Congratulations to David Thompson Architects for winning a 2012 CT AIA Design Award.
The Built Project Design Award is for the Common Ground Harvest Pavilion, New Haven, CT.
I photographed this small project at the Common Ground High School last fall for David. You can see my post on it here.
The project was also featured shortly after on the website World-Architects.com (article link), with an interview with David.
Yale Art Gallery renovation and expansion: Swartout and Street Halls.
Years ago now I had the early privilege to photograph the renovation of the Louis Kahn building, home to the Yale Art Gallery. That project was done before I fully worked for myself and started out on 4×5 film. This spring I had the privilege to photograph the construction complete, but empty spaces of the newest additions to the Art Gallery.
These renovated and expanded buildings are: Swartout and Street Hall. Swartout, which previously had gallery space, adjoins the Kahn building. The building has been extensively cleaned on the outside and in the great stone sculpture hall (inside the arched windows), but also sports the new very “white cube” upper stories. The expansion includes a 4th Flr, a mezzanine space in the tower, and a new terrace. Street Hall, attached via the High St bridge, was most recently the home of the Art History Dept. In many instances the changes are careful restorations of spaces, especially in Street Hall where sky lit galleries now look close to what they did when they displayed art in the first half of the 20th century.
Lots More and Images Below, Read more…
What had been forecast as a beautiful fall day (and it was on the drive down in the dark at 5am) turned into a fog shrouded morning when I made the image below. We had just enough sun peek through at sunrise to get this and a small patch of blue before things closed up. So it is with weather and photographing outside, but my tale here is not about unexpected weather so much as other truly unexpected events and experiencing the world through sight.
Just after this image was made I started to descend the hill, and because the fog was so thick, you could look directly at the sun. At that moment there were some power lines crossing in front of the sun and what I first thought were two birds sitting. The “birds” however were moving along with the sun and not staying on the power lines. When the sun is so low you can actually see the sun (of course more accurately the earth) move rather quickly.
The nut I am I turned to my client and said, “Do you see those two black spots on the sun?”. The reply was, “no”. And shaking my head I say, “Well I swear I can see two spots on the sun”. Or that was approximately the dialogue. Not two days later I stumbled across this National Geographic article about massive sun spots on the sun, large enough to see with the naked eye.
Sometimes you’ve got to trust what you see! -it is after all our greatest way to perceive our universe.
Harvest Pavilion: In a field again for David Thompson
In the field (another view from a field) and light where there was not any.
Sometimes the vision for the ideal view of a project is just not the current reality. This Garden Pavilion serves as the entryway and main gate for the Common Ground High School teaching vegetable garden. We photographed the finished structure in the fall as seemed appropriate for fruitful gardens. But the school had opted to hold off on electrifying the building (while still planning surrounding services).
While I’d say today’s trend, and definitely among my clients, is to photograph projects under natural light conditions, as well as use the designed light environment instead of sticking in a big photographer’s nose. In this case David had designed lighting that he envisioned illuminating the translucent roof, a great way to create atmosphere for evening outdoor events the school might hold. So in addition to making day images we had the task of illuminating the roof from within to create a glowing roof at dusk a reality. The logistics turned out to be easier than if the building had been more enclosed. We used a series of wide open faces light down the rafters on each roof side and a couple smaller spots on the floor interior. And of course the generators to power everything while we waited for dusk to descend.
And the finished image. With a second preset camera in the garden we were also able to make a matching broadside image from within the garden.
Thankfully in the fall, in a field, at dusk we weren’t eaten alive waiting for the right moment!
I couldn’t help but make the first here after I saw it (made it on the way out, after covering the bases). I knew it wouldn’t make it with space constraints. The reason being that without the help of a heavy caption one understandably would assume the left wall of names is also from the Civil War (which it is not, World War II, I think). Anyway, point is outside of editorial clarity or expediency I like the architecturally formal strength here. In this I think I have a sense of space and a visually longer lasting image – the building lines are there to follow, loop back on, and interlock.
The second image as well was not published, as this whole wall was. I want to share this here because it is a good editorial image for me as it feels different than many I have made. It is closer of course, perhaps, but (and maybe it is just the subject matter) it feels more intense.