All posts filed under: Architecture

Million Mask March: Anonymous white collars on their lunchbreak

Jonathan Meades, one of our great commentators on the built environment, once wrote: “We are surrounded by the greatest of all free shows. Places.” This idea drives Nicholas Sack’s Lost In The City, a new photobook published by London’s independent publishers Hoxton Mini Press, the eighth and final instalment of the East London Photo Stories. “This is an ongoing, long term adventure for me really,” Sack’s says in a bar in the Square Mile, the heart of London’s financial industry, and the locale for his photography series. “I’ve been walking around this area for 30 years taking pictures,” he says. “What attracts me to the Square Mile is this collision of architecture, the old and the new; 17th century Wren churches slap bang next to a modern tower of glass and steel. That’s the joy of London to me, it wasn’t planned in the way that Paris was.” The work of Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, two of the heavyweight architecture triumvirate in the building boom of the 1970s and 80s, can be spotted amongst these arrangements. But Sack is …


From the series: Union
Trade Union Name:Seafarers International Union
Image Location: HQ Boardroom, Camp Springs, Maryland

Photographing the past, and future, of the union movement

Modern working life is so frenetic, we don’t often get the chance to dwell on how it is evolving, on how secure it is, on what we should do if it might ever become threatened. But who are the people, or groups of people, fighting against this seemingly inevitable trend? Who see, in the ways work once was, something noble, worth trying to protect. Noel Bowler’s new photography series Union, recently published as a photobook by the published by the Berlin-based publisher Kehrer Verlag, takes us inside the meeting rooms, and head offices, of industrial unions, introducing us to the people who try and safeguard the labour rights of ordinary people. Bowler portrays union offices from fourteen countries, ranging from Washington to Warsaw to Bowler’s native Ireland. He invites us to consider office spaces, meeting rooms and boardrooms as empty, dormant chambers, heavy with a sense of suspended conversation. By doing so, Bowler gives us the chance to consider how these beleaguered organisations – which sought to protect the rights of workers in the nineteenth century – have sought …


Golden Gate, Berlin, 2010

The morning after the night before: inside Germany’s techno clubs

Long-time fans of electronica, André Giesemann and Daniel Schulz decided to combine their love of the German techno scene and photography in a joint ongoing project. The pair began collaborating in 2009 on Vom Bleiben, which features ghostly images of the insides of clubs after the ravers have left. Their images, taken on a large format camera with a 75mm lens, seek to record the emptiness of these spaces just after the club nights have ended – “the moment when the traces of the event become visible”, says Hamburg-based Giesemann. “Most of these clubs we know, and have experienced. In a way, this series is like an archive of clubs for me and Daniel, who is based in Berlin, since some of the buildings aren’t around any more. Sometimes they only exist for a while as temporary spaces.” In these images, the harsh light, made even more intense by the long exposures used by the pair (sometimes of several minutes), reveals the debris from the activities of the night before. Used beer bottles overflow on bar tops; discarded cigarette packets lie strewn …


Philippe Starckʼs Paris apartment, where he lives with his wife Jasmine, a PR consultant

Inside View: Todd Selby

It’s 9am in Todd Selby’s Brooklyn studio, and he sounds like he’s bouncing all over the shop, full of the joys of winter. Since moving to New York from California in 1999, he’s milked the city dry. He’s been a professional photographer since 2001, and the website he began a few years later,, was originally a local endeavour – a showcase for the area’s creative wonderkids – but he has since expanded his brief. Bustling workspaces and busy living rooms are still celebrated, but Selby has more recently been travelling the globe in pursuit of portraiture in food and fashion. He has also turned his hand to filmmaking, bringing his subjects to life with such joy that their enthusiasm – and Selby’s – bursts from your screen. “I thought of this idea, people in their spaces, and put it on the internet; it was just fun, and then it took off,” he says, jazzed that what was a personal project that saw him photographing his friends’ homes now takes him around the world, allowing him to meet incredible …


The private spaces in the most explicit of workplaces

At first glance, the spaces in Elizabeth Moran’s The Armoury resemble theatre stages. They are in fact empty sets once used by porn production company Interested in the conflict between private emotion and public persona in places of work (previous series have included a genetics lab and the architecture of corporate culture), Moran contacted the company asking if she could photograph their backdrops and props. “I moved to San Francisco in 2011 and wanted to continue the series I had been working on about work spaces,” she says. “I began researching companies and the type of industries that reflected San Francisco’s personality. I approached several companies and was very interested in the idea. I found myself drawn to an industry where private and public collide, but one that also mirrors its customers’ lives. “What is produced on these sets is a reflection of what is watched privately.” And although people may be absent from the images, there is a sense that something is about to happen, or has recently taken place. In one …


House of Chino I © Werner Pawlok

Photographing the disappearing homes of Castro’s Cuba

Werner Pawlok’s Cuba is curiously melancholy. Though his interiors pop with primary colours, golden sunlight and the scuffmarks of generations, they’re all infused with gentle sadness. Life in Cuba is changing: as the country’s relationship with the United States begins to normalise, decades of economic restrictions are beginning to ease. Now Pawlok, who’s been photographing the country since 2004, has returned for a new series of photographs exclusively for LUMAS gallery, Mayfair, London, in advance of the exhibition Viva Cuba!, opening this September. Pawlok’s fascination with Cuba stems from his experiences in East Germany: “I was the first Western photographer who did a series in East Berlin, shooting for Helmut Lang and Weiner magazine,” he says. “What I found were morbid places, they didn’t have the money to do proper renovation. It’s the same situation in Cuba and it’s this atmosphere that I fell in love with.” Pawlok has never been tempted to make a social project out of this work. “It’s much more interesting to take pictures of these empty rooms,” he says. Yet every picture …


George Byrne uses Los Angeles to study loneliness

“Photography is a funny game,” says LA-based photographer George Byrne. “It’s a lonely sport – you’re on your own, on an obscure mission to capture something and you don’t often know what you’re looking for but you know when you see it.” Byrne moved from Sydney to Melbourne, then experienced New York for one year before settling in Los Angeles – without much money or knowledge of the city – in 2011. The alien quality of his photographs stems from this personal distance from LA. “A lot of the time I’m shooting in LA I feel like I’m at war,” he says. “It’s like a desert. I’m a very white person and I get burned. I get so much satisfaction out of making pictures that beautify this bizarre landscape because it’s quite difficult to do it. People will keep their window up and the pedal pressed.” Byrne documents the LA streetscape, driving and shooting in sweltering temperatures in search of shadows and symmetry. He frames a pastel narrative of the sun-blasted walls lining the roads. Few …


Norma Aubertrine-Potter, The Codrington Library, All Souls College

The custodians watching over Oxford’s hallowed institutions

Writing about Oxford, the travel writer Jan Morris observed, “it forms a national paradigm — in whose structure sometimes shadowy, sometimes splendidly sunlit, we may explore the history, the character and the condition of the English”. When Joanna Vestey moved to the city, she was intrigued by the way its inhabitants interact with its history, and she’s explored this nexus in her upcoming book Custodians. Lush, wide-angle shots frame the interior of locations such as The Radcliffe Observatory, The Codrington Library and the Trinity College Dining Hall, inhabited by a solitary figure somehow connected to the building. Vestey was interested in “how institutions shape us, and we them”, she writes in the afterword. She explains to me that she “wanted to find a middle ground that preferenced the space and the individual equally and leant towards something more painterly than photographic”. Russell Roberts describes Custodians as “a journey through the tourist imagination of Englishness” in his essay for the book, but Vestey says that she doesn’t intend this to be deferential. “[Roberts] also includes [an excerpt] by Allan Bennett …


A man floats in the 57th-floor swimming pool of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, with the skyline of “Central,” the Singapore financial district, behind him.

Arles 2015: What do the world’s tax havens look like?

The global financial crisis has led to unprecedented scrutiny of financial institutions and the individuals and companies that use them. Tax avoidance – the legal exploitation of loopholes a tax system to minimise an individual or company’s tax liability – has been a particularly contentious issue, with a growing number of voices arguing that while such behaviour might be legally permissible, it is morally indefensible. This issue provides the inspiration for Gabriele Galimberti and Paolo Wood’s The Heavens, Annual Report, which is currently on display at the Les Rencontres d’Arles Festival in the south of France. Woods explains that the idea for the project emerged during a period of time he spent living in Haiti, one of poorest parts of the Americas. During a visit from Galimberti, the two photographers became conscious of the stark contrast between Haiti and the Cayman islands, which lay only an hour away from Haiti but which was by contrast incredibly wealthy due to its tax haven status. Travelling from the Cayman Islands to the City of London, from Panama …


Mother of the Fatherland. Kiev, Ukraine, 62 m (203 ft). Built in 1981

Capturing the spirit of the world’s most iconic statues

You won’t see the Statue of Liberty or Rio de Janeiro’s imposing Christ the Redeemer in Fabrice Fouillet’s Colosses. Nor will you see the Moai heads of Easter Island. What you will find is an array of less familiar outsize statues, equally – if not more – impressive than their famous counterparts. The Paris-based photographer travelled the world for more than a year to make the series, but it all started when he stumbled across Japan’s Dai Kannon statue online. Built in 1991 and measuring 100m high, it depicts the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and is literally named “Tall Kannon”. Fouillet was transfixed, and soon found other examples in the country – in particular, Amitabha Buddha in Ushiku, Jibbo Kannon in Kagaonsen, and Grand Byakue in Takazaki. “These statues really surprised and impressed me,” explains the 40-year-old, who contributes to publications including Wallpaper, Le Monde and The New York Times. “I became interested in their dimensions from a photographic point of view. “I set out to find others to be sure this would constitute a …


BJP Staff