Seeking to give insights into the architectural creative centers of the world, Rainer Taepper created an architectural book that doesn’t feature buildings and plans. Looking behind the scenes, the architecture photographer highlighted both the working spaces of international design firms and the creative people, who contribute to the conception of a building.
An on-going project, Rainer Taepper has just completed the second volume from his architectural book series “The Office”. Featuring European architectural firms such as A-Lab, BIG, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Foster + Partners, Henning Larsen, MÄCKLERARCHITEKTUR, MVRDV, Snøhetta, Staab Architekten, and UNStudio, the publication portrays working spaces and creators.
“Taken from the knowledge-hungry perspective of a secret observer, a voyeur of good design”, as Taepper puts it, the project aims to attract more renowned names from all over the world, in order to continue the series and capture more spaces. Wrapping up this edition by asking contextual interrogations, the photographer questions the future of work in architecture, as well as the influence of home offices and online meetings.
The result is an almost intimate insight into the working environments of the people who not only design our living spaces today but also have a decisive influence on our world of tomorrow with their ideas and visions. -- Rainer Taepper.
Discover below the prolog, from “The Office II”.
Regardless of success or failure, my mind was already set at the first "The Office": This deserves a sequel! Motivated and self-confident, I, therefore, called it "Edition I" with the aim of presenting the follow-up work exactly one year later. Unfortunately, in the end, it took almost two years. This is not entirely due to my negligence, for it is the year 2020; a year which has probably shaken up all our plans and goals.
First of all, I started "Edition II" full of verve and my schedule to finish all the photos for the book in the first three months almost came to fruition. In my line of business, it is rather quiet at this time of the year and therefore perfect for projects where the weather is not important. I had already contacted the offices a few months earlier. With the first edition as a reference, it didn't take much persuasion to convince my ideal candidates to participate. Appointments were made and it was a great pleasure to be able to visit the sometimes very complex working environments of internationally renowned offices and, of course, to take photographs. I made good progress with my work and with only one last office left I was slightly behind schedule.
And then came COVID-19, paralyzing the whole world: Lockdown, home office, and consequently empty offices were the result. There would now have been enough time to finish my photographic work, but deserted offices without hustle and bustle and without the special atmosphere of creative, collaborative work were not what I wanted to depict. It was out of the question to do without the last pictures or to capture them in another way. So I had no choice but to wait and put the project on hold for half a year until I was finally allowed to photograph the last missing office for this edition.
Nevertheless, it was worth the wait, the second edition is finished and this time it presents architectural offices in Europe. As in the first book, they are snapshots of an observer hungry for knowledge, a voyeur of good design. The result is an almost intimate insight into the working environments of the people who not only design our living spaces today but also have a decisive influence on our world of tomorrow with their ideas and visions.