Architecture Photography in Boston
I spent June doing architecture photography in Cambridge and Boston Massachussets. I didn’t photograph as much as I wanted – I suffered a really bad back injury that made it impossible to walk for half of my trip. It was gutting. I was so keen to build up a strong archive of architecture photography from this trip. Boston is home to some phenomenal architecture, not least because nearby Cambridge has both Harvard and MIT, and many key architects of the 20th Century have taught there.
Cambridge MA is home to the only building Le Corbusier built on US soil, the Carpenter Centre for Visual Arts. That building incorporates his Five Points of a New Architecture, the principles which guided his creative work. He’s long been an architect I admire, and I was privileged to see an exhibition of his work at the Crypt in the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral a few years ago. But the Cambridge/Boston area also has architecture designed by Frank Gehry and many others. There’s also a real juxtaposition of traditional and modernist architecture there.
The image you see above is of the John Hancock Tower in Boston city centre. It’s pretty well known. I mean, it is the tallest skyscraper in New England and was designed by Henry Cobb based on the architectural philosophy of Mies Van Der Rohe. So it’s kinda important. Just a little bit. I first saw it in a documentary series on major skyscrapers around the world, and never thought I’d have the chance to photograph it myself so soon.
With architecture photography, I usually prefer to work in a more objective manner, staying true to the buildings’ original forms instead of exaggerating the perspective the way you see above. But skyscrapers are different – I think this kind of framing reflects the feeling that the public has when they are walking past a building like this and they look up. It also portrays the intent of the architect – skyscrapers are by nature ambitious, reaching towards the clouds. They’re modernist monuments that are designed to overwhelm.