In 1973 Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill stumbled upon a cement factory in Catalonia, Spain, an enormous compound of silos and buildings that covered nearly two and a half miles of underground tunnels. Bofill decided to buy The World War I era structure and its grounds, making modifications to the original structure in order to create an all-inclusive live/work space that would unite the Surrealist, Abstract, and Brutalist elements found in its industrial form.
Original construction to transform the sprawling series of buildings took a little over a year and a half. After the dust cleared from the jack hammers and dynamite, Catalan craftsmen worked to add gardens and purpose back into the abandoned compound. Today the factory holds a cathedral, model workshop, archive rooms, residence, and studio, a workspace for Bofill’s firm spread over four floors in the factory’s silos and connected by a spiral staircase.
Despite over forty years in the making, the entire project is constantly evolving and is one that Bofill never sees as being fully completed. With continuous tweaks, Bofill has created a perfectly programmed existence, a ritualized lifestyle that goes against his previously nomadic early life.
“I have the impression of living in a precinct, in a closed universe which protects me from the outside and everyday life,” said Bofill on his website. “The Cement Factory is a place of work par excellence. Life goes on here in a continuous sequence, with very little difference between work and leisure.”
You can see more images of the garden-covered structures on Bofill’s website, and see a short Nowness documentary on his studio and residence below. (via Designboom)
All images via Ali Alamedy
Turkey-based artist Ali Alamedy had been building miniature sets for seven years when he came across documentation of Charles Miner's photography studio from the early 1900s. Inspired by the way sunlight was used to illuminate studio sets, Alamedy decided to build his own version in 1:12 scale. The project took him over nine months, using hundreds of feet of wood, and building more than 100 miniature objects designed specifically to fit the era.
Due to few images being available of photography studios at that time, Alamedy read extensively to figure out what tools, techniques, styles, and colors were used within the studios (all images were in black and white). One of the hardest challenges during the completion of the model was the camera, as each fold in the bellow in real life is just 3 cm. The final 1:12 scale camera has 124 2 mm folds that were all meticulously created by hand.
You can take a look at more of Alamedy’s miniature scenes on his Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel).
Photographer Mark Mawson has published a wonderful series of fourteen new underwater ink photographs entitled Aqueous Fluoreau. The images are stunning not only for their vibrant colors but their almost sculptural appearance. His previous projects from the same family, Aqueous and Aqueous II are also incredible and worth your time. If you liked this, also check out the work of Alberto Seveso. (via behance)
It never ceases to amaze me: just when I think I’ve seen every possible permutation of an artform or technique—be it figurative sculpture, stop motion animation, or in this case, high speed photography—somebody comes along and manages to do something radically different. German photographer Heinz Maier says that he began taking photographs less than a year ago in late 2010. He claims to not know what direction he’s heading in just yet, right now he’s experimenting with macro photography, mostly insects, animals, and these delicate high speed water droplets. Personally, I think he’s found a great direction. There are so many things happening here to make these photographs simply outstanding: the lighting, the colors, the occasional use of symmetry in the reflection of water, let alone the skill of knowing how to use the camera itself. It’s hard to believe these aren’t digital. See much more of his work here.
In awe of this shot by photographer Stephan Geyer who currently lives and works out of Dubai. More work on Flickr.
Photographer Alan Sailer spends an inordinate amount of time photographing objects meeting a violent demise by means of high speed projectiles, high voltage explosions, and sometimes just hurling things at a wall. I love the other-worldly appearance some of the objects take on, especially the pear that appears to be liquifiying from the inside out. There are thousands of photos in his Flickr stream, the above are some of his most recent, and here are some of his favorites.