At no time in our history has there been such a rich and deep toolbox of engineering knowledge and materials available for designers to draw from in the process of the construction of commercial buildings. As I look through the images in this portfolio, I can’t help but think of a single phrase. Architecture is sculpture on a grand scale.
Contemporary architects are not limited to working within a single style. Postmodern sensibilities are channeled through an ever-changing array of construction techniques and material choices. Computer aided design allows buildings to be designed and modeled in 3D, and constructed with greater precision and speed. Contemporary buildings and styles vary greatly. Some feature concrete structures wrapped in glass or concrete screens, asymmetric facades, and cantilevered sections which hang out over the street. The maxim that “Form follows function” is being turned on its head.
That said, modern techniques sit alongside traditional architectural styles and methods within this designer’s toolbox, and we can see vestiges of time-honored techniques and construction practices. Examples are variations of a traditional post-and-lintel structure (think of a modern Stonehenge), or a variation of a traditional Roman arch, or Greek colonnade.
As we are asked to photograph these 21st century buildings, we take care to be aware of both the individuality of the design, and the context of that design within the surrounding community. Our treatment of how the light interacts with the materials, how human beings utilize the spaces, and how the form of the building intrigues our aesthetic sense, all works toward the ultimate goal of helping to define this “sculpture on a grand scale.”