Billboard advertisements for proposed apartment buildings in the CBD employ images that dramatically exaggerate viewpoint and horizon line to foreground, and distort the image of the building to come. These visualisations, almost comic in their dynamism, are often coupled with renders depicting the view and city scenery that will be experienced by those who will occupy the future dwelling.
These are extreme examples of the contemporary, hyper realistic imagery that presents an architecture that is discreet, heroic, gestural, and often populated by a stripped in cast, demonstrating exactly how this building can be used and experienced.
I am interested in what these kinds of images exclude, what qualities of architecture arise out of these all-encompassing images that are almost compulsory requirements for today’s design competitions. I can’t realistically see a return to more suggestive or illustrative ways of presenting architecture in the public realm, but is there the chance that the imagery that foregrounds the contingent, fractured and relational qualities of architecture might also capture the popular imagination, and that of juries?
The images assembled on the following page are part of the research my practice is undertaking into how those qualities can be integrated into the imagery we produce. Combining web creative commons sources with my own photographs, these images were selected on the basis of both technique and content. What they foreground is not the architectural (or artistic) object, but the relationship between it and something outside it; a landscape, a submarine, an ornament, the adjacent spaces.
The architectural information they communicate is rich, complex and important – a different kind of imagery to show the qualities of architecture that can’t be captured in a single totalising view.