The Power Of The Plan: Drones And Architectural Photography

Boa Nova Teahouse / Álvaro Siza Vieira. Image © Joao Morgado

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 in order to find new meaning.

Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro Secondary School / Sousa Santos Architects

© João Morgado

Architects: Sousa Santos Architects
Location: Caldas da Rainha,
Design Team: Jorge Sousa Santos, Bruno Ferraz, Patricia Costa, Ismael Prata, Sofia Oliveira, Vítor Ribeiro
Client: Parque Escola
Completion: 2010
Photographs: João Morgado

MP House / Sebastião Moreira

© João Morgado

Architect: Sebastião Moreira
Location: ,
Project Collaboration: Patrícia Moutinho
Specialty Projects: João Seródio
Construction: Área Pronta, Lda
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: João Morgado  

Fraunhofer Headquarters / Pedra Silva Architects

© João Morgado

Architect: Pedra Silva Architects
Location: , Portugal
Project Coordination: Luís Pedra Silva
Project Area: 1,660 sqm
Project year: 2011
Photographs: João Morgado

Living Boavista / José António Barbosa

© João Morgado

Location: Porto,
Project Area: 5600 sqm Houses: 16 (T4 and T4+1)
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: João Morgado

Logowines Winery / PMC Arquitectos

© João Morgado

Architects: PMC Arquitectos – Leonor Duarte Ferreira/ Miguel Passos de Almeida
Location: ,
Cost: 2.200.000 €
Site area: 35,000 sqm
Project year: 2007 – 2009
Photographs: João Morgado

The Registrar Office of S. Vicente / Duarte Caldeira


Architects: Duarte Caldeira
Location: S.Vicente Madeira, Portugal
Project Team: , Filipe Clairouin, Roberto Castro
Structural Engineers: Casca Gabinete Projectos Lda
Lighting: Fernando Sousa Pereira
Contractor: Tecnovia S.A.
Built area: 420 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Joao Morgado

Boa Nova Church / Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos

Architects: Roseta Vaz Monteiro Arquitectos - Francisco Vaz Monteiro, Filipa Roseta
Location: , Portugal
Collaborators: Inês Fontoura, Bruno Almeida, Patrícia Duarte, Inês Canas, Ana Margarida Mendes
Client: Centro Paroquial do Estoril
Project year: 2001 – 2009
Video: Vitor Gabriel
Photographs: Joao Morgado

Video: Estoril Sol Residence / Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos

The Sol Residence is situated near the mouth of the Vale da Ribeira de la Castellana.  This unique location required a design that created a relationship between the adjacent sea and valley, and added public green space infront of the water.  Designed by architect Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos, the video is produced by João Morgado.

AD Photographers: Joao Morgado

Call Center in Santo Tirso / Aires Mateus

In our AD Photographers section we are now featuring portuguese photographer Joao Morgado. Born in 1985, he has made his photographer career during the last 4 years, working regularly with offices from , Spain, Netherlands and Italy.

1. When and how did you start photographing architecture?

I always had a passion about photography but it became more intense during my studies in architecture.

Through that time, i visited a lot of buildings and i spent several hours a day in libraries absorbing architecture and somehow i missed something from the photos of the buildings i have visited before. Since then i became more and more interested, not only in my own point of view, but specially in the truth of architecture.

A couple of months later, i had an invitation from an editor to photograph buildings of three respect Portuguese architects for a yearbook publication: Aires Mateus, Promontorio and Menos é Mais.

Fundação EDP / Claudio Vilarinho


Designer: Claudio Vilarinho
Location: Belém,
Collaborators: Ernesto Pereira, Filipe Lemos, Gil Soares, Paloma Ibarra
Graphic Design : Teresa Serôdio
Light Design: Paula Rainha
Project year: 2009 – 2010
Photographs: Joao Morgado

Apartment JSJ / Filipe Melo Oliveira

© Joao Morgado

Architect Filipe Melo Oliveira was faced with the design problem of  transforming an outdated apartment from the early ’90s into an updated functional dwelling.  The existing conditions of the apartment contained spectacular views of Monsanto and the Tagus river.  This became a focal point to highlight during the redesign, along with improvements in acoustic and thermal comfort.   Follow the break for more photographs of these thoughtfully redesigned interior spaces.

Architects: Filipe Melo Oliveira
Location: ,
Project Area: 143 sqm
Project Year: 2009-2010
Photographs: João Morgado

Lisbon Architecture Triennale / Let’s talk about houses: Between North and South

The Lisbon Architecture Triennale is getting ready to open its doors October 14. The exhibition Let’s talk about houses: Between North and South will be presented at the Museu Colecção Berardo. Occupying the entire floor of the Grand Hall (3000 m2), it will examine dwelling conditions and the new solutions found in the specific contexts of various regions around the world. With a broad span of commissioners, the exhibition is based around two emblematic experiments (the SAAL project and Alison and Peter Smithson’s House of the Future) in order to examine the meaning of the specificity of place, the modernist legacy, and new solutions to the question of dwelling.

Images and more information after the break.

Optical Store in Lisbon / Jorge Sousa Santos

© Joao Morgado

Last week we featured a new glasses shop in Beja designed by Jorge Sousa Santos, where he used small rotating circular mirrors, that also work as support for the glasses. Now, architecture photographer Joao Morgado shared with us this optical store in , designed by the same architect.

House in Leiden / SAMF


Architects: Sara Antunes & Mário Ferreira Arquitectos
Location: Leiden,
Project Area: 140 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Joao Morgado

H House / Wiel Arets Architects

© João Morgado

Architects: Wiel Arets Architects
Location: Maastricht,
Project Year: 2005-2009
Photographs: João Morgado

Santo Tirso Call Center / Aires Mateus

© João Morgado

Architects: Aires Mateus
Location: Santo Tirso,
Collaborators: Marco Arraiolos, Anna Bacchetta, Bruna Parro
Engineering: AFA Consult
Client: Portugal Telecom
Constructor: LENA / ABRANTINA
Surface Area: 4,700 sqm
Built Area: 3,985 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: João Morgado

Coffee Shop + Shading Surface / ateliermob

shading surface © Joao Morgado
shading surface © Joao Morgado

Architects: ateliermob
Location : Sacavém,
Developer: Loures City Hall
Master Plan Architects: CMLoures
Master Plan Construction: Alfaro Martins
Master Plan Project: Ana Lúcia Abreu
Construction: Tiago Mota Saraiva, Nuno Carvalho, Andreia Salavessa, Raquel Capelo with Carolina Condeço, Nuno Ferreira and Vera João
Project: Tiago Mota Saraiva, Nuno Carvalho, João Ribeiro, João Ferrão with Sónia Oliveira
Engineering: Pereira Pinto, structure; Grade Ribeiro, hydraulics; Campos Carvalho, installations
Contractor: Abrantina/Grupo Lena
Construction Supervision : TPF Planege
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Joao Morgado

coffee shop © Joao Morgado shading surface © Joao Morgado coffee shop © Joao Morgado shading surface © Joao Morgado