Search results for "germany"

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Radically Simple

Francis Kéré to be focus of extensive exhibition in Germany
Aga Khan Award winner Francis Kéré will have an extensive exhibition—dubbed Francis Kéré. Radically Simple—dedicated to his work at The Architecture Museum for Munich Technical University at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. Born in Burkina Faso, though based in Berlin since 2005, Kéré has established a strong pedigree for himself as an African architect practicing in his home continent. In 2004, Kéré won the Aga Khan Award for his first building, a primary school for the village of Gando—where he was born—in Burkina Faso. Since then, Kéré has become renowned for his socially engaging and ecologically sensitive design. The exhibition, arguably the most comprehensive to date on the Burkinabé architect, showcases a number of his projects in his home country. These include the Lycée Schorge secondary school in Koudougou, the Centre de Santé et de Promotion Sociale (Centre of Health and Social Promotion) in Laongo, and a primary school in Opera Village, also in Laongo. His work in Africa won't be the show's only subject. Kéré's projects—some yet to be complete—in China and Germany are also on display along with his exhibition activities, comprising contributions and competition entries in London, Humlebæk, Milan, Bordeaux, Chicago, Weil am Rhein, Philadelphia, and Venice. In addition to this, photographer and video artist Daniel Schwartz displays a wealth new images and videos of previously unpublished works. According to a musuem press release, Kéré "specifically created the exhibition design for... the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich in order to create a unique experience for the visitor." Francis Kéré. Radically Simple runs through February 26, 2017 with an opening at 7.00 p.m. on November 16 this year.
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Architects Campaign to Rebuild a Pre-WWII Mies House In Germany
If a group of architects, designers, and planners get their way—and successfully raise $2.25 million—then an early Mies van der Rohe designed house could be rebuilt. The lost structure would be reborn as the first Mies museum in Europe. Built long before his famous American works like the Farnsworth House and IBM Plaza, the Wolf House stood for nearly two decades in Guben, a town in eastern Germany at the border near Poland. The town was divided after World War II between Germany (Guben) and Poland (Gubin) as the Soviet Army pressed in from the east. In 1945, the Wolf family—that commissioned the Mies house and lived in it—left. The house was demolished soon after. Some designers see the Wolf House and its flat roof as a pivotal part of Mies’ oeuvre: when his architecture turned more experimental and broke from the typical residential architectural language of the era (pitched roofs, porches, roaring 1920s opulence). Others worry a plan to reconstruct the Wolf House is unrealistic, that anything built would be an incomplete reconstruction. The New York Times reports that “the debate has particular resonance in Germany, where reconstruction of structures destroyed in World War II has been a contentious issue, with some critics characterizing reconstruction as an attempt to erase memories of Nazism.” This would not be the first plan for rebuilding a Mies project: the Barcelona Pavilion, built for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, was up for less than a year before it was dismantled. A group of Spanish architects rebuilt the pavilion in the mid-1980s.
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A “New Blue House” in Germany brings together energy industry, science and public sector

"To make sure that all sustainability criteria are considered, we coordinate an integrated general planning team with clear communication structures and a customized working process from the first conception until the phase of use." - kadawittfeldarchitektur

Kadawittfeldarchitektur has built a modern energy efficiency center on the campus of Hochschule Niederrhein in Mönchengladbach, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The zero emission building is constructed to Passive House standards which require thermal bridge free design, superior windows, ventilation with heat recovery, quality insulation and airtight construction.  The driving idea behind the project was to unite the science and energy industry with the university in a collaborative effort to share innovative energy technologies with the public. The building accommodates an energy center for NEW, an energy and water utility company, along with an academic library, a startup center for new business ventures, and an energy laboratory for students. The building is designed to be an object in the landscape – a “solitaire” according to Mathias Garanin, Project Manager for kadawittfeldarchitektur.  “Due to its conception as a solitaire, it is a building without a rear elevation, a building that faces public space in all directions.” Garanin and the kadawittfeldarchitektur project team say the building volume was based on setback distances from neighboring buildings, creating a compact, five-sided volume clad with oppositely inclined blue tinted glass and photovoltaic panels coordinated with the orientation and incidence of solar radiation. “The NEW-Blauhaus building is kept at a distance in order to establish new relationships.” Benefits to the volumetric shape of the building include a favorable volume-to-surface ratio for energy efficiency and a relatively short interior travel distances to maximize collaboration.
  • Facade Manufacturer ertex solartechnik GmbH (photovoltaics), SUMMER facade systems (glazing)
  • Architects kadawittfeldarchitektur
  • Facade Installer SUMMER facade systems, A.Frauenrath BauConcept (general contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Rache Engineering GmbH (engineering)
  • Location Mönchengladbach, Germany
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System curtain wall system on five-story reinforced concrete structure
  • Products black aluminum profiles; floor-to-ceiling sashes with exterior soundproofing, fall-protection panes; dark-blue enameled panes; photovoltaic elements integrated in opaque panes; exterior solar shading device
While the architects have produced a formally engaging homogeneous skin, loaded with performative features acknowledging insulation requirements, acoustics, durability, and user comfort, perhaps the most important role of the building is to clearly communicate a high performance energy agenda. This is achieved in two ways: in the facade, which is clad with photovoltaic panels, and at the base of the building, where an energy center doubles as a showroom visible to onlookers from the exterior. Here, visitors can engage in displays showcasing sustainable energy, along with a specialized highly efficient reversible heat pump system involving an ice storage tank and chiller plant. kadawittfeldarchitektur says the facade is the building’s most exclusive means of expression. “As a significant part of the advanced energy concept, it communicates the approach to conserving resources to the outside and determines the identity of the architecture and its users in the urban environment.” A 4-foot structural grid establishes stacks of window and photovoltaic units that are variably rotated to most effective solar angles. Soundproofing panes located in front of the widow units work to compositionally complete the building envelopes patterned ornamentation. The window units are operable, providing individualized user comfort as required. The north facade receives enameled glass in place of the photovoltaic panels along the north facade were omitted from the design due to performative issues, and replaced with an enameled glass. The elegance of the envelope system inspired an interior design scheme of clarity and communication through “color blocking.” Based on the activity of the building as an energy generation system from dusk to dawn, the coloration of interior spaces combines hues of a defined color spectrum found in sunset and sunrise conditions.
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One of these two first prize winners will build the new Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, Germany
In August in Dessau, Germany, a jury in the design competition for the construction of the Bauhaus Museum awarded two first prizes. By a majority vote, the joint winners are from New York and Barcelona with third and fourth place teams hailing from Zürich and Toronto. The design to be constructed from the shortlist of two is yet to be selected. According to the Bauhaus, the competition has shown that the museum typology is in a transitional phase. “The vertical is over—a new theme is flexibility," Chris Dercon, Director of the Tate Modern in London and one of the material prize jurors, said in a statement. "However, the new development has no clear direction. The two first prizewinners are very diverse. It will be a chance to start the discussion in the international public and with experts. To be the beginning of the New, Dessau and the Bauhaus are ideal places. This is exciting.” The winners were: Architects: Young & Ayata Michael Young, Kutan Ayata New York Landscape architect: Misako Murata New York Architects: Gonzalez Hinz Zabala Roberto González Peñalver, José Zabala Rojí, Anne Katharina Hinz Barcelona, Spain Landscape architect: Roser Vives de Delás Barcelona, Spain Third Place: Architects: Berrel Berrel Kräutler AG Maurice Berrel Zurich, Switzerland Landscape architect: ASP Landschaftsarchitekten AG Florian Seibold Zurich, Switzerland Fourth Place: Architects: Ja Architecture Studio Nima Javidi Toronto, Canada Landscape architects: JA Architecture Studio Behnaz Assadi Toronto, Canada Both joint winners will receive $36,800 in prize money while the third and fourth place teams will take home $20,100 and $12,300 respectively. The Bauhaus staid that it felt reinforced by its decision to have the competition open for international entries as Claudia Perren, Director and CEO of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and building contractor, stated that it is a "first-class competition.” The idea was also conceived to "offer young offices and international architects a real chance" which has no doubt been taken—the competition received over 800 entries.  
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Mirroring Weimar Germany
Michael Maltzan and Amy Murphy's layered, architectural installation design for Haunted Screens.
Courtesy Mmuseum Associates / LACMA

Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
Through April 26

Monsters, madmen, and magicians play starring roles in Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s, an exhibition that runs through April 26 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It’s a worthy successor to LACMA’s many explorations of that fertile era of experimentation. German studios churned out plenty of fluffy entertainments for mass consumption, but they also produced (as Hollywood rarely did) works of art that made few concessions to popular taste. The production sketches, stills, and movie clips from 25 features included in this exhibition reveal the huge potential of film to probe human psychology and imagine worlds that never were. Architects will be drawn to the elaborate sets and city streets, and by the installation, which was designed by Michael Maltzan and Amy Murphy.

The show has a strong emphasis throughout on architecture and urbanism. LACMA curator Britt Salvesen divided the 250 exhibits into four thematic sections and deftly wove them into a visual narrative, elucidated by succinct text panels. Within each section, one can review set and costume designs alongside production stills for a few features, and then step into a darkened space to watch excerpts of those films, back-projected onto suspended screens. Happily there was a rich trove to draw on, principally from the collection of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris. Hollywood studios squandered their treasures, treating talent as hired hands, and junking their archives. Most of their publicity stills were portraits of popular stars; at UFA, the leading German studio, up to 800 photos documented every aspect of a major production. Lotte Eisner and other dedicated archivists rescued prints and drawings that survived wartime devastation and carried them off to the Cinémathèque. In doing so, they preserved a legacy of art and history.

Jagged surfaces convey an air of dark uncertainty.
 

Like the painters and sculptors whom the Nazis would soon condemn as decadent, filmmakers—including Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, Georg Pabst, and Robert Wiene—mirrored the turmoil and creativity of the Weimar Republic. The distorted houses, oppressive city streets, and sinister laboratories they constructed on stages and back lots mirrored a society struggling to break free of the past, even as its economy and government foundered. Whereas the best German architecture of the 1920s—from the Weissenhofsiedlung to luxury villas and workers’ housing estates—is cool and rational, filmmakers exposed the contradictions of the times and the dark underside of material progress. Their subjects ranged from grinding poverty in the slums to the polarization of wealth, futuristic fantasies and folklore, surveillance and the threat of new technologies. The demons that haunt these films would soon achieve power: critic Siegfried Kracauer entitled his history of film, From Caligari to Hitler.

 

To articulate this multi-layered story and heighten its impact, Maltzan and Murphy have constructed a trio of wave-like forms to enclose projection screens, which are set at angles to each other, so one can watch one or several clips simultaneously. In the troughs between, small drawings and production stills are displayed on the canted surfaces, shard-like columns, and a jagged, open-ended frame. Posters occupy the side walls of the gallery, and sound cones descend from the ceiling. The installation is easy to navigate, but it subtly conveys an air of menace, mystery, and insecurity. Within a confined gallery, one can examine the exhibits, absorb the febrile atmosphere of Weimar, and surrender to the timeless magic of the movies.

LACMA is an appropriate host. It frequently presents selections from its fine collection of German Expressionist art, and commissions leading architects (including Frank Gehry, Morphosis, and Frederick Fisher) to install exhibitions. And it is located in the city that lured the finest talents of Germany in the years between the two world wars. Writers, directors, producers, actors, and—most successfully—cinematographers and composers migrated to Hollywood, initially for the money, and later as refugees. They brought a new sophistication to an escapist industry, and they helped establish the genre of film noir. For a decade, LA became Weimar on the Pacific, and there’s a faint echo of that era in the more interesting independent movies of recent years. Haunted Screens takes us back to the source.

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David Chipperfield short-listed for Beethoven Concert Hall in Germany
Some of the biggest names in architecture have been whittled out of a competition to design a new Beethoven Concert Hall—or Beethoven Festspielhaus—in the composer’s hometown of Bonn, Germany. When the competition's short list of ten proposals became an even-shorter list of three, the likes of Zaha Hadid, SnøhettaJAHN and UNStudio were sent packing. David Chipperfield, however, made it through and is joined in the final three by Valentiny hvp architects from Luxembourg and Kadawittfeldarchitektur from Germany. The new hall, which is slated to break ground in 2016, is expected to host celebrations for Beethoven’s 250th birthday in 2020, and the 200th anniversary of his death in 2027. Out of the three finalists, Chipperfield definitely presents the most conservative scheme with four stacked cubes made of glass and spun concrete columns. “Assembled at various depths, the four segments combine to create a whole of architectural virtuosity,” explained the competition on its website. The actual concert hall is wrapped in a grained walnut veneer that can be seen through the structure’s façade. Kadawittfeldarchitektur takes a more dramatic approach with an amorphous structure clad in rippling bands of stone. The main structure is separated from a landscaped seating area through a glass enclosure. Oddly enough, the plan from Valentiny hvp architects looks more like “Zaha” than what the Queen of Swoop submitted herself. The firm creates a series of "overlapping bands of waves" that are said to crest behind a massive, Rhine River–facing glass wall. You can see Zaha's proposal and the nine others that were short-listed on the competition's website. One of these three final proposals is expected to be selected next year, following a cost estimation. The project is being privately financed, but is getting an injection of 39 million euros from the German government. The concert hall is expected to open in 2019. [h/t DesignBoom]
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Lichtvorführung

Marcel Breuer’s Central Atlanta Library to feature light show on its facade
Marcel Breuer’s dark and boxy Central Atlanta Library will literally light up this fall with projected images chronicling the city’s hip-hop and experimental music scene. Curbed Atlanta reported that URBANSCREEN, an artist collective from Germany, will design a light show on the Brutalist building’s hulking facade beginning October 5. The 250,000-square-foot concrete public library is situated at the corner of Forsyth and Williams Streets and is currently undergoing a controversial $50 million renovation by local firm Cooper Carry. URBANSCREEN’s “Superposition” installation will bring temporary color and motion to the exterior as part of the Goethe-Institut’s “Lightart Meets German Architecture” project. In partnership with the organization, the artists will illuminate two other iconic German-American pieces of architecture outside of Atlanta: the Athenaeum in Indianapolis and the German ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. Not only is the project a celebration of these enduring buildings, but it is also a chance to reflect on the history of German architecture in the U.S. and what that means to the countries’ relationship today, according to URBANSCREEN. For Atlanta, digital art, dance, and music will be integrated within the project “to unite several universal languages that transcend geographical definitions,” says a press release cited by Curbed. In an interview with the Goethe-Institut, the URBANSCREEN team described their inspiration for the projection on the Atlanta library. “We first had an entirely different idea, but then changed our minds completely when we arrived on site,” said Majo Ussat. “Now we are presenting a highly graphical projection in collaboration with local youth groups who will dance hip-hop—a kind of 'Bauhaus meets hip-hop.'" The team will install four projectors around the library, some in a nearby building and on the roof of a gallery, since the surrounding block is too tight to set them up efficiently. Per Curbed Atlanta, the event will also include a street festival replete with food and beer trucks. The revamp of the Central Library, as well as the light show, signals a rededication to the historic architecture scene of Atlanta. Back in 2016, the city was considering demolishing the building, but local and national preservationists came to the rescue. Cooper Cary’s retrofit will transform 50,000 square feet of the library into private, leasable space in an attempt to enhance its program. On August 24, the site was unanimously voted to the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Georgia Register of Historic Places by the Georgia National Register Review Board.
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Drawings Matter

Process comes to life in Berlin architectural drawing show
The exhibition Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects features selections from one of the world’s great architecture drawing collections installed in the most important gallery devoted to the subject. The exhibit at Berlin’s unique Tchoban Foundation is spectacular for anyone interested in architectural drawing and its relationship to the larger built and unbuilt culture. The drawings are from Drawing Matter, the personal archive of Englishman Niall Hobhouse (a few works from other collections were donated for the show), which is normally housed in the Somerset countryside of England. In Berlin, it includes 80 drawings and 140 sketchbooks, films, audio interviews, virtual, and analog facsimiles. The collection is still being actively assembled by Hobhouse who with the intellect and trained eye of an art dealer collects drawings that represent key projects from the most important architects. The archive specializes in early drawings, particularly extended notebooks of master designers like Peter and Alison Smithson, James Gowan, Aldo Rossi, the Italian Radicals of the 1960s, and Álvaro Siza. The collection could itself be a stand-alone architecture drawing museum, but for this Tchoban edition Hobhouse and curators Tina DiCarlo and Olivia Horsfall Turner have selected renderings, working drawings, theoretical sketches and doodles from Hans Poelzig, Le Corbusier, Alberto Ponis, Adolfo Natalini of Superstudio, Álvaro Siza, Tony Fretton, Marie-José Van Hee, Peter Märkli, Níall McLaughlin, and Riet Eeckhout. The range and depth of the Drawing Matter collection allows the exhibit to begin with a magnificent swirling and vibrating 1922 Hans Poelzig charcoal sketch for a monument in a university courtyard. This charcoal is a more spirited example of the possibilities of expressionism than any of his earthbound buildings. In fact, many of the drawings in the exhibition help us better understand their resulting built works either because their construction masks their intentions or possibly misses the mark of the drawn idea. Peter Märkli’s 1992 ballpoint sketch for La Congiunta, fleshes out the intentions of his building, which in its extreme concrete soberness can seem like little more than a Swiss box without knowing or seeing the drawing. A confident 1986 Tony Fretton ink sketch for a door jamb in the Lisson Gallery highlights the thought and intention behind his minimal aesthetic which again can easily fall away for the inhabitant of the building. But it is with a vitrine of multiple sketchbooks by Adolfo Natalini, opened to a series of his 1969 ink drawings of the Continuous Monument, where we can truly see the open-ended, discursive potential of drawing. It shows the evolution of ‘monumenta continua’ from its inception as town planning for a scaled ring around Florence to its first public presentation in Grazerzimmer (room of Graz) to a furniture concept and then a hovering structure over the cityscape of Manhattan. Hand drawings were the primary tools of the architecture debate in 1969 when he co-created Continuous Monument and it is impossible to comprehend the power of these images at the time they first appeared without seeing these sketchbooks. The possibilities of sketching, even doodling, as thinking are highlighted by Niall McLaughlin’s colored felt-tip pen drawings of the Alzheimer’s Respite Centre which are framed in the shape of a brain. In McLaughlin’s drawing and handwritten text on view we can see his brain thinking out the possibilities of an architecture for the Alzheimer’s facility. The exhibition returns to contemporary architecture drawing when it is more art than architecture. A nearly three-foot-long 2018 graphite drawing on film Drawing Out Gehry by Riet Eeckhout is draped over rods on the wall as if it were from Gehry technologies and seems more installation than usable working drawing. This final hand drawing is meant to present the notion of the long digitally produced continuous surface as a replacement for the old-fashioned sketchbook. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of online articles online and by monographic publications on the sketch practices of Álvaro Siza, Adolfo Natalini, Tony Fretton, and Niall McLaughlin. The Natalini text explains the power of the architectural drawing:
I approach a project from several sides, each time engaging in a full body contact with the place, the program, and the limits. The weapons I have available in this battle (which is more like Jacob’s wrestling with the angel or a battle of love) are few, and among these drawing is the most important. Drawing allows me to be a lot quicker, and at the same time, it forces me to stay rooted to the page and the project for long periods…Drawings produce other drawings and these, other drawings again, and in this way, gradually the labyrinth appears and project emerges.
Opening Lines: Sketchbooks of Ten Modern Architects Tchoban Foundation. Museum for Architectural Drawing, Berlin June 30–October 7
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Looking for a Fight

White supremacists are haunting traditionalist architecture Twitter accounts
British magazine New Statesman recently published an article on the troubling links that tie Twitter accounts that cover traditional architecture to racist and xenophobic figures from across the web. As the article describes, some social media accounts that at first seem to simply celebrate historic structures have a tendency to veer into rhetoric that praises European culture over others and aggressively denies the impact of non-white or non-Christian people on Western design. One of the accounts profiled in the piece follows many ethnocentrist figures and has a followership that sharply denounces any attempts to include or even acknowledge global influences. This is not the first time that neo-traditionalist architects have been tied to fascists. The accounts frequently post drawings from Leon Krier, the traditionalist architect who studies the work Albert Speer, the chief architect of the Nazi Regime. Philip Johnson was famously a Nazi sympathizer, despite being openly gay, something that would have gotten him sent to a concentration camp in Hitler's Germany. Even Le Corbusier, that icon of modernism, apparently did not see much wrong with fascist regimes—they may have appealed to his desire for an authoritarian, top-down remake of society. The accounts covered by the Statesman piece emphasize a division between historical and modern architecture, pitting the former against the latter to argue for the humanity and timelessness of the styles of yesteryear. This division is increasingly out of step with the contemporary architecture world where firms like Tod Williams Billie Tsien borrow from traditional compositions and materials to create innovative designs. Contemporary architecture critics get as riled up by decadent modernist design fails as they do by traditionalist debacles. Post-modernism is being preserved and lauded around the world, and modern and traditional designs are not stylistically at war anymore. Ultimately, it may be the conflict that these accounts are nostalgic for, not the architecture.
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Level Up

Thyssenkrupp’s new Atlanta tower will test advanced elevator technology
International elevator and industrial company thyssenkrupp has revealed plans for a new headquarters complex in Atlanta that include both tower space for over 900 employees and a testing tower for the company’s experimental elevator systems. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas will be building the campus adjacent to The Battery Atlanta, a commercial and entertainment district developed by the Atlanta Braves and anchored by SunTrust Park. Thyssenkrupp reportedly has the go-ahead from the Braves for their “Innovation Complex," and the Braves Development Company is a partner on the project. The complex will include three buildings, including the 420-foot-tall testing and qualification tower as the project’s centerpiece. The test tower is slated to have a variety of uses; besides safety testing normal elevators, the company plans on using the 18-shaft tower to field test its rope-less MULTI system and the TWIN system (where two elevator cabins are stacked in the same shaft). Thyssenkrupp is no stranger to constructing technologically-advanced test towers, as the company completed an 800-foot-tall, spiralized structure in Rottweil, Germany late last year. The complex’s two other buildings will serve as more traditional office spaces and, judging from the renderings, will be clad in a glass curtainwall. The corporate headquarters is slated to be 155,000 square feet and will hold thyssenkrupp’s engineering and training offices, as well as space for company events and offices for executives. The remaining 80,000-square-foot building will house the administrative offices and shared services division. When the testing tower is complete, it will be the tallest of its kind in North America. The elevators the company wants to refine aren’t just science fiction, either; Atlanta’s CODA Building will contain North America’s first TWIN elevator system when the project is completed next year. The Development Authority of Cobb County has approved the sale of $264 million in bonds to help fund the project, and it's expected to bring up to 650 new jobs to Atlanta, so barring any major stumbles, the complex should be complete in early 2022.
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Pool Shots

Stephan Zirwes freezes time with summery photos of swimming pools
German photographer Stephan Zirwes may be known for his eerie, calming aerial photography, but his recent additions to the Pools series push the art to new heights. Zirwes is mesmerized by the top views of everyday settings such as golf courses, soccer fields, and swimming pools. With a drone, he captures the silent drama of these places, some occupied by visitors, while some completely void of human activity. The Pools series is a recent selection of photos that focuses on “privatization of public pools,” according to a statement from the World Photography Organization where Zirwes won the Sony World Photography Awards in 2016. Zirwes highlights the importance of water. Clean water, being one of the world’s most needed resources, is wasted in some parts of the world as a tool for excessive entertainment. He believes that the private pool is a cruel commodity that “privatizes a public asset for commercial exploitation.” The abstracted images, with surroundings edited out, focus our concern on the pools with a playful but graceful approach. In a photo of an irregularly shaped, vacated pool titled sardegna, a sunbrella, pair of sandals, and ripples on the water surface hint at the presence of a swimmer.

yellow slide

A post shared by Stephan Zirwes (@stephanzirwes) on

In another photo titled yellow slide, a slide hovers above the unoccupied pool. The crisp, horizontal strips painted at the bottom of the pool are blurred by the slight ripples. The vertical bricks are seen in perpendicular to the pool’s lines, making up a peaceful composition.