“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.”
Mies van der Rohe

The organisation of space is the realm of both architect and photographer. The nature of space, and the very means by which we recognise it, is always fluid and transitory. The photographer not only recognises great established relationships between familiar structures and their environment, but also observes the constantly evolving realignments or mutations, which exist between tradition and modernity, as much as between manmade structures and nature. There are moments of random interaction between humanity and the great landscapes of the natural world where an almost instinctive relationship can be captured in something as simple as a workmen’s goal mouth by a highway. Barriers, enclosures, walls and routes are not just overt structures but unspoken strictures. These attempts at definition and containment speak of deeper cultural and political truths. By looking at them, by bringing them together, hidden realities and sinister webs of power are gradually revealed.

Absolute boundaries

left: Tourist viewing platformfor looking into North Korea from the South Korean side of the 38th parallel. Situated on top of Dorasan (Mount Dora), the observatory looks across the Demilitarized Zone. It is the part of South Korea closest to the North. Mount Dora, South Korea, 2007

right: Road barrier above a steep drop at the edge of a newly completed section of the Interoceanic Highway in the Peruvian Andes. Above Cuzco, Peru, 2008

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Enveloping form

left: Scaffolding surrounding the second temple of Hera. The Greek Doric temple was built in about 450 BC. Paestum, Italy, 2001

right: Statue of Lenin at Sculpture Park (Fallen Monument Park), Moscow, Russia, 2007

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Extract from my architectural photography book, Drawing Parallels, Architecture Observed

Text & Photography © Quintin Lake, 2009