Michael Wolf and the Architecture of Density

( via magical urbanism )

Michael Wolf's Architecture of DensityGerman-born photographer Michael Wolf documents the extreme densities of Hong Kong. His series ‘Architecture of Density’ rarely contain images of people, instead letting the extreme scale of the buildings remain as the focus. The images are stunning, though I’m not quite sure how to react. It’s overwhelming to view the scale and enormity of the buildings, and then realize that people live there. The post-modernist in me wants to decry the lack of humanity in the high rises. But these images aren’t hopeless. After all, we created those buildings, right?

Michael Wolf's Architecture of DensitySays Rebecca Walker (.pdf):

A close look at one of Wolf’s architectural images uncovers irregularities such as plants, laundry and scaffolding that interrupt the orderly design of monolithic apartment buildings.

Michael Wolf's Architecture of Density

The monotonous regularity of each façade is given a distinct personality through human details.

Michael Wolf's Architecture of DensityAdds Kenneth Baker (another .pdf):

Various images describe the facades of monstrously tall and repetitive residential highrise buildings, views cropped to make the structures appear as if they might extend indefinitely, upwards and down.

Link via design industry. More after the jump

Michael Wolf's Architecture of Density

The camera eye appears to hover, nearly causing us to lose the sense of which direction is earthward, even in the images that include the tops of street lights. These structures seem almost to float free of the planet and extend themselves in space without constraint.

Michael Wolf's Architecture of DensityI’ll chose not to view these images as overwhelming or hopeless. After all, pull far enough out of any setting and you’ll realize just how small each of us are. I’m in there, somewhere.


Filed under: architecture, art

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