World Photo Day: Thomas Mayer by Emre Arolat

Sancaklar Mosque / Emre Arolat Architects. Image © Thomas Mayer

In honor of World Photo Day (August 19th) ArchDaily wanted to thank the photographers who bring to life the projects that we publish every day. So we asked architects to weigh in on the work of some of our most-appreciated architecture photographers. Here, Emre Arolat writes on behalf of Thomas Mayer

A Photographic Journey Through Zollverein: Post-Industrial Landscape Turned Machine-Age Playground

The “Skywheel” attraction. Image © Gili Merin

Derelict urban landscapes and abandoned spaces have always attracted adventurous explorers, searching for a peek into the world of a fallen industrial dystopia. That desire can be fulfilled by a visit to the Zollverein complex in Essen, Germany: once Europe’s largest coal mine, Zeche Zollverein was transformed over 25 years into an architectural paradise. Contributions by Rem Koolhaas, Norman Foster and SANAA are included in the 100-hectare park; overwhelming in its complexity, the estate includes rusty pipes, colossal coal ovens and tall chimneys, inviting over 500,000 people per day to gain an insight into the golden age of European heavy-industry.

Join us for a photographic journey through this machine-age playground, after the break…

WORLD PHOTO DAY: The 13 Architecture Photographers to Follow Now

© Leonardo Finotti

In honor of World Photo Day, we’ve rounded up the 13 architectural photographers who have been impressing us most in 2013. From industry heavyweights, like and , to relative new comers, such as Miguel de Guzmán and Fran Parente, these photographers have traveled the world, getting the architectural shots we only dream of. See all 13, after the break…

Raimund Abraham’s Final Work / Photographer Thomas Mayer

House for Music. Photo ©

Raimund Abraham (1933-2010), who would have turned 79 today, was far from your typical architect. A striking figure – usually sporting a black fedora, thick moustache, and cigar – Abraham was a radical thinker who believed passionately in the sacred importance of architecture.

For Abraham, architecture existed just as legitimately in the mind as on the ground; as he put it: “I don’t need a building to validate my ideas.” In fact, many of his visionary drawings were exhibited as art, including in the MOMA. Although most of his designs were never actually built, those that were gained critical acclaim.

He was best known for the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York City, a 24-story, “guillotine-like” building curiously squeezed onto a plot only 25 feet wide. Architectural historian Kenneth Frampton called itthe most significant modern piece of architecture to be realized in Manhattan since the Seagram Building and the Guggenheim Musuem of 1959.”

To celebrate this great mind, we present you his final work, Musikerhaus (House for Music or Musician’s House), as photographed by Thomas Mayer. The House, a former NATO missile base turned artists’ residence/exhibition gallery (you can see the latest exhibition “The Reality of the Unbuilt” in the photos below), will be completed next year.

More photos & quotes, after the break…

Architectural Photography: Floriade 2012 World Horticultural Expo / Thomas Mayer

The Innovatoren | © Thomas Mayer

From now until October 7th, the southeastern Netherlands city of Venlo will be hosting the Floriade 2012 World Horticultural Expo. Covering 66 hectares, the expo invite visitors to experience nature in a variety of ways through the creation of five unique themed worlds. Wandering through wooded areas, the visitors discover each world and all they have to offer.

Swiss architectural photographer Thomas Mayer has shared with us images of unique pavilions and structures found throughout the expo. Each innovative pavilion is meant to educate and inspire. Continue after the break to view the 2012 pavilions.

Architectural Photographers: Thomas Mayer

Punta della Dogana Venice, Tadao Ando 2009 ©

This time we are presenting you Thomas Mayer, Swiss architectural photographer who works for some of the worldʻs finest architects such as Frank Gehry. He learned photography in Zurich and came to in 1968 where he worked until 1974 as a specialised photographer for car advertising in studio and on location. In 1974 he started to do editorial photography for Germanyʻs finest magazines such as GEO, Stern, Merian, ZEIT-Magazin, Der Spiegel and more. In cooperation with famous designer Otl Aicher he worked for companies like BMW, Lufthansa, West-LB and started to do architecture features for ERCO Lighting from 1977 until today. A long term documentation about Frank Gehryʻs Neuer Zollhof Dusseldorf 1989 – 1999. A documentation on the development of the world heritage site Zeche Zollverein 2002 – 2007 includes the development of the Zollverein School from competition til finalisation of the building.

Thomas Mayerʻs work has taken him to many places in the world and has been published in magazines, books, exhibitions and Calenders. Besides his craftmanship and strong sense of composition, his work can broadcast a visual sense of humor. He is a storyteller who does not need to resort to pathos or trickery but finds beauty in man and structures and in light and shadow instead.