Photographing RCR in Barcelona


There are two buildings in the Barcelona area by the office of the 2017 Pritzker Prize laureates RCR Arquitectes, the Joan Oliver library and the Layetana HQ building.

What makes these two buildings really enticing for an architectural photographer is their material presence in recycled steel, two apparently heavy facades that are actually incredibly lightweight when you photograph them under the proper sunlight.

The key to portray the Joan Oliver Library in Barcelona and the Layetana HQ building at the neighbor city of L’Hospitaletde Llobregat has to do with looking at them attentively and finding the simplest elements that create their shapes and, even more important for these two, exploring with the camera the wide range of color hues –from almost black to dark brown and from bright gold to mauve, red and purple– that these statuesque works by RCR show when light and seasons change.

By reducing the buildings to these key elements, simple shapes and pure colors, architectural photography is then possible. After all, the photographs that represent architecture should never leave the viewer who contemplates them indifferent because they are created to be the vehicle of an active dialogue between the photographer and the city and between the viewer and the images that represent –in this case– the works of RCR Arquitectes.

David Cardelús