Resources

Creating an Architectural Travel Film

Create your own travel movie from all your video clips to share is easier than you may think. Video can be the most amazing way to capture, relive and share your architectural experiences. There are a few advantages of video over photography such as the obvious sound, but video also replicates movement and time very differently than photography because it is capable of capturing what comes before and after. When visiting and documenting architecture although the subject matter is likely static the viewer is not and some buildings truly unfold and develop as you move through them, video is a perfect way to capture these experiences.

For the amateur film maker, like myself, your DSLR or point and shoot camera will have a video mode and that will be good enough.

Part 4 - Videos

Here are some tips on how to create your travel videos:

The idea

Have an idea of what you want your travel video(s) to be, for example do you want to create a series of videos of different architectural projects or will you compile a series of short snap shots of different buildings. Your video can take on themes similar to photography:

  • easily recognizable,
  • very objective
  • experimental,
  • detail based
  • snap shot of for comparison,
  • a story
  • artsy

Be sure your video has a beginning, middle and end.

Tripod

Use a tripod when possible, unlike still photography where shutter speeds can be increased to prevent blurry photos a video may be harder to prevent shaky footage. Many times a tripod is not permitted in public buildings so try to keep this in mind and use similar techniques for holding your camera as covered in the photography section.

10 second rule

In film production there is a “10 second rule” which means that every 10 seconds something interesting should happen. When filming architecture it may be difficult to get action is every scene. If your scene is uneventful you can edit the shot in post-production but at least you will have enough footage if you choose to add a fade or narration. An easy way to add action in your architectural film is to include people, they will give scale and show interaction with the space, also use light, the sun moves, and a long video can be speed up in post-production and be very dynamic.

Variety

It is a good idea to vary your scenes; this will keep it interesting and add interest to your travel movie. Try to capture less common vantage points, film the details and overall shots, ensure you have a variety of camera angles such as shooting low and high, on the side or on an angle. Remember, as per photography architecture reads better when photographed and filmed at chest height. All of this variety will help tell the story and keep your viewers interested.

Avoid

Try to avoid zooming in and out which will appear amateur and avoid panning your camera without a tripod since it will be very difficult to do it without shaking.

Separate audio

If you intend on using the audio captured in situ try to use separate audio devise such as your smart phone or tape recorder and leave the recorder running longer. This will let you match the studio to the edited video separately allowing you more control over the sound and no choppy sound bits. Ie: city traffic, people talking, religious chanting etc.

Equipment

Keep in mind that video will use up more space on your memory card and require more battery. It is recommended you buy an extra good quality memory card (they are not all created equal) and test the life of your battery, perhaps investing in an additional battery.

Observe

Pay attention when you are watching movies and film, there is architecture in most of them; notice how the camera angles are setup how the building is presented even if it is a backdrop. Often we do not notice the nuances of a craft until we try it ourselves.

This all sounds like a lot of work while in situ however a few seconds of film here and there can make for a fantastic short video but I would recommend some practicing at home or around your neighbourhood the first few times to become familiar with video if it is new to you.

Editing your Travel Film Blog post coming soon…

 

 

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A few ways architecture can come to you.

There are many reasons why traveling to visit architecture in distant cities can be difficult, the cost of travel has gone up significantly, it is hard to get time off work, you have obligations, you just don’t like to travel or you can’t afford it.  In my case I recently had a baby thus realizing this is going to change how I travel and how much I travel as much as I didn’t want to believe it before.  So I have been thinking about all the ways I can still get my architecture fix without travel and possibly without even leaving my house.  Here are my suggestions:

Books

 

I love books, let me clarify, I love big coffee table books.  There are thousands of beautiful modern architecture books available with amazing photos and lots of information about architecture and their architects.  Many books are compilation of architecture projects, Phaidon Press always creates awesome modern architecture books.  My favorite recent book is The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture which features more than 1000 of the finest architecture completed since the year 2000 from around the world.  And now that I think about it you don’t need to leave your house for books anymore either.

Click here for some more book suggestions.

 

 

Magazines

For those who like to stay in the know regarding new architectural projects, awards, news, and events magazines are just the thing. They are also idea for flipping through while having your morning coffee, they are easy to digest, portable and not precious objects so they can be recycled when you are done.  You can also subscribe to magazines so you don’t even need to think about it.  Here are some good ones.

           

Digital Books and Magazines

Although there is nothing like a tangible book I am very fond of all things digital.  If you have a Kobo, Kindle, or tablet you can purchase digital architecture books or magazines so if you are the type that doesn’t like a lot of stuff or don’t have a lot of space this is perfect.  Plus you can order them anytime of day and get it instantly.

Architecture Documentaries

I always say that because architecture is three dimensional it should be viewed in person to understand the true space and to grasp the real nature of the architecture HOWEVER the next best thing is film.  There are some outstanding Documentaries about architecture where you can learn about a series of projects by one architect or learn a ton about one building.  Click here for a link to a bunch of architecture documentaries worth getting.

               

Lectures

Check out your local architecture college / university they often run architectural lecture series through the school year bringing in some really fascinating architects to speak about their work.  I have seen Elizabeth Diller, Tadao Ando, Craig Dykers from Snohetta, Kazuyo Sejima from SANNA,and so forth.  Listening to the architect speak of the challenges, the inspiration and reasoning is priceless and I have found very inspiring.  Other places to learn about lectures or events is in magazines, also check you local architecture associations website there is usually a list of events.

Youtube

Youtube is not new but I feel like I have only recently realized its true value when it comes to architecture.   There are countless interviews with architects and short documentaries about buildings on youtube, they vary in length and context but they are similar to lectures in that you can get the real scoop on process and design, challenges and my favourite is seeing how different the office environments are.  I have a few blog posts that have several youtube links, see below, or you can just search youtube for whatever or whomever you are interested in.

Learn more about Bjarke Ingels (B.I.G)

Interviews with Zaha Hadid

Websites

There are lots of great architecture websites.  I list a bunch in this blog post:

 12 awesome ARCHITECTURE websites

 

These are a few ways to have architecture come to you.

Architectural travel on the cheap

From the plane

Gone are the days of cheap travel, I cannot believe how expensive flights and hotels have become.  Not long ago we could get half-way around the world for what now seems like peanuts.  But for us curious explorers we cannot stop traveling and visiting our favorite architectural landmarks so we must find other ways to save. 

Here are my travel budget tips to offset the costs of traveling.

(from a float plane on my way Salmon fishing in the Queen Charlotte Islands, BC)

Do the Research

Before you leave be sure to research the architecture, monuments, museums and towers you plan to visit, jot down the entry fees and compare it to your budget.  If the entry fees are adding up you may need to prioritize (also see 5 TIPS FOR VISITING ARCHITECTURE).  This will be important to help find savings in the tips below.

The Budget

Budgets aren’t my favorite thing either but here is a quick and easy formula:

  1. Start with how much you want or can afford to spend on you trip I would start with that
  2. Subtract all your transportation costs (flights, trains tickets, bus ticket etc.)
  3. Calculate how many days you will need accommodation and do a quick estimate of your average accommodation budget is
  4. You should allow for food and spending money – this is going to vary greatly depending on what country you are going to be.

Remember this is a starting point to make sure things don’t go off track to much, accommodation/ food and spending money is an average number so if one day you are going to a number of monuments but the day after you plan to hang out at the beach it should average out.

Flexibility

When you have flexibility and /or time you can usually find better deals on flights and hotels in the offseason – this will save you money on flights and hotels that you can use towards entry fees and day tours.

We all have to Eat

I am a foodie but sometimes on travels food is fuel and not the main event so what I like to do is try and save money on one meal a day.

Breakfast:  Often I travel with food, a few protein bars or granolar bars because they are easy to transport  or I will go to the market and get some fresh fruit or a treat from the bakery while I am out and about and have that in my hotel room with coffee, if there is a coffee machine in the room.  This is a relaxing and quick way to have breakfast in the morning, often while I review the plan for the day.

Lunch:  if lunch is my money saving meal I will try to have a bigger breakfast and grab a snack on the go midday.  Street food is always my favorite but that will depend on what city you are in. Also if you are having a big breakfast and an early dinner you may skip lunch all together.  If you are close to market grab some fresh fruits and vegetable which are hard to get enough of when traveling.

Istanbul Streetfood 3 Istanbul Streetfood 1 Istanbul Streetfood 2 (variety of street food in Istanbul, Turkey)

Dinner:  this is a bit trickier to save for, but possible, ask your concierge for recommendations and try to stay out of the tourist areas which are normally expensive and not that great.

Some general tips:  If coffee is super pricey, my experience in Tokyo, I have gone to the store and purchased some instant coffee to have in the hotel.

With all these ways to save I do not recommend trying to save a dollar on water.  Drink safe reliable water especially in hot places, if you are in Rome and it is over 40 degrees Celsius it is important to stay hydrated, try grabbing a big bottle of water from the grocery store instead of the stands in front of the Coliseum.

Citypass

Because you have been diligent and done a ton of research prior to your trip you will know which sites you plan to visit and the entry fee prices, but many cities offer a ‘citypass’ (the name of the pass vary from city to city) which basically bundles a bunch of popular city sights for a flat rate.  This is perfect for those who plan to go to enough of the sights on the list.  Many of these value packages offer features such as line-bypass or discounts for other places, stores or shows.  Here are a few examples:

MADRID Tourist Card:  http://www.madridcard.com/en/inicio

TORONTO Citypass:  http://www.citypass.com/toronto

NEW YORK Citypass:  http://www.citypass.com/new-york

BERLIN Welcome Card:  http://www.visitberlin.de/en/welcomecard

To find if the cities you are traveling to have a citypass I typically would Google the city name and the phrase ‘tourist card’, the officially tourist website of the city/country you are going should also have some advertising for it.

Museums

Louvre LensMany Museums and Galleries offer pricing for General Admission, the Temporary Exhibit and typically another price for both.  You can save some money by viewing only the Permanent Collection, it is all new stuff if you have never been there before and if you are really just interested in the architecture you will see the main spaces and most of the building without the up charge on the Temporary Exhibit.

Bilbao Guggenheim Museum

Also try to take advantage of the time where it is free entry, most museums and galleries do offer this so if it works with your schedule try to take advantage but I must warn you it will likely be busy.

louvre-museum

Buy your tickets in advance, sometimes there is a discount for purchasing ahead of time, for some museums and art galleries you need to book a time anyways so I would recommend always looking into this as part of your research.

Tourist Trap

Prada by Herzog & de Meuron Architekten

Prada by Herzog & de Meuron Architekten

Don’t get sucked into the tourist trap of feeling like you need to visit every monument, museum, gallery, ruin and historic something rather which all have entry fees.  Pick and choose which you actually want to go to, perhaps the Arc de Triomphe is awesome enough from the ground floor and you don’t need to go up, the view is pretty cool that was just an example. If you don’t find a bunch of ruins that interesting because history is not your thing you are better to check out an awesome Square or Piazza and have an ice cream or go shopping in some super trendy boutiques.  Don’t feel like you need to hit the top ten listed in some travel guide.

Sleep on the Go

ways_to_sleep

You can save a night’s accommodation if you book an overnight train or flight rather than spending the entire day commuting only to arrive to your destination just to sleep.  If you plan to do this bring a small inflatable pillow, ear plugs or load your iPod with some relaxing white noise, an eye mask and a light blanket.  Be sure to keep you valuables safe, I have sat on top of my passport and money on a few train rides, and try to keep your luggage in easy viewing distance, better a few seats in front of you than behind you.

Discounts

If you are young, a student or a senior you got it made for discounts.  Almost everything offers a discount from public transit to popular landmarks; if it is not advertised ask if there is a discount.  Some reward cards or membership cards offer discounts to hotels and attractions, it’s worth reviewing the offers before booking your trip.

Transportation

Kyoto on BikeTry to walk as much as possible, take public transit or rent a bike over taxis.  You can see the city the best by foot and cover a lot of terrain in a bike.  Do what the locals do to get around, ie:  in Kyoto renting a bike for a few days was perfect, very convenient and flexible, in most cities I take the metro, in Istanbul I saved a ton if money taking the regular commuting ferry up the Bosporus River rather than an expensive tourist cruise, you miss the commentary but the scenery is the same for only a few dollars.

(Kyoto, Japan by bike)

Cash

Try not to exchange money or withdrawal money too frequently, most exchange centers have bad exchange rates and banks can charge fees for each withdrawal (learned this the hard way).  Try to change as much money as you feel comfortable carrying before you leave.  I recommend not keeping all your money in one place no matter how much you have, I always try to have an emergency bill or two tucked somewhere no one would go ie: shoes, bra, sock (gross I know but I would not want to be completely stranded somewhere without even a way to get back to the hotel).   Before you leave it may be worth a quick internet search of where a good place to get cash is or ask your concierge.

Whats Included

It shocks me beyond words that in this day and age free WiFi is not standard in every hotel but many hotels do charge.  It will be beneficial and save you time and money to have free WiFi access with your accommodations, it will be easy to contact friends and family, look up venues you plan to go to, and allows more freedom to change your itinerary and research new things on the fly.

Complimentary breakfast will also save you money if you take full advantage and have a healthy size breakfast you may not to have lunch at all.

More Time – Less Places

Cherry Blossoms

I know I know – there are so many places and so little time but if you cram in too much you won’t enjoy it anyways and be paying to be in an airport, on a train/bus for half your trip.  So stop and smell the roses, it will be easier on your pocket book too.

a happy groupie is an architecture GROUPIE

Visiting Modern Architecture

How to Plan your Architectural Travel

Canova Plaster Cast Museum

I love planning my architectural explorations, for me it is almost as fun as the traveling, however I recognize not everyone feels this way, it can be a lot of work particularly if you want to see it all and don’t want to miss a thing.  I really hate getting back from a great city and missing an amazing architectural project because I didn’t know it was there!

When I went to Venice I was ill prepared and missed a bunch of Carlo Scarpa’s architecture, I have heard his work is amazing from friends and wish I could have experienced it in person (now his work is on my bucket list).  So to prevent this I have outlined my system of travel planning in hopes you will never miss out on any architectural experiences.

Choosing an architecturally rich city

If you haven’t already decided where you want to go one of the methods I use to determine which cities to travel to is to first ask myself and my travel companion: what time of year I want to travel, how long the trip will be and what do we want to gain from the experience.  Most people like to travel where the weather is reasonably good so that will help narrow down where you want to go depending on the time of year.  How long you have will narrow down how far you can go and how many cities you can reasonably see.  There are so many wonderful and exciting cities so once the list has been narrowed down do image searches and talk to people who have been to the places you are interested in – this will definitely help to make your final determination.  If you are like me there are just too many places and not enough time and/or money.

banner

Finding the architecture

Once you have determined the city or cities you are going to visit you can begin to find the architecture.  Research cannot be overstated – the more you do before you leave the less you miss and the more you see!  I always search for as many architectural gems as I can by doing the following:

  • Refer to architecture magazines and books
  • Talk to friends and family about your travel plans they may offer suggestions and tips, most people love to reminiscent about the things they have seen and places they go.  Friends and family are usually a reliable source because they are unbiased and the information and experience is first hand.
  • Image searches, try different keywords, when you see something you like save the picture and try to get the name from the website – the pictures are important because a list of building names can get all confusing after so much research
  • Visit www.archgroupie.com which is our architecture directory of architectural gems organized by city so you are able to skip all this research but if we haven’t covered the city yet – feel free to write us and let us know.
  • Consult various architecture websites, check out this blog post:  12 Awesome ARCHITECTURE websites

Keep an ongoing list of everything you find.  This can be done on your computer, in a sketchbook, on a smartphone app such as Evernote, or all of the above.  Whichever method works best for you, we will organize the information in the next step.

Get Organized

When you believe you got it all or have run out of time for researching begin to vet through the information.  I always rank my researched architecture list into three categories:

1. Absolutely will not leave this city without seeing this building…MUST SEE

2. Really want to see

3. I will live if I don’t see that building

4. Not that interested

Now research the essential information from the top three categories: address, hours, entry fee, tour times, website links, etc.  Make reservations, get tickets if required and prepare anything you may need to visit the building.

Map it out

smartphone 5

There are lots of ways to map out the architecture, you can use Google maps, print a map and label it with a corresponding legend or mark up your travel guide book.  It is important to map it so you can better prepare an itinerary.  Mapping will also help you know when a building is hard to get to or just next door.   I like to always group sites by geography so I do not waste precious time traveling back and forth around the city – on a map it is easy to tell how close or far apart buildings are.

Architecture GROUPIE is creating maps so you can skip all this work too.

Itinerary

Visiting Modern Architecture

Make an itinerary, I have never been too keen on a day by day / hour by hour itinerary but many buildings are not open every day and if you are not careful you can miss out on some great sites because you weren’t organized or well researched.

Based on your “MUST SEE” architecture list outline what days they are open and closed to see if a conflict will occur.  Use your itinerary loosely to figure out how you will get around and what you plan to see and do… be sure to leave flexibility for example if the weather is rainy I like to check out some indoor venues such as a museum.

Documents

It is important to let people know where you are just in case.  I create a small spread sheet with the important information of where I will be and give it to a family member, be sure to include any information you may need as well, such as confirmation numbers, see example below.  Another option is to enter all this information into a sharable calendar such as Tripit, I have not used it yet but plan to give it a try on my next travel adventure.

 Date  City and Flight Info

Hotel (name, address, phone number)

Confirmation Number

Include your email address and phone number at the bottom.

Also it is important to have a copy of important travel documents such as your passport, visa etc.  Save these on your smartphone, tablet or print them out.  I would recommend putting all this important stuff on the cloud (Dropbox Google Drive, etc…) or you can just email it to yourself in case something happens to your device, this way you just need any computer with internet to access this sensitive information and its one less thing to care around. 

Budget

If you are on a budget be sure to take note of ticket prices and free offers.  Some buildings can be viewed from the outside if the tours are really expensive and it isn’t on your “MUST SEE” list.

Also visit:  5 TIPS FOR VISITING MODERN ARCHITECTURE ON A BUDGET

Just remember you will likely never go back to these cities and see these places again so don’t go overboard and miss out on great architecture.

Now all you need to do is pack…  Happy Travels

travel guides - blog

A happy groupie is an architecture GROUPIE – check out the digital maps to save you all this work

tips for visiting modern architecture

are you an architecture groupie?

Years ago I realized…

I am an architecture GROUPIE

thinking, planning, researching and traveling to different cities all over the world visiting modern and contemporary architecture.

The architecture varied in age, size, use, materials and often left me speechless.  There is so much beauty and inspiration in Architecture and I just wanted to see it all.  I still do.

Krematorium - Berlin Architecture   Concilliation Chapel - Berlin   Bundestrag im Reichstag - Berlin Architecture

While I was in Berlin, a Studies Abroad during Grad school, I sought great architecture out.  The old stuff was easy to find but it was the modern and contemporary projects that were the real challenge to find and that was what I was most interested in – I was determined.  So with my detective skills found these buildings and visited dozens upon dozens of amazing projects.  Soon my tours and architectural visits caught on and friends (mostly architecture students) asked me for my modern and contemporary architecture address book.  Because I love architecture and love to share it I not only gave them the address book but advised which where ‘must sees’ and when to go and how to get there.

This went on for years…

Finally I realized I am not the only architecture groupie so I decided this information needed to be shared with all the architecture groupies of the world.

architecture groupie logo for blog

Architecture GROUPIE.com was officially launched in July 2012.  The website’s goal is simple: to locate modern and contemporary architecture for you so you can get to it.  I have carefully edited the information to include an image, the architect, the year it was completed, a weblink and of course the address and closest transit station.

ar·chi·tec·ture:  is the product of planning, designing and constructing buildings which are often perceived as cultural symbols and works of art.
group·ie:  is an ardent fan of a celebrity who follows these celebrities to have sexual relations with them.
ar·chi·tec·ture·group·ie:  is an ardent fan of the celebrity starchitect** who seeks orgasmic pleasure from beautifully planned, designed and constructed buildings, traveling the globe visiting these works of art.
** used to describe architects whose celebrity and critical acclaim have transformed them into idols of the architecture world and may even have given them some degree of fame amongst the general public. (thanks Wikipedia)

So what building’s make the list?  I have tried to be as impartial as I can, including only completed modern and contemporary architecture.  Private residence or projects with sensitive programs have been excluded to respect the privacy of those who inhabit them.  Buildings which are difficult to get to are also limited because going on a wild goose chase for one project is not always the best use of one’s time as well as any projects I could not confidently locate.  There are exceptions to these guidelines but this is the fundamental parameters of the archGROUPIE modern and contemporary architecture directory.

for ADs 2 for ADs 1Currently the directory includes the following cities:  London, Basel, Weil Am Rhein, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tokyo, Berlin, Rotterdam, and Toronto.

but the directory is continuing to grow and now includes maps of selected cities.

A Guie to Modern ArchitectureThis blog has been added to offer helpful tips and information which has come from my experiences and research.  My hope is that this website will help other people see these projects and give more popularity to modern and contemporary architecture amongst the general population.also check out architecture GROUPIE stuff & things  stuff & things

travel guides - blog check out these digital inexpensive architecture travel guides

Architectural Photographers that will leave you speechless

Hisao Suzuki Photography

Sometimes the architecture is the star of the photograph  other-times the architecture is the subject and the photograph is the showstopper.  Noteworthy  architectural photographers,  Ezra Stoller, Iwan Baan,  Lucien HervéJulius Shulman, Erieta Attali, and Hisao Suzuki capture architecture that will leave you speechless by the sheer fact that they are amazing photographers.  Architectural photography on occasion is so powerful in their representation their images will forever represent the building’s the photograph.

Architectural photography is an art which two-dimensionally represents the essence of the three-dimensional built form and the architect’s idea and vision.  We can aspire to their work and look at their talent not just as a mastery of technique but also a unique and insightful way they see space, light and lines.  Their photos and career inspire my architectural photography i hope you take a moment to notice the talent of this small collection of images which represent architecture in a magical way.

Ezra Stoller Photography

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Ezra Stoller was born in Chicago, 1915, but grew up in New York.  When he was a student he photographed buildings, models and sculpture. In 1942 he was drafted to work as a photographer for the Army Signal Corps Photo Center. Stoller had a long architectural photography career, working closely with Eero Saarinen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Meier, Paul Rudolph, Marcel Breuer, I.M. Pei, Gordon Bunshaft and Mies van der Rohe.

Many modern buildings are known by the iconic images Stoller created due to his talent at visualizing the formal and spatial aspirations of modernist architecture. In 1960 Ezra Stoller was awarded a medal for his photography, the first time the American Institute of Architects awarded a medal for architectural photography.

Ezra Stoller’s photographs are published in countless books and magazines:

Ezra Stoller received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in 1998 and died in 2004 in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

http://www.esto.com/ezrastoller.aspx

Iwan Baan Photography

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Iwan Baan was born in 1975 and raised outside of Amsterdam, he studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and worked in New York and Europe in publishing and documentary photography.

In 2005 he proposed that he document a project by OMA to Rem Koolhaas. The documentation of the construction and completion of OMA’s China Central Television (CCTV) building and National Olympic Stadium by Herzog & de Meuron’s in Beijing led to his career in architectural photography.   Since he has photographed work by Frank Gehry, SANAA, Morphosis, Steven Holl, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Toyo Ito and Zaha Hadid.

His work is characterized by the portrayal of people in the architecture, the context, society and environment around architecture.

Books featuring Iwan Baan’s photography:

http://www.iwan.com/iwan_index.php

Lucien Hervé Photography

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Lucien Hervé was born in László Elkán, Hungry, and died in Paris at the age of 26.  Known primarily for his architectural photography of Le Corbusier.

“Lucien Hervé is one of the rare photographers to combine a humanist outlook with an architect’s eye. His characteristic style of cropped frames, plunging or oblique views, and pared-down compositions tending toward abstraction distinguish his work from that of his contemporaries.”

Books on Lucien Hervé:

http://www.lucienherve.com/

Julius Shulman Photography

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Julius Shulman (1910 – 2009) was an American architectural photographer known for his photographs of the California modern architecture movement such as the iconic shots of the Case Study House #22, Frank Lloyd Wright’s or Pierre Koenig’s remarkable structures, have been published countless times.

“The clarity of his work demanded that architectural photography had to be considered as an independent art form. Each Shulman image unites perception and understanding for the buildings and their place in the landscape. The precise compositions reveal not just the architectural ideas behind a building’s surface, but also the visions and hopes of an entire age. A sense of humanity is always present in his work, even when the human figure is absent from the actual photographs.”

Many of the buildings photographed by Shulman have since been demolished or re-purposed, lending to the popularity of his images.  His vast library of images currently reside at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Books on Julius Shulman:

http://www.juliusshulmanfilm.com/shulman-photographs/

Erieta Attali Photography

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Erieta Attali was born in Tel Aviv in 1966 and studied Photography at Goldsmith’s College, University of London.
Her talents are proven by her awards including Fulbright Artist Award in Architectural Photography, the Japan Foundation Artist Fellowship,  and the Graham Foundation Grant, Chicago.

Attali’s career as an architectural photographer began by working internationally, being published in various books of architecture and periodicals and being exhibited in major museums and institutions.  From 1992 to 2002 she worked in the field of Archaeological Photography.  From 2003 she has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architectural Photography at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York.

Work of Erieta Attali:

http://www.erietaattali.com/

Hisao Suzuki Photography

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Hisao Suzuki was born in 1957 in Yamagata, Japan. He studied at the Tokyo College of Photography and moved to Barcelona in 1982 to observe the work of Anotnio Gaudi, where he still resides, becoming immersed in contemporary architecture.

Suzuki is currently the principal photographer for the architectural journal El Croquis.

“A photographer may take one of two stances: either demonstrate a work within its reality and its environment, or demonstrate the image of the work that the photographer himself has created. In Suzuki’s case the former is true, for his work is a true testimony and documentation of reality.”

http://www.nuaa.es/eng/hisao.html

VISIT archGROUPIE.com to find modern and contemporary architecture

Starchitect

Starchitect is a blend of two words and their definitions to create a new word.

The Starchitect (star –a architect) describes architects who have obtained celebrity status and fame within the community of architecture as well as become known amongst the general population.  This fame is often a result of architecture which is avant-guard, extremely creative, provocative, the charismatic or intense nature of the architect him or herself, and their unique work that pushes the envelope of modern architecture to the next level.

Since fame is dependent on the media and is designated by others – the starchitect is therefore a fleeting or permanent designation out of the control of the architect.  Sometimes this term is meant derogatorily and some architects have an opinion about it, such as Frank Gehry who stated in his interview with The Independent called Frank Gehry: ‘Don’t call me a starchitect’

“I don’t know who invented that f—ing word ‘starchitect’. In fact a journalist invented it, I think. I am not a ‘star-chitect’, I am an ar-chitect…”

Some well known starchitecture:

Some of the most well known starchitects include:

 

Is the ‘starchitect’ a new phenomenon or were architect’s historically famous and the media and pop culture packaged and ‘branded’ the architect in a way similar to movie celebrities to further romanticize the profession or popularize architecture again?

Related starchitect articles worth checking out:

Here Now, the Craziest Starchitect Projects of the Year by Curbed

The ‘Starchitect’ Effect on Condo Prices by The Wall Street Journal

Starchitects: Visionary Architects of the Twenty-first Century

10 Architectural Photography Tips

We are always looking to improve our architectural photography skills to get the best architecture photos possible.  Here are a few ideas and tips based on my experience and research to keep in mind the next time you are visiting your favorite modern and contemporary architecture.

1.  Closeup vs. Far Away

Sears Tower closeup   Sears Tower from afar

When photographing buildings from closeup they can sometimes appear to be sloping backwards – sometimes this can be corrected in Photoshop however if possible try moving farther away from the building and use a telephone lens this will correct the distortion and result in much straighter lines.  Notice the difference in the two Chicago  skyscrapers above, the photo to the left is taken from a much closer with a wide angle lens and the photo to the left from a boat with a telephoto lens – the end result is dramatically different.

2.  Foreground and Background

Design Sight

Including an interesting foreground such as plants, people, or cars can help contrast the building lines and form.  A background such as trees, clouds, other buildings can do the same.  Be sure to keep the focus on the architecture by adjusting your depth of field.  The photo of 21-21 Design Sight in Tokyo by Tadao Ando is framed by textured vegetation which contrasts the strong straight lines of the building roof and glazing.

3.  Silhouettes

Istanbul Mosque

At dusk or dawn you can try having fun with silhouettes.  Some buildings have wonderful and distinct forms which can be understood even without all the details.  In Istanbul the beautiful mosques have minuets and domes that can be clearly read even as a silhouette, photo above.

4.  The Essence

Elevator

Capture the essence of the space.  This old and wonderful elevator in Prague was an accidental find – a photo without displaying its movement would not be the same. Experiment with shutter speeds to get the amount of blur you are happy with.  A few other ideas is intentionally overexposing or underexposing these can be great effects if done in the right space to capture the mood of the architecture.

5.  Lines

BCE Place - Toronto Architecture 2   Colourful architecture

Architectural photography is often about lines, angles, details, colors, shapes and materials and textures, exploit what you believe the most important element of the building.  To keep your lines straight be sure to turn on your camera grids on this is also helpful for following the Rule of Thirds.  Straightening out your lines can also be done in the post production phase (I frequently rotate and crop photos in Photoshop).

6.  Sky

machu picchu

A big blue sky is great but it can be boring.  On my trip to Machu Picchu I was disappointed when I awoke to a rainy overcast day however I realized this fog and rain added a lot of mystery and drama to my photo, above.

Clouds / Overcast / Fog / Sun – use light and its qualities to your advantage no matter what it is.

7.  Location and Approach

IMG_3440

There are so many buildings where the approach and procession to it is worth documenting.

Build the suspense – don’t give it all away.

8.  Night and Light

Prada - Tokyo     IMG_7852

Don’t be afraid to capture architecture at night, you will likely need a tripod but a building can completely transform from day to night and that night shot may be amazing.  Architects spend a lot of time planning what a building will look like at night.  These photos are more challenging my suggestion is turn off your flash and increase your ISO and aperture, also I also try to get these photos just after sunset when the lights are on but it is not complete darkness  – again a tripod is crucial for a perfect night photo!

9.  Abstract

Royal Ontario Museum - Toronto Architecture 2

You don’t need to get the whole building, editing can result in an abstract photo emphasizing architectural elements and strong features.  The ROM by Daniel Libeskind, above, is made of sloping jagged forms – I tried to focus on that aspect of the architecture only and cutting out all the other elements on the building.

10.  Unexpected & Dramatic

John Hancock - Chicago    Looking up Ginger's Skirt

Many times the most interesting architecture photos are when they are taken from an angle you would not expect or think of.  On the left is Frank Gehry’s ‘Fred & Ginger’ building in Prague when was looking at this building I was more interested in understanding how the glass was being supported but I soon noticed I was in fact looking up Ginger’s ‘skirt’ so i took advantage of the unexpected photo opportunity.  The photo on the left is the John Hancock Building in Chicago, I love the form of this building and the drama of standing at its base.

Resources:

Here are two photography resources I have found very helpful:

photo.tutsplus.com/

theartofphotography.tv/episodes/

Coming soon:

Tips on how to take a great PANORAMA and HDR photo

Architect Sketches

architects sketch

“God created paper so that architecture could be drawn on it”

Alvar Alto

We are forever fascinated by the Architect’s doodle and how those scribbles on a napkin transform into architecture.

The architect’s sketch is often described as an intuitive force which emerges as a way of communicating their vision to the client.  These scribbles on the page hold so much insight into how that architect thinks and conveys their ideas to the world.  Sometimes ithey are so abstracted from a built form we understand that only when it is complete all the ideas held within the sketch are completely understood.

Many sketches hang in museums and are viewed as pieces of art but where only created as tools for the architect to express their ideas. Over the course of their career architects create thousands of sketches to convey every detail of the building, they say a picture is worth a thousand words but a sketch is worth far more than that.

I am spellbound by these sketches, check the arch GROUPIE Flickr account for a small sample of some of our favourite architect’s sketches.

The Sketch Plan Build: World Class Architects Show How It’s Done by Alejandro Bahamon, Wendy Griswold is a great way to see how architect’s sketches come to life with sketches set beside the built space – fantastic and enlightening.

Architect’s Drawings  by Kendra Smith contains a large collection of sketches, each containing a summary of the building, the sketch style and media, the architect’s thinking and intentions.

Dinner for Architects: A Collection of Napkin Sketches is a great coffee table book with less indepth analysis but a great collection nonethless.

Architects’ Sketchbooks will insprie anone to pick up a pencil and start sketching, another great book those who enjoy looking at these drawings.

Architect's Sketches

Architects sketchArchitects' Sketchbooks

Zaha Hadid’s sketches come to life in her book Zaha Hadid -Sketches -by Zellweger

Another great resource for architectural sketches: Architecture Sketch Blog

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Learn more about Bjarke Ingels (B.I.G)

Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels was born in 1974 and founded B.I.G. (Bjarke Ingels Group) based in both Copenhagen and New York they are well known for innovative and nontraditional design ideas.  Together they work within the field of architecture, urbanism, research and development.

BIGB.I.G’s collective belief is

“A pragmatic utopian architecture that steers clear of the petrifying pragmatism of boring boxes and the naïve utopian ideas of digital formalism… By hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, we architects once again find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms. In all our actions we try to move the focus from the small details to the BIG picture.”

Ingels is a large advocate of sustainable architecture and re-thinks the traditional – his work is playful and practical in many ways.  He has caught international attention for his thoughts and works, his most notable projects are:

  • VM Houses (2005), multi-family housing in V and M shaped apartment buildings;
  • Mountain Dwellings (2008), an extensive parking facility combined with terraced housing;
  • 8 House (2010), a large mixed-use housing development.
  • the REN Building, taking its form from the Chinese character for person 人 (“ren”) combining two buildings – one symbolic of mind and the other of body.

To learn more about how Bjarke Ingel’s brain works check out this collection of interviews and talks: 

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Bjarke Ingels: 3 warp-speed architecture tales

Uploaded on Sep 15, 2009

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature — they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy — and creating stunning views at a TED talk http://www.ted.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AYE3w5TWHs

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Gyre: Recent Work by BIG (Bjarke Ingels)

Published on Oct 10, 2012

Bjarke Ingels, Principal, BIG

“This is the country that invented surf and turf!,” noted BIG Principal Bjarke Ingels in New York magazine when describing his forthcoming residential project W57, “a European-style, low-rise apartment block encircling a courtyard, and a Manhattan tower-on-a-podium, yielding something that looks like neither and behaves like both.” Ingels returns to GSAPP to discuss his recent work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdrK3G1nU3A

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Architect Bjarke Ingels shares his philosophy on the design process

Uploaded on Jan 28, 2011

See what architect Bjarke Ingels has to say about the design process and the importance of print.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFo50kK1tg8

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TEDxEast – Bjarke Ingels – Hedonistic Sustainability

Uploaded on May 17, 2011

May 9, 2011- Bjarke Ingels wows the audience with his wit and unlikely architectural solutions around the globe. Prepare to be dazzled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogXT_CI7KRU

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Bjarke Ingels on Sustainability

Uploaded on Aug 18, 2010Bjarke Ingels one on one talking to specific questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKJRS5ZzkDk

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Making architecture more like our dreams (Bjarke Ingels)

Published on Apr 20, 2012

CNN’s The Next List profiles innovative Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4WY8kcOfc0

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Bjarke Ingels – Interview by Studio Banana TV

Uploaded on Dec 7, 2011

Studio Banana TV interviews Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, principal of BIG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAkt49vu1ms

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BIG ECH – Escher Tower

Uploaded on Jan 14, 2008

Bjarke Ingels describes how when asked to design a Scandinavian skyscraper with views and daylight in abundance, he chose a slim volume: a thin slab with minimal distance between the facades. The thin slab however is as structurally complicated as it is visually simple. It combines maximum wind pressure – the wide side – with minimal foothold – the short side, thus appearing as an unstable monolith.

The Escher Tower in response consists of 3 square towers merged into one. The central tower is straight as a dart, the two peripheral ones change places between ground floor and penthouse, causing the volume to flip 90 degrees. This provides maximal foothold for the hardest wind pressures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYRCnCxxNkY&list=UUuzMH3B5EdlKWEFacVIXDeQ&index=10

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If you ever have a chance to go to Bjarke Ingels’ talks GO –  he is so inspiring!

For more information check out these great reads in BIG

Big - Bjarke Ingels GroupYes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution

BIG: Bjarke Ingels Group Projects 2001-2010 Big: Recent Project (English and Japanese Edition)

Interviews with Zaha Hadid

YZ221_01.tifZaha Hadid is one of the youngest people and only women to ever win the prestigious Pritzker Prize – the highest award in architecture.  Jorge Silvetti, a Pritzker Prize juror stated:”What she has achieved with her inimitable manipulation of walls, ground planes, and roofs, with those transparent, interwoven, and fluid spaces, are vivid proof that architecture as a fine art has not run out of steam and is hardly wanting in imagination.”

Zaha was born in Baghdad in 1950, and obtained a degree in mathematics from the American University in Beirut before moving to London in 1972 to study at the Architecture Association School, winning the school’s Diploma Prize in 1977.

Z ChairHer innovative creations span the entire spectrum of design, from large-scale urban architecture to interiors, furniture and exhibition spaces, and have graced cities around the globe, winning her a number of awards and prizes.  Her best known projects are:

Zaha’s recently completed the London Aquatics Centre.  At the completion ceremony, the International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge said: “I have seen so many venues in my life but I had a visual shock when I came into the Aquatics Centre. Everything stands out: the harmony, the quality, the innovation. It’s a masterpiece!”

In addition to her architecturalarchitects sketch and design work she is a gifted artist – she has exhibited at New York’s Guggenheim and Modern Art museums – and also an academic.

Interviews with Zaha Hadid:

Zaha Hadid Talking About Challenges of Architecture

Uploaded on Apr 5, 2010

Zaha Hadid talks to JO Magazine about the challenges of architecture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcdvMm6c-fU

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What is New? – Zaha Hadid

Uploaded on Jan 11, 2012

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid has added several projects to her international portfolio: the Guangzhou Opera House in China, the Evelyn Grace Academy and the London Aquatics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7j7gTBqijA

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ZAHA HADID – TWIRL

Uploaded on Apr 15, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cb3PoRzS_w

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Building the unbuildable – Zaha Hadid

Uploaded on May 7, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr9P3EWYPiA

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Building the unbuildable – Zaha Hadid

Published on Jun 23, 2012

This year, the Guardian invited award-winning architect Zaha Hadid to Cannes Lions to speak about her own creativity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujFMRrSmIek

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OMEGA Ladymatic presents CNN’s Leading Women – Zaha Hadid

Published on Oct 11, 2012

Leading Women, a CNN television series that connects its viewers to extraordinary women at the top of their chosen fields, is sponsored by OMEGA Ladymatic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2ZN5quZdfg

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Zaha Hadid | Galaxy SOHO Beijing

Published on Nov 6, 2012 

Last weekend, in the heart of Beijing, the unveiling of the amorphous globes of Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy SOHO stunned visitors with the office and retail complex’s radical aesthetic. Beijing’s rapid economic growth has thrust the cityscape into a continuous battle between ever-climbing modern high rises, and the traditional, winding alleyways, unique to the capital city. Crane.tv meets Hadid to hear about her newest structural feat, and collect the thoughts of the building’s wide-eyed neighbours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOD8i8dJysM

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Zaha Hadid on song: China’s Guangzhou Opera House

Uploaded on Mar 8, 2011

Jonathan Glancey explores Guangzhou’s glittering, intergalactic new opera house, designed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid and opened last weekend. Sixteen years after a similar project in Wales ground to a halt, she explains why Cardiff’s loss is China’s gain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OgaaY62CTo

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Zaha Hadid: Complete Works, 1979-2009

        Zaha Hadid: Form in Motion (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Interior Architectural Photography TIPS

Getting the best architectural interior photo is not always easy there are many challenges such as lighting, tight space, obstructions, and people.  Professional photographers have many tools and expensive photography equipment to get perfect interior photograph and often some control over these challenges.  However, like me, most of you probably do not have a lot of photography equipment when traveling and pretty much no control over the lighting and people.

Here are some tips to get you the best interior architectural photo possible.

  • Spend a few moments to determine what elements of the space are important to capture
  • Compose the photo on an angle so the camera is not facing a wall but rather into a corner OR if the space is symmetrical try taking a photo at the center of the room to emphasize the symmetry.

The slight angle in this photo’s composition helped showcase the sloping ceiling and angels of the room (Taliesin West, Scottsdale, left).
Due to the perfect symmetry of this space and photo was intended to exaggerate the symmetry (Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York, right)

Look up – some buildings are all about the ceilings but if you never look up you will never know.
  • Don’t use a flash – unless you really know what you are doing and have a good external flash I wouldn’t bother, likely the flash will produce hot spots and unwanted reflections.
  • Interior shots can be better when the camera is about 5 feet off the ground –  When we hold our cameras high we get more tabletop and floor but lowering the camera and tilt it up slightly will result in seeing more of the space – try shooting from different heights, you will be surprised how much difference it makes.
  • Include People – sometimes waiting for everyone to get out of the shot is a lost opportunity.  People show scale and interaction with the architecture – if you leave your lens open a bit longer the people, if moving, will be blurred so they will be a bit out of focus and not necessarily the focal point.  This can be done in Photoshop too later as well

This photo wouldn’t have scale or meaning without the two people praying

  • Shoot in JPEG and RAW – Unless you are running out of room on your memory card it is good to have both.  RAW images allow for much more control over the post-production process but not every shot needs to be modified and so the JPEG is perfect.
  • Always try to keep your ISO as low as possible and adjust your white balance appropriately.  Try to avoid shooting into florescent lights and mixing lighting types (I know easier said then done but it is good to keep in mind.  Different light gives off different color which can make a mess of your photo).
  • A tripod is always ideal for interior photography however often that is just not possible.  If the light is dim and you need to leave your shutter open try to find somewhere to set your camera down.  There are a few alternatives to the giant tripods such as The POD or the The Monsterpod.

The Pod Red Bean Bag Camera Support  supports compact cameras, advanced point and shoot cameras, camcorders, DSLRs with a short focal length lens, microphones, etc. It is built-in 1/4″ camera mount and provides support on regular or irregular surface like rocks, benches, cars, on the ground, etc

Joby GPM-A1EN GorillaPod Magnetic Flexible Tripod (Black) is a flexible tripod designed for digital cameras weighing up to 9.7 ounces (325 grams), it fits into your purse, backpack, or jacket pocket, Innovative segmented leg design to ensure secure mounting and has a standard universal 1/4-20 screw for attaching your camera to the tripod mount.

  • If you can’t find anywhere to place the camera down try leaning against a wall and holding the camera tight to your body (exhale before you take your shot). You can always fix some composition and rotate the photos later but blur cannot be fixed.
    • Left hand holding the camera, fingers softly gripping the lens
    • Right hand is used for controlling the camera settings
    • Elbows together, pressing on the chest
    • Camera firmly against the forehead, head leaning towards the camera

Photos by:  www.expertphotography.com/how-to-hold-a-camera

  • An ultra wide-angle lens will distort at the edges of the photograph so although you can usually get a lot more of the space in your photo it will look distorted and sometimes curved at the edges.  In many types of photography such as landscapes this is not a big deal but in architectural photography straight lines can make or break the photograph.  Wide-angle lens are also expensive.

My suggestion is using a standard lens; mine is an 18 to 55mm and take a series of overlapping photos.  Each photo should overlap at least 1/3 of the frame.  Focus your lens and then turn your lens auto-focus off.  When you get home you can use the photomerge tool in Photoshop to blend all the photos into one photograph.

This is an outdoor photo however I was unable to get the entire space in a single frame due to the space restrictions so it was take in five separate photos and stitched together in Photoshop using the photomerge tool.

(The previous tip is intended for DSLR cameras however if you have a point and shoot, many new point and shoot cameras have a panorama setting – check your manual to maximize the features.)

Interior architectural photography is not easy but practice makes perfect. Try some of these techniques in your home so you become comfortable with interior architectural photography.

Let me know if this helps or you have any tips you would like to share.

Modern Architecture vs. Contemporary Architecture

Often Modern architecture and Contemporary architecture are used interchangeably, however they really aren’t the same.

Here is a quick and easy way to understand what the difference is so when you are on your architectural travels you know which type of architecture you are looking at.

Modern Architecture

Contemporary Architecture

Timeline
  • Began at the turn of the 20thcentury
  • Became popular post WW2
  • The present day
  • An evolution of modern architecture
Characteristic
  • Simplified form & Clean Lines
  • Visual expression of structure
  • Emphasis on Function
  • Vary greatly
  • No specific unifying features
Themes
  • “Form Follows Function” (Louis Sullivan & Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Simplified form
  • Removal of unnecessary details
  • Truth to materials
  • Machine aesthetics
  • Sustainable design
  • Natural materials
  • Eco-friendly / Green design
  • Equality
  • Landmark
  • Globalization of architecture
Architects
  • Walter Gropius
  • Le Corbusier
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rhoe
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
Associated With
  • Bauhaus
  • International Style
  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
  • BIM (Building Information Modeling)
Examples

Modern Architecture:
The Bauhaus in Dessau Germany by Walter Gropius

Contemporary Architecture:
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) by Daniel Libeskind

Modern Architecture:
Notre Dame de Ronchamp by Le Corbusier

Contemporary Architecture:
Simmons Hall MIT by Steven Holl

Modern Architecture:
S.R. Crown Hal by Mie van der Rohe

Contemporary Architecture:
Walt Disney by Frank Gehry

ebook image-reduced

Architecture Travel: a how to guide provides methodology for before, during and after architectural travel to help you minimize the research time and maximize the architecture you will visit.  This guide offers tips on research and organizing information, photography and sketching, as well as post-production work and suggestions on how to share your experiences.

Buy-now-button

Vitra Campus – Weil am Rhein

Why visit Weil am Rhein? …. Vitra

Weil am Rhein is a located in Germany but boards onto both Switzerland and France and is about 20 minute drive from Basel, Switzerland.

As an architecture groupie you may be wondering why I would feature such a small and obscure town.  Well Weil am Rhein is home to the Vitra Campus which is a mecca for any modern architectural enthusiast.

Vitra is a furniture company founded in Weil am Rhein, Germany in 1950 by Willi Fehlbaum.  Specializing in the production and retail of furniture originally designed by many internationally celebrated designers.  Priding themselves on creating beautiful well-design and well-made furniture.  Although Vitra is company famous for reproducing furniture designed by many well named architects they have also gained a reputation for commissioning celebrated architects to manufacture, house and exhibit their products.

In 1981 a large fire destroyed most of Vitra Campus who were forced to rebuild and continue to expand.  Nicholas Grimshaw was the first to begin the rebuild and Herzog and de Mueron has been the most recent project, completed in 2010, currently a new Factory Building by Kazuyo Sejima / SANAA is scheduled for completion in 2012.  The Vitra Campus is a collection of contemporary capital ‘A’ architecture.

The Vitra Design Museum by Frank Gehry is an exhibition of the design and architecture of Vitra.

Visit architecturegroupie.com/weil-am-rhein for a directory of the Vitra contemporary architecture.

Vitra Campus

When visiting the Vitra Campus be sure to take a guided architectural tour of the campus as well as a guided tour of the exhibition.

For the tour schedule visit www.vitra.com/en-us/campus/visit .

In addition the new workshop at the center of the Lounge Chair Atelier holds live demonstrations of the production of the famous Lounge Chair by Ray and Charles Eames check out this video demonstration

 

Vitra Miniatures Collection

Besides the modern designed life-size furniture, Vitra also manufactures The Miniatures Collection which is collection of 80 small-scale furniture pieces.  The pieces are considered to be the most influential in design from 1850 to the present day.  Model builders measure the historical original in the museum collection and then scale it down to one sixth of the original size, compile technical documentation and replicated each with impressive precision.  The Vitra Miniatures Collection include The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe, the Tulip Chair by Saarinen, the Barrel Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright and of course a series of furniture pieces by  Ray and Charles Eames to name a few.

Here is the full Vitra Miniatures Collection

These miniatures can be delivered directly to your home at  Vitra Miniatures at Amazon or click the image below to order.

   



     

If you have been to the Vitra Campus – share your experience with us.


 

MUST SEE architecture movies

Sometimes a documentary is just easier and a bit more fun to learn about architecture than to read all these books.

13 must see architecture documentaries:

(in no particular order)

1.  Antonio Gaudi (The Criterion Collection)(1984)

In this documentary Teshigahara immortalize Antonio Gaudí taking the audience on a trip of Gaudí’s amazing architecture, such as his large and still-unfinished project Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain. The photographic work as strong and delicate.
 

2.  Regular or Super – Views on Mies van der Rohe(2005)

REGULAR OR SUPER is a review of Mies van der Rhoe’s entire body of work, showcasing more than 70 projects which reflect his motto: “less is more.”  This is an informative introduction to the work of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
 

3.  Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman(2010)

Although this is not a movie about a specific architect it is a great movie for those interested in architectural photography.  VISUAL ACOUSTICS celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world s greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. Capturing the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Gehry to name a few.
 

4.  Sketches of Frank Gehry by Sydney Pollack (2005)

This film is a conversation between Frank Gehry and Sidney Pollack who discuss Gehry’s career and the process of making his architecture.  They visit four projects in this film: the Vitra Museum in Germany, Maggie’s Centre, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and the Disney Concert Hall in L.A.
 

5.  My Architect (2003)

The world-famous architect Louis Kahn had two illegitimate children, this movie is one son’s exploration of his father’s architecture while meeting people who worked and knew him.  Exeter Library, Salk Institute, and Bangladeshi Capitol Building are visited in this documentary and much is revealed about the life and death of Kahn.

6.  Eames: The Architect and the Painter

A movie about America’s most influential and important industrial designers Charles and Ray Eames.  Interviews with friends, colleague, and experts capture the personal story of Charles and Ray giving context to their projects.
 

7.  Rem Koolhaas: Kind of Architect

Filmed by Markus Heidingsfelder and Min Tesch, this documentary features interviews from other architects and friends about Koolhaas, offering a peek into his process and his influence in architecture. 
(You can watch it here: www.youtube.com/)
 

8.  Philip Johnson: Diary of An Eccentric Architect (1996)

Philip Johnson has always been at the forefront of stylistic change. Featuring the house he designed and lives in, his famous “Glass House” which has no walls so the landscape becomes the wallpaper. This movie is what he refers to as his “diary” and insightful look into the life of Johnson. 
 

9.  The Alchemy of Building

This film explores the way Herzog and de Meuron explore various materials, how their strengths and weaknesses compliment each other and how they collaborate with others, giving the audience insight into how they develop their ground-breaking architecture.

10.  Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater Special Edition

This is a two disc collection including the fascinating story of how Fallingwater came to be as well as interviews with Lynda Waggoner, the director of Fallingwater, and Richard Cleary, an architectural historian.  The second disc includes an interactive visual tour of Fallingwater, and copies of original plans, presentation drawings, and photos.
 

11.  First Person Singular: I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei speaks about his famous projects along with experts who comment on the impact and importance of these projects.  Featured projects include the Louvre in Paris, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas.
(see a trailer:  First Person Singular; IM Pei)
 

12.  How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?

How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? follows Norman Foster’s unending quest to improve the quality of life through design. By investigating his origins to how his dreams and influences inspired the design of emblematic projects such as the world’s largest building to its tallest bridge, Foster offers some striking solutions to humanity’s increasing demand on urban centers. 
(You can watch it here:  www.youtube.com)

13.  Architectures (Vol. 1-5) – 5-DVD Box Set ( Baukunst )

This five volume collection includes: ‘The Dessau Bauhaus by Walter Gropius’, ‘The Siza School’, ‘Family Lodgings in Guise’, ‘Nemausus 1’, ‘The Georges Pompidou Centre’, ‘The Vienna Savings Bank’, ‘The Johnson Building By Frank Lloyd Wright’, ‘The Galleria Umberto I’, ‘Lyon Satolas TGV Station By Santiago Calatrava’, ‘The Stone Thermal Baths By Peter Zumthor’, ‘The Paris Fine Arts School By Felix Duban’, ‘The Jewish Museum Berlin By Daniel Libeskind’, ‘The Garnier Opera By Charles Garnier’, ‘The Convent of La Tourette By Le Courbusier’, ‘The Casa Mila By Antoni Gaudi’, ‘The Auditorium Building in Chicago By Louis Harris Sullivan’, ‘The Municipal Centre of Saynatsalo By Alvaar Alto’, ‘Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans By Claude Nicolas Ledoux’, ‘La Maison de Verre By Pierre Chareau’, ‘The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao By Frank Gehry’, ‘Jean Prouve’s House’, ‘Multimedia Library of Sendai By Toyo Ito’, ‘The Abbey Church of Sainte Foy at Conques’, ‘The Alhambra, Granada’, ‘The House of Sugimoto, Kyoto’, ‘The Reception and Congress Building in Rome By Adalberto Libera’, ‘The Yoyogi Olympic Gymnasiums By Kenzo Tange’, ‘The Villa Barbaro (Villa di Maser) By Andrea Palladio’ and ‘Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg By Zaha Hadid’.  This will keep any architecture groupie occupied for a while – a great gift. 
 
 A Guide to Modern Architecture

VISIT architectureGROUPIE.com for a travel guide to modern architecture