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UA Architects on Architecture and Photography

Interview Date: 26-09-2012
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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?

M.T:  It depends on if you want a frame in everyday situations; maybe as an architect you have a good image of how building works on everyday situations, but if it’s really about an image; photographer is really educated for it, of course we can learn it and do it.

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?

E.G:  We are working on it; we hire people to put in our photos. It’s important because architecture is for people and you have two kinds of architects: you have the architects for the people or the people architects; and the people architects are for architects a social issue. So if you take a picture of a building you have to have few people also in it. So we start to understand also this in our profession, not only us but our colleagues also. It will change I think.

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?

M.T:  Yes of course there are such buildings, but I don’t know if that is only related to photography or if it also has to do with movies, with city running and merchandise. What I mean is that this building is often used in a car commercial, and then it has influence. I don’t know whether this is good or bad, but it’s related to its other I think.

E.G:  I think architecture will always stay a part of our environment; it will not change, so buildings are an important part of the system.

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?

M.T:  I think you should always be there. Even if you make a movie you get a better grip on the sequence and the tension of perspective in a building, but anyway you should always feel it. You cannot get good pictures of Adolf Loos for example, it’s impossible; you should just be there. I think it’s the same for a lot of building.

E.G:  But it has to do also whit the culture. You have to be in a country to understand a culture and to understand the building. Otherwise you don’t understand anything because it has to do with the location and the context.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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UA Architects

UA Architects

Country: Netherlands
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Philosophy UArchitects
‘UArchitects are fascinated by the interplay of levels of scale and imagination: the scale of the city and the scale of the individual; imagination in the abstract and imagination in concrete form. We do not look for the interconnection in just one relentless, dogmatic theme; we prefer to investigate it in a range of different concepts.The differences in the nature and scale of our projects prompt us to develop new strategies for every project. But our design philosophy remains recognisable throughout: intuitive and reflective, and always based on our fascination for people and places. The places provide hints of the volume, orientation and materialisation we want to apply. The buildings already in place help to define what has yet to be built.’

Our investigative attitude is expressed in the intensive dialogue we undertake with our clients. And the scope for reflection is not confined to the projects themselves; we also look into the wider cultural context of architecture and urban development by. This is not designed to discover definitive answers, but to encourage questions – and thus to continue our contemplative operating methods in relation to the projects we design at UArchitects.

Socio-cultural context
UArchitects is a collective of architects, for which Misak Terzibasiyan (born on 22-09-64 in Helsinki, Finland) and Emile van Vugt (born on 04-03-74 in Hameln, Germany) are responsible.

UArchitects is involved in ongoing construction projects and tendering processes, while additional activities such as a teaching design workshops at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), the design work for the State Buildings Agency [Rijksgebouwendienst], South Region, and the activities for new developments in municipalities in the provinces of Brabant and Utrecht allow us to position our own work in a wider theoretical context.

We also attempt to make a social contribution to the position and responsibilities of the architect and town planner in a wider cultural context. In concrete terms, what this involves is the organisation of workshops and exhibitions such as, for example:
- “Living City”, lecture including a debate featuring Harm Tilman (head editor of the magazine ,de Architect), Mathieu Bruls and West 8 on what activities might play out in Strijp S, \’the Forbidden City’, once Philips vacates this industrial estate.
- “Cultural identity of Helmond?”, a debate and interviews with Jo Coenen, Rob Krier and Joan Busquets, amongst others, on the relationship between the ‘retro feel’ of neighbourhoods like Brandevoort and the diversity and stratification of society.
- “Eindhoven Revisited: the blue carpet”, a workshop with an exhibition and debate featuring Floris Alkemade (OMA Rotterdam) and Luc Deleu (TOP Office Antwerp), amongst others, on the relationship between art, design and public spaces.


:: Photo information and credits:

1 > Juvenile Detention Entrance Building
photo courtecy © UA Architects

2 > Juvenile LIVING
photo courtecy © UA Architects

3 > Meander interior
photo courtecy © UA Architects

4 > Athletic Centre perspective
photo courtecy © UA Architects

5 > Salt Storage elements
photo courtecy © UA Architects

6 > Piraeus night sea
photo courtecy © UA Architects

7 > School Bocholt Entrance
photo courtecy © UA Architects

8 > School Bocholt at night
photo courtecy © UA Architects

09 > Villa R at night
photo courtecy © UA Architects

10 > Villa R eastside
photo courtecy © UA Architects