By Pjotr Barakov
An Ode to Architecture
I’ve always been fascinated by great architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright once said that ‘the mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.’ Architecture is a mixture of an absolute precision and limitless creativity. According to Adolf Loos it ‘arouses sentiments in man. The architect’s task therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise.’ However most buildings fail to arouse positive sentiments. Frank Gehry claims that 98% of what gets built today is shit. (btw check out his creations, he makes really unusual things) Not sure if he got the percentage right, but there’s a lot of shit for sure. My hometown, Tallinn is a fine example of that. It is a city of contrasts. One of the most beautiful Old Towns in the world adjoins a heap of faceless standardized apartment blocks and boring modern skyscrapers. According to Cambridge Dictionary concrete jungle stands for an ugly grey area of a city where people live in closely crowded apartment buildings and there is little space and no trees or grass. This collocation perfectly describes former Eastern Bloc concrete modernist estates. I’m very familiar with them as I used to live in those plattenbaus.
Moving to London was a breath of fresh air in that sense. This city is full of interesting architectural solutions and even most common terraced houses look lovely. My personal favourite is the Lloyd’s Building or as some call it the-Inside-Out Building. (there are many other amazing buildings in the City of London area) Being built back in 1986 it still looks very futuristic (those elevators are sick) and is utterly functional.
Choosing an idea for a photography project has always been a challenging task for me, but this time it came to me naturally-I simply decided to take pictures of something I admire. So the idea behind the project I started a while ago is to celebrate diverse creative architectural solutions and show familiar elements from an unusual perspective. The biggest challenge I faced when I started this project was the following: how can I communicate my admiration of architecture without falling into a trap of taking boring photos of buildings that Internet is flooded with? I decided to play with perspective and make things look abstract by taking close-ups. ‘Architextures’ is the name for this project and I’ll show on the first day of term.