Crisp Photographs Capturing the Beauty of European Modernist Architecture

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Photography by Sebastian Weiss

Sebastian Weiss’ sunny images encourage the viewer to look upwards towards Europe’s most impressive concrete structures

For Sebastian Weiss, the impetus to start photographing architecture arose when he was studying civil engineering and began to notice the changes occurring to the city of Berlin around him. “I was inspired by the creative viewpoints of a building, rather than by its construction,” the Hamburg-based image-maker explains. “It guided me to the University of the Arts in Berlin to explore that field between technology and design.” 

Under the pseudonym ‘Le Blanc’, Weiss now captures details of buildings’ façades set against impossibly clear blue skies, often taken from a low angle so as to emphasise their size and scale. His shots add another dimension to the architecture by isolating certain corners, sections and surfaces as they sprawl, spiral and sweep across the sky.

Working exclusively outside, the photographer finds inspiration in buildings he encounters in European cities – Helsinki, Reykjavik, Barcelona and Valencia are a few of his favourite shooting locations. But, while he may be cosmopolitan in his choice of cities, when it comes to selecting the subjects of his photos he is far from over particular: “I do not choose buildings by their popularity or the name of the architect. Sometimes it is a completely trivial building like a supermarket or parking garage that has charisma,” he says. “I look for the personality of a building and its secrets or traits. For that I need a kind of dialogue with the building and time to ‘talk’ to it – it is like a conversation with a person.”

Weiss’ crisp, clean shots of sleek forms – favouring, as he does, 20th-century Modernist architecture set against blue skies – provide pleasing viewing, guiding the eye satisfyingly along the city’s unexpected shapes and contours. As the spring days get brighter and longer, Weiss’ photographs provide a timely reminder for city dwellers to take a look skywards, towards their own urban landscapes.