Architecture, in all its many forms, continues to be a source of inspiration and admiration for many, evoking beauty, intrigue, complexity and simplicity whatever its style. As well as aesthetic stimulation and pure function, architecture is often used as a reaction to society, politics and becomes a large marker of history quite unlike anything else.
Each year the Chartered Institute of Building hosts the Art of Building competition, focusing on the best digital photography of the built environment. The 15 finalists of the 2016 award have been selected, with the winner to be announced on 7 February 2017. The array of images shows the sheer variety of architecture around the world, from the Art Deco control room in Hungary and minimalism on the Croatian coast, to the men and women working in a brick field in India and the once-largest Buddhist settlement in the world that was evicted at the latter end of 2016.
Discover the final 15 entries for the Art of Building 2016 below, along with a comment from each photographer. Voting closes on 23 January 2017, click here to view more.
“This is part of a series of photographs demonstrating how the absence of light can be used to divert the attention of the observer towards what the photographer intended to highlight.”
“Unusual, minimalistic view of the architecture detail.”
“This beautiful control room is one of a kind and built in a beautiful art-deco style.”
“New York City’s iconic Flatiron building emerges from the blizzard like the bow of a giant ship plowing through the wind and the snow. Taken during the historic coastal storm “Jonas” on January 23rd, 2016 the photograph went viral during the aftermath of the storm.”
“Imagine if we could use plants to harvest wind. Well now we can. Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, I give you ‘The Turbo Dandelion Wind Farm’.”
“In this frame men as well as women are working very hard to feed their individual families. Women forget their pain and work alongside the men in a brick field.”
“I took this photo in deconstruction, it shows transformation, action and beauty.”
“‘Riga’s Tower Counter’ keeps his records during any season rain or shine, wet or fine. Is he distracted by the beauty of the cable bridge I wonder?”
“The photo shows the combination of nature and architecture, the harmony in combination of titanium arch height of 30 meters and a tree.”
“Since June 2016, everything has changed in Larung Gar, but almost nobody knows about that. What before was the largest Buddhist settlement in the world and a remote place out of the modern society where nuns and monks led a passive life, is now being demolished by Chinese authorities.”
“This series is about looking past imperfections and ‘incorrect’ architectural photography techniques. They are created using a 4×5 technical film camera by forcing the perspective and focus. The expired Kodak Ektachrome is then developed in the ‘wrong’ chemicals to produce these big slabs of often other worldly colour. These are flawed and hopefully challenging, just like some of the buildings themselves.”
“A fine example of Moorish architecture – but in a castle in Italy. These rooms were all hand designed and painted by one man who had a vision to build this beautiful castle and open it as a hotel.”
“The Hive – Kew Gardens’ spectacular new bee-inspired sculpture seen from below as one of the visitors lays on the top glass floor to pose for pictures. This multi-sensory experience integrates art, science and landscape architecture.”
“This photo seeks to pay homage to all the clever unknown workers that still build and maintain built infrastructure in the developing world. ‘Jeporeka’ is a Paraguayan Guarani word that roughly translates into ‘make do’.”
Words by Angharad Jones. Images courtesy of CIOB