Cidade de Cultura, Galicea designed by Peter Eisenman
These pinhole photographs discuss the appearance of signature buildings, erected during an era when world-renowned architects were procured to design image-conscious architecture. The photographs play with the idea of the architecture as heroic and monumental, exploring tensions between the building and its surroundings. They also reflect on an element of the photographic reappearing in the aspect of architecture.
The intention behind the post-industrial direction in planning was to change the image of some cities and locations from a heavy manufacturing identity to tourism and leisure. A mythology grew which believed that architecture by itself could actually change the fortunes of cities. This idea sprang largely from Frank O. Gehry’s 1998 design of The Guggenheim in Bilbao whereas the building was part of a thirty year planning initiative to redevelop the unused dockland.
‘Starchitecture’ was not without its critics. Most objected, for social reasons, that an area became gentrified and inaccessible to local people and interests. Many architects and writers pointed out that the building became separated from its surroundings; if there were several buildings the conflicting designs resulted in a place that was incoherent and, if architecture really is like music, a cacophony of architectural communication.
The work is part of a research project into the photographic image of architecture. For this series of work the pinhole aesthetic seemed to emphasize the idea of the image - the ‘real’ is generally marked in photographs by super-sharpness. The photographs’ and buildings’ status as image was further amplified by layering.
Stadttor, Düsseldorf designed by Petzinka and Pink
Palacio de Congresos, Oviedo designed by Santiago Calatrava
Chips, Manchester designed by Will Alsop
The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao designed by Frank Gehry
Centro Oscar Niemeyer, Avilès designed by Oscar Niemeyer
Gatehaus, Bradford designed by Robinson Architects
Zénith, St Etienne designed by Norman Foster
Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp designed by Neutelinks Riedijk
Domus, La Coruña designed by Arata Isozaki
FiftyTwoDegrees, Nijmegen designed by mecannoo
Orange Cube, Lyon designed by Jakob + Macfarlane
Cité du Design, St Etienne designed by LIN Architectes
EYE Film Institute, Amsterdam designed by Delugan Meissl