Photographer Chris Forsyth on the Montreal Metro, Going Underground, and Overlooked Architecture

Jean-Drapeau Station. Image © Chris Forsyth

Montreal-based photographer Chris Forsyth doesn’t see his city the way others do — that much is evident from his body of work, which includes rooftop photos of the skyline, nocturnal shots taken from the arm of a crane and now, images from the underground. The Montreal Metro Project is Forsyth’s latest series, documenting the often overlooked architecture of the urban subway since October 2014.

Composed of 68 stations, each designed by a different architect between the 60s and 70s, the Montreal Metro system is as diverse and idiosyncratic as the city it underpins. Forsyth captures the stations empty of passengers, highlighting their architecture and reframing them in a manner rarely experienced.  ArchDaily spoke to Forsyth about the series and the creative process behind it. Read his responses and view selected images from The Montreal Metro project after the break.

The Surreal Architectural Collages Of Matthias Jung

Expedition to the East Pole. Image ©

Matthias Jung’s fascination for the medium of collage began in his father’s photolab. And so, “with scissors and glue, the first fantastic buildings were made.” In early 2015 Jung, a German artist and graphic designer, created seven images as part of a series which he entitled ’Houses’, of which many of this selection originate. Uniquely, every piece of each collage originates from one of Jung’s original photographs which are collected and then reassembled. The majority of these photographs were taken during trips in northeastern Germany.

See a selection of Jung’s fantastical architectural collages after the break.

Vincent Laforet Captures San Francisco From Above

© Vincent Laforet

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has made his way to San Francisco as part three of his dizzying series of city aerials. Capturing the tightly packed metropolis from 7,200-feet, Laforet became mesmerized by the city’s “clashing grids,” stunning bridges and overwhelming feeling of “peace and order.”

“There’s just something about this city’s vibe – a perfect balance between the hectic go-getter pace of and the more relaxed, laissez-faire rhythm of Los Angeles,” says Laforet. “It feels like every little piece of the puzzle has somehow found its place in what is an absolutely chaotic topography.”

See a selection of Laforet’s series, after the break. 

Las Vegas vs The Landscape: Photographer Michael Light Exposes the Terraforming of the American Dream

“Barcelona” Homes and the Edge of Lake Mead Recreation Area, Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, NV; 2011. Image © , Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain

“Nestled into the desert landscape that defines Nevada’s visage,
Ascaya feels as if it were shaped by the elements.
[...]
Where stone rises up to meet the sky, there is a place called Ascaya.”
- The Ascaya promotional website

Not quite, according to Michael Light’s soon-to-be released book, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain. Covering the advance of suburban Nevada into the desert, this two-part book looks at Lake Las Vegas, a then-abandoned victim of the 2008 real estate crash which has since emerged from the other side of bankruptcy, and nearby Ascaya, a high end housing estate that is still in the process of being carved into Black Mountain. Light’s doesn’t so much question the developers’ summary as it does, say, blast it, scar it, terrace it and then build a large housing development on the remains. Featuring beautifully composed aerial shots of the construction sites and golf courses covering the desert, the book is a clear condemnation of the destructive and unsustainable development in Nevada. Much more than that, though, Light is highlighting a wider philosophy behind developments like Ascaya and Lake Las Vegas that fundamentally fail to connect American society with the American landscape in a non-destructive way.

Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Musée des Confluences Through the Lens of Edmund Sumner

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Edmund Sumner has shared with us images from his recent visit to Lyon, France, where he photographed Coop Himmelb(l)au’s newly completed Musée des Confluences. Perched on a century-old artificial peninsula at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, the “museum of knowledge,” as Coop Himmelb(l)au affectionately refers to it, is distinct for its “iconic gateway” – an openly traversable “Crystal” that provides multi-level access to the museum’s spaces and views of the building’s unique context. Step inside, after the break.

4 Building Images Shortlisted for Sony 2015 World Photography Award

Architecture, Open, Australia © Gina Alderson-Hicks via 2015 Sony World Awards. Image Courtesy of WPO

The World Photography Organization has revealed 35 images that are being considered to be the “world’s best contemporary photograph.” Of the shortlisted selection, beauty found within our built world takes center stage in four of the images. All entries were submitted freely by professionals and amateurs alike. See all four stunning images, after the break.

Happy 25th Birthday Photoshop; Architecture Wouldn’t be the Same Without You

Over the past 25 years, has helped make photorealistic images of near-impossible projects an everyday fact of architecture. Image Courtesy of Urban Future Organization and CR-Design

This past week, Adobe Photoshop turned 25 years old. That’s right: at an age where us mere mortals are often still embarrassingly reliant on our parents, Photoshop is taking the opportunity to look back on how it became one of the world’s most ubiquitous pieces of software, and how in just a quarter-century it has transformed our very conceptions of beauty and even reality itself.

Of course, to the general public Photoshop is probably best-known for the role it has played in the fashion and advertising industries. Serving up heavily processed, idealized images of anatomically dubious models, its effect in our wider culture is well-known, but Photoshop has had its impact on the architecture profession as well. Join us after the break as we look at 25 years of Photoshop in architecture.

Vincent Laforet’s “Sin City” Shows Vegas from 10,800 Feet

© Vincent Laforet

Vincent Laforet is at it again, this time photographing Nevada’s Sin City from an elevation of 10,800 feet (8,799 feet above the city). Part two of Laforet’s dizzying series of city aerials, the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer was drawn to city of Las Vegas because of its “island” effect.

“Just like the island of Manhattan that started this series, Vegas is an “Island of Light” in the middle of nothingness… A sea of black with an amazing source of light emanating from Vegas and its infamous strip… You can almost see the electricity running through it.”

A collection of “Sin City” images, after the break. 

The Power Of The Plan: Drones And Architectural Photography

Boa Nova Teahouse / Álvaro Siza Vieira. Image ©

What is the draw of the aerial view? Whereas architects and designers often find solace in this particular spatial perspective there is a more inclusive, universal appeal to this way of seeing. The ease of access to online mapping services has increased our collective reliance on understanding our world from above.

Maps condense the planet into a little world inside our pocket, the commodification of which has universalised the ‘plan-view’ photograph. The question of whether or not their ubiquitous availability, having now been assimilated into our collective consciousness, is a positive step for the status of the plan is a discussion ongoing. Yet, in the face of this dilemma, architectural photographers are pushing the boundaries of drone technology in order to find new meaning.

Explore the Land of the Upright People in Grant Smith’s “Upright and Educated”

© Grant Smith

Through January 31, The Building Centre is hosting Upright and Educated, a photographic documenting the work of UK charitable organization Article 25 in Burkina Faso. Captured by award-winning photographer Grant Smith, the images chart the construction and use of a school in Gourcy, in the country’s north.

Founded in 2006, Article 25 worked with local builders, craftspeople, and fellow UK charity Giving Africa to construct Bethel Secondary School, allowing up to 1100 children access to enhanced education and vocational training facilities. Learn more about the project and view selected images from the exhibition after the break.

Vincent Laforet’s Images of New York From Above Will Take Your Breath Away

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Something he has “dreamed of capturing for decades,” Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet has released a stunning set of images that captures his hometown of New York in a way that has never before been seen. Taken from a nauseating 7500-feet above the city, Laforet’s “Gotham 7.5K” series reveals the unrelenting, pulsating energy that radiates from the Big Apple’s city grid.

All the images and the making-of video, after the break. 

Sto Werkstatt to Showcase World’s Best “Building Images”

Heydar Aliyev Center / Hufton and Crow. Image © Hufton and Crow

Modern times have seen the rise and proliferation of architectural media, allowing people to remotely experience spaces and buildings without ever physically entering them. As such, the importance of the architectural image has never been greater.

Opening on January 15 at ’s Sto Werkstatt and organized in conjunction with Arcaid Images, Building Images celebrates the “power and impact of photography on the way we sense and experience spaces.” Described by Arcaid Images co-founder Lynne Bryant as having “long been the means of communicating architecture,” photography is a medium that has grown inseparable from the notion and creation of the architectural image. Learn more and view selected images from the exhibition, after the break.

“Fragments of Metropolis”: An Exploration of Berlin’s Expressionist History

© Niels Lehmann & Christoph Rauhut

Despite being born in the same era, Expressionism embodies an entirely different architectural sensibility to other proto-modernist movements like the Bauhaus. Its complex forms marked the creation of what we know as the modern metropolis and became one of the iconic architectural styles of the Roaring Twenties. Throughout Europe, over 1,000 expressionist buildings remain standing, yet many are forgotten and not properly preserved.

For the past four years, Niels Lehmann and Christoph Rauhut have been working to document these surviving expressionist landmarks, following their previous book “Modernism London Style.” Their new book, “Fragments of Metropolis – Berlin” presents 135 remaining expressionist buildings in Berlin and the surrounding area, and with your help this incredible collection documenting the landmarks of expressionism will be published, with colorful and detailed maps revealing their exact locations. Follow this link to become a supporter and learn more, or continue after the break to see a selection of images from the book.

Iwan Baan: No Filter

Fondation Louis Vuitton, . Image © Iwan Baan

Cultured, one of the leading art, architecture and design magazines, has shared with us part of the 16-page photo essay “No Filter” by Iwan Baan that is being featured in its Winter Issue, on stands now. Enjoy! 

If you pore endlessly over images of architecture the way we do, chances are you’ve been drooling over work captured by Iwan Baan. Though he’s adamant that he not be referred to as an “architectural photographer,” Baan has probably captured more buildings, pavilions, residences and just about every other structure in between than any other single lensman. Yet it is Baan’s background in documentary that most influences his work. “I choose my projects not so much for the architecture, but for its relationship with the city around it and how people respond to it,” says Baan. “I’m trying to tell the story of the built environment—the places where we live.” Here, Baan tells the story behind 11 projects completed this year, and two others that he has a personal connection to.

“I love great architecture that is very specific for its site and client, it’s for an architect always a dance between him, a site and a client. Here, Gehry was given complete freedom to design every detail, every nook and cranny of a building for Bernard Arnault to house his art collection.”

Read on for more quotes and images by the renowned Iwan Baan. 

Ruin Porn: An Internet Trend That is Older than You Think

© Eric Holubow

The internet has been good to fans of “ruin porn,” providing them with a platform for sharing images and even coining the phrase, courtesy of a well-known Detroit blogger in 2009. However, the phenomenon isn’t actually as new as most people believe. In this article, originally published on 6sqft as “Before There was ‘Ruin Porn’ There was ‘Ruin Value’” Diane Pham expands on the idea of the connection between and architectural value (recently discussed on ArchDaily in an article by Shayari de Silva), delving into the concept’s surprising history.

In the hierarchy of “things the internet likes”, we’d argue that ruin porn sits wedged somewhere between Buzzfeed quizzes and cats. Images of decaying architecture conjure up unsettling feelings of tragedy and loss, but somehow manage to grip us with its intangible beauty. Whatever the cause for this may be, the thrill and enjoyment we get from looking ruin porn is palpable.

The term ‘ruin porn’ is said to have been coined by blogger James Griffioen during a 2009 interview with Vice magazine in which he criticized photographers who scouted down-trodden Detroit for provocative photos. While ruin porn is the trend at hand, decades before its arrival there was something called ‘ruin value’.

Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton / Images by Danica O. Kus

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Architecture photographer Danica O. Kus has shared with us images of Frank Gehry‘s recently completed Fondation Louis Vuitton. Labeled as a “late-career triumph” by Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Hawthorne, the sailed glass structure teeters on the edge of a Parisian water garden in Jardin d’Acclimatation. For a closer look at the building’s much-discussed structure, check out all of Kus’ images after the break.

How Serendipity Helped Make 22-Year-Old Pedro E Guerrero FLW’s Favorite Photographer

Robert Llewellyn Wright House. Image © 2014 Archives

What does it take for a 22-year-old art school drop-out to start a lifelong professional relationship with “the greatest American architect of all time”? Originally published by Curbed as “How a 22-Year-Old Became Wright’s Trusted Photographer,” this article reveals that for Pedro E. Guerrero, it took some guts and a lot of luck – but once they were working together this unlikely pairing was a perfect match.

When Frank Lloyd Wright hired Pedro E. Guerrero to photograph Taliesin West in 1939, neither knew it would lead to one of the most important relationships in architectural history. Wright was 72 and had already been on the cover of Time for Fallingwater. Guerrero was a 22-year-old art school drop-out. Their first meeting was prompted by Guerrero’s father, a sign painter who vaguely knew Wright from the neighborhood and hoped the architect would offer his son a job. Any job.

Young Guerrero had the chutzpah to introduce himself to the famous architect as a “photographer.” In truth, he hadn’t earned a nickel. “I had the world’s worst portfolio, including a shot of a dead pelican,” Guerrero said later. “But I also had nudes taken on the beach in Malibu. This seemed to capture Wright’s interest.”

Hufton + Crow Named Architectural Photographer of Year 2014

Heydar Aliyev Centre / Zaha Hadid Architects. Image © Hufton + Crow

Hufton + Crow have been named “Architectural Photographer of the Year 2014” by Arcaid Images. The news was announced in Singapore at the World Architecture Festival after the duo’s interior image of Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Centre staircase received the highest score from the judges. Hufton + Crow also received runner-up in the award’s exterior category with another image from the Heydar Aliyev Centre. You can check it out, after the break.