Flashback: Do you like Le Corbusier? | Aimez-vous Le Corbusier?

French version below | Version Française ci-dessous

Chapel viewed from the South | Chapelle vue côté sud.

During my last trip to France, back in February, I was lucky to visit the famed Chapelle de Ronchamp by Le Corbusier (Wikipedia).

I had the opportunity to snap a few photos, which hardly do the building justice. Le Corbusier has a knack for designing religious buildings that generate uplifting and highly spiritual experiences, even to the non-religious. His buildings are always best experienced in person as the space, light and materials are difficult to convey in photographs.

I took these shots on a freezing, sunny winter morning, which resulted in beautiful deep-blue skies that frame the white and grey building really well.

The property contains additional annex buildings (such as the maison du pèlerin, pictured above) in addition to a new convent for the local Clarisse Sisters chapter designed by Renzo Piano.

Piano’s building is well integrated in the hill and hardly visible from anywhere, in deference to the master’s chapel. It is nonetheless a very sensible project that is very well executed in typical Piano fashion.

La maison du pèlerin

Au cours de mon dernier séjour en France, j’ai eu l’honneur de visiter la chapelle de Ronchamp par le Corbusier (Wikipedia)

J’y ai pris quelques photos, qui rendent difficilement justice a cet édifice d’exception. Corbu savait concevoir des bâtiments religieux générateur d’expériences spirituelles fabuleuses, accessibles à tous, y compris les personnes non-religieuses. Il est recommandé de visiter ses bâtiments en personne, car la lumière, les espaces ainsi que la matérialité de ses projets difficile a représenter en images.

J’ai pris ces photos un jour d’hiver ensoleillé mais également très froid, ce qui m’a permis de capturer ce ciel très bleu qui encadre la chapelle blanche et grise et contribue a la mettre en valeur.

Les bâtiments annexes (comme la maison du pèlerin, ci-dessus) sont assez peu connus parmi l’oeuvre de Corbu et sont cependant de petits dépendances architecturalement intéressantes, bien que formellement simples et initialement conçues pour abriter le curé ainsi que les pèlerins.

Renzo Piano a récemment conçu un nouveau bâtiment qui s’intègre dans le programme existant. Il s’agit d'un couvent pour les Soeurs Clarisses, ainsi qu’un centre d’accueil et d'exposition (Porterie), qui s’intègre très bien dans la pente et n’est presque pas visible de puis le haut de la colline. Le parti architectural, a la fois discret et efficace, rend hommage a la chapelle du maître sans jamais essayer de lui voler la vedette. La lumière et les matériaux en font un projet typiquement Piano.

Yorkville Residence on the cover of Designlines Magazine

révélateur is proud to announce its first magazine cover! Our shoot of the Yorkville residence by Audax Architecture was featured in the the Spring 2015 issue of Designlines magazine.

Spring 2015 cover

Interestingly, this is our first ever commissioned project and turned out to be a client favourite from day one. This reno of a 70's modern house turned a very dated dwelling into a sleek, contemporary, state of the art dwelling that reflects the personality of its owner, a 30-something successful entrepreneur from Toronto.

Click here for full article.

Little Trinity by DTAH

Earlier this summer, Revelateur was commissioned to shoot DTAH's little trinity project. This is constitutes a good example of adaptive reuse in the city of toronto. This was a fun shoot as it was all about showcasing the interplay between the old and the new. 

Facade on King St. East (at Parliament).

DTAH has a summary of their project here:

"The Little Trinity Church community, founded in 1844 near the corner of King Street East and Parliament Streets in Toronto, developed a building expansion study to investigate the renovation and redevelopment of the three buildings on their site to maximize community worship, social services, and recreational uses in response to the future West  Don Lands development immediately south of their property.

Back of building from garden.

DTAH redeveloped the derelict 19th century townhouses at 399 King Street into the Little Trinity Annex, a new administrative centre and multi-purpose hall for the church community. Renovations in the school house building included the basement multi-purpose hall and ground floor child care spaces to maximize Sunday School capacity and functionality."

Multi-purpose hall.

Although a small project, it was a fun shoot as adaptive reuse presents challenges that are not necessarily evident when shooting other kinds of projects.

Building from garden.

Stafford Development projects

We have been working with Stafford Developments to shoot some of their completed projects to showcase on their new upcoming website. Below are some shots that we did for them:

The Rushton Residences, 743 St. Clair W.

530 St. Clair W.

500 St. Clair W.

Film District Towns

Stay tuned for more cool shots to come...

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #10

This is post 10 of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

10. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME. 

Some shoots will require specific equipment and skills to be done properly. Do not skimp out on the expense if it gives you the images you need. Equipment rental and consultants are sometimes necessary to get the job done well. You photographer will be able to make appropriate recommendations.

Webster PS, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #9

This is post 9 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

9. CHOOSE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. 

Professionalism prevents a lot of headaches. It is often said that the first impression says a lot about a person. Make sure your photographer cares about your needs in more than just words. Their attitude, attentiveness and professionalism should show in everything they do. Make your life easier by choosing someone you can rely on. 

Buckingham Arena,  WGD Architects , Toronto.

Buckingham Arena, WGD Architects, Toronto.

Little Portugal fixer-upper by Downey Design

This project was featured on our blog a few months back, when we shot the interiors for the Designer. We have recently returned to shoot the exterior of the building upon completion of the landscaping.

Main facade

Home to Arts & Labour home-studio, the renovation turned an old factory into an airy, bright space that appears to be much bigger than it actually is.

Main Entrance

Although the renovated building may appear mundane at first glance, it is the simplicity of the elegant materials and solid detailing that makes it come to life in an understated fashion. It is first and foremost a very livable space as evidenced by the spatial and light qualities one finds throughout the project.

Landscaped courtyard


Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #8

This is post 8 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

8. CONSIDER ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS.

Your photographer should know how to deal with these factors (seasons, weather and time of day) in order to take the best shots at the ideal time. Factor in weather and allow for contingency plans. Architectural photography is particularly subject to weather, especially when shooting exteriors. When planning a shoot, ask if your photographer has a contingency plan in the case of bad weather - and do not hesitate to reschedule. If images are shot in poor weather, you risk having to re-shoot the project at additional expense if the quality is negatively affected. Ask your photographer to supply you with a site prep checklist. There is a lot more going into preparing the site for photography than just cleaning up. In order to get the best looking shots, ask your photographer to make recommendations for staging the images. 

Warden Avenue Jr. PS, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #7

This is post 7 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

7. GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE.

Mutually beneficial relationships are best for all parties involved and crediting your photographer whenever you use their images is more than a mere contractual requirement, it is an ethical thing to do. They should also credit you, the client, on their online and offline marketing material. Do not hesitate to ask them to do so should they not offer it from the get-go (it can also be a contractual agreement). 

Webster PS,  Kohn Shnier Architects , Toronto

Webster PS, Kohn Shnier Architects, Toronto

Junction Bungalow by STAMP Architecture

Revelateur recently had the pleasure to shoot a post-war bungalow renovation in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto.

Main entrance, front of the house.

Designed by Brad Netkin of Stamp Architecture, the house is an very clever take on the bungalow typology. The original house was gutted and a second story was added, so that the main floor was turned into a spacious living-room / kitchen space opening onto the backyard and the front of the house was turned into a cosy dining room.

Entrance, Dining room, looking towards back of the house.

The main design feature of this house is a rather intangible one: natural light. Indeed, large windows and skylights are common currency in every area of the house, making the entire dwelling a very pleasant, airy one that makes one feel at ease instantly.

Living room, looking towards entrance.

Add to the the mix the architect's idionsyncratic furniture and art collection and you get a home that is humble in its materials and finishes yet very generous with large spaces that give away a subdued feeling of luxury. This is not a house of ostentatious character, but rather a symphony of natural light.

Staircase with skylight

There is a constant connection to the outdoors in almost every space of this bungalow. That alone makes it worth experiencing in person.

Back of the house, from backyard


Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #6

This is post 6 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

6. MINIMIZE YOUR COSTS.

A good photographer will understand your needs and help you come up with a solution that fits your budget. There are many ways to keep costs reasonable and this should be discussed with your photographer, for example:

1. Shop locally if you can. By avoiding travel expenses, you save money and promote the local economy.

2. Bundle shoots together. If you can combine several projects to be shot at the same time, your photographer should be able to give you a better deal.

3. Use fewer and better views. Carefully consider the shots you need in order to save money. If unsure, your photographer will have a good idea of what shots will best tell the story of your project. Ask them to make recommendations.

4. Keep the bottom line in mind. How much money are you likely to make with these images? How many projects can they help you win? 

Greenrock rental management office, Toronto, Kohn Shnier Architects

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #5

This is post 5 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

5. GET THE RIGHT LICENSE.

Great savings are within reach if you predetermine how your images are going to be used, including potential uses that might not appear necessary at first. Discuss your licensing options with your photographer and favor open source licenses (such as Creative Commons) over copyrighted images as these will give you more flexibility in the way the images can be used and limit your legal liability in case of a dispute. It is important to understand copyright law and how you can use your images - not all licenses are created equal - and be sure to ask your photographer to walk you through the type of license he/she is going to use and how it will impact your rights to the images. These licensing terms should be clearly detailed in the photographer’s contract. 

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #4

This is post 4 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

COLLABORATE

Photographing buildings and interiors is not an exact science and it requires collaboration between the photographer and client, in order to achieve the client’s vision. Photographers have a particular way to look at spaces, usually different from the clients'. It is a good idea to use this difference in viewpoints as a sounding board for coming up with ideas that neither you, the client, nor the photographer might have thought of on their own. The pre-production meeting and the scouting shoot are great places to brainstorm and kick-start this process. If you are going to be present on the day of the shoot, use this to you advantage by discussing each view with your photographer and formulating your specific needs in the clearest way possible. Your photographer should be able to show you each shot prior to capturing the image to serve as the basis for discussion. 

Yorkville residence,  Audax Architecture

Yorkville residence, Audax Architecture

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer - #3

This is post 3 of a series of 10, in a series detailing important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

UNDERSTAND AND FORMULATE YOUR NEEDS. 

It is advisable to sit down and think about what your needs are prior to discussing them with a photographer, in order to make them clear to the professionals you will be hiring. Think about the aesthetic/mood you are trying to achieve, the number of images you need, the way you envision your project to be shot, your budget and any other specific requirements you may have. Photographers should be able to help you uncover these needs by asking a series of increasingly pointed questions and come up with a tailored estimate that will cover all those needs. Once that discovery process is complete, the photographer will know exactly what those needs are. Remember that “understandings prevent misunderstandings” and ask your photographer to clarify anything that is unclear. Do not let technical terms and jargon confuse you. 

Tips for hiring an architectural photographer #1

This post is the first of a series of ten, detailing the most important aspects to hiring an architectural photographer while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

GO FOR VALUE OVER PRICE. 

When hiring a photographer, it is important to consider what is included in the service that was quoted to you. Not all photographers’ fees are created equal and it is critical to read the fine print in order to understand what the fees include. Some professionals will do a “package price” including a variety of services while others will break down their estimates into line items. When comparing fees, make sure that these include comparable services and more importantly, that those services suit you. Be wary of items that are included but not needed for your purposes.