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Marcela V. Grassi on Architecture and Photography

Interview Date: 04-04-2012
(More interviews from this person)

VIEW the entire interview on VIDEO!

Many architects worldwide share the passion of photography for various reasons. What is your relationship with photography? Do architecture photographers do better this kind of work?

Definitely, because you need a little inside point of view and I guess if you are inside of it, if you have studied architecture you know what you need , you know about materials and you know how  things are working and how spaces are working. Τhe fact is that I am not  objective , because I am an architect and I work as an architecture photographer.

We can say that most οf architecture photos of buildings do not include any people. What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Ιs it important to photograph a building in use or by itself?

This is another classical question I love! People are always telling me “your pictures are very boring”, there are no people on them, and they are very cold. I guess people can be in the buildings ; it is interesting to take pictures  with people  in the buildings because they give the scale , like the drawing or sketching  we did when we were studying ,  and  the interaction  with the building; for example at  public spaces and  parks  you see people on the grass, you see children who are lovely but you don’t have to give so much importance to them, so much “protagonist” , because people always like to be protagonists but it is the building that must be in that place.

Many architecture theories and a lot of people think that contemporary architecture is designed in ordered to be well photographed. Doing this work, do you have this feeling of buildings that are not designed to serve specific need but are rather iconic and self promoting?

It happens. This is a matter of the industry, because everybody wants to do photogenic   buildings and everybody wants to publish; the magazines tell you:  “I cannot publish this because it is not photogenic’, but I guess people must be able to live inside buildings and there are still building like that.

What do you think is the difference between seeing a picture of a building or a place and visiting that building or place yourself? How does architectural photography explore the relation between the perception of space and the experience of space?

Wow, this is complicated, it is quite hard! I don’t know how to explain it. I was speaking about that. You remember the grand voyage, in the 18nth century, everyone was going to Rome and doing sketches, now we are doing that too; we are visiting contemporary architecture and the thing is that we have a different point of view if we are architectural tourists rather than  if we are professionals . If you go to ‘Therme Vals’, you will see that everyone there are architects and they are enjoying it, but yes. Basically it is a different point of view when you are inside the building. When I am taking the pictures I would like people to understand from my picture the space.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Marcela Grassi

Marcela V. Grassi

Country: Spain
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Born in Argentina in 1977, lives and works in Barcelona.From 1985 to 2003 lives and study in Italy, until the architect degree in the Architecture University of Ferrara. After the graduation, stablishes the residence in Barcelona, working in several architecture studios until 2006.The activity as architecture photographer, part of her formation, it’s become professional since 2005, and goes on with architecture and travel reportages.

– Republic Square,Leucate, France. Architect: Enric Massip-Bosch.
– Work of 7sis arquitecture studio, Barcelona, Spain.
– La Mina district Library, Barcelona, Spain. Architect: A. Soldevila i Barbosa.
– Ferran Ferrè Parc, Ripollet, Spain. Architect: R. Méndez.
– Work of Iascone engineer and architecture studio, Bologna, Italy.
– TMA headquarters, Codogno, Piacenza, Italy. Architect: T. Bettini.
– Sport pavillion, San Adrià del Besòs, Barcelona, Spain. Architect: A. Soldevila.
– Barceloneta district Market, Barcelona, Spain. Architect: J. Miàs.
– EMBA@ Diagonal Mar, Forum Area, Barcelona, Spain. Architect: Enric Massip-Bosch.
– Reportage: Work of Oscar Niemeyer, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
– Reportage: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
– Reportage: Berlin, Germany.
– Finalist: XIX Toledo Architecture Photography Contest, Toledo, Spain.
– Mencioned: International Photography Contest “Niemeyer 100 years”, Madeira, Portugal.
– Mencioned: Viaggi Lionetti Architecture Photography Contest, Matera, Italy.
– Ferrer i Guardia Primary school, Granollers, Spain. Architect: BAAS Architects.
– Reportage: La Ricarda House, El Prat, Barcelona, Spain.
– Arch: A. Bonet (original), F. Alvarez e J. Roig (refurbishment).
– Can Matas Primary school, Barcelona, Spain. Arch: NOR Architects.
– Reportage: Zurich, Switzerland.
– 2005 FAD Prize, Barcelona, Spain. Architects: Blancafort and Reus Architects.
– Social Golf Club Fontanals, Girona, Spain. Architect: J. Miàs.
– Housing in Marina street, Barcelona, Spain. Architects: Mercadè and Fernandez.
– Reportage: Berlin, Germany.
– Reportage: Contemporary Architecture in Barcelona, Spain.
– Reportage: Berlin, Germany.
– Contemporary Architecture in Marseille, France, and Barcelona, Spain.
– Reportage: Work of A. Siza in Portugal.
– Finalist: Photo Contest “Children and animals”, Ferrara, Italy.
– Exhibition in the Dosso Dossi Art Gallery of Ferrara, Italy.