journal of Photography Volume 161, Issue 7828, September 2014 p.4
º British Journal of Photography Volume 161, Issue 7828, September 2014 p.37
^ Thinking Architecture 2nd Edition (Birkhäuser, 2006) pp.7-8