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Architecture Day 2014

by Tania Wannenburg
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CPD accredited 2 Part Architecture Seminar: Photography & Architecture and Green Building Design

A morning breakfast Seminar from 6h30 to 13h00.

CPD accredited seminar and exhibition with presentations by industry experts on the very topical and relevant issues in the built environment today. The presentations will focus on technical information, with a focus on real life case studies, practicalities and facts that can be implemented in their future projects.

Speakers, Topics & Synopsis of Presentations

1. Hugh Fraser, Architect & Architectural Consultant, Paragon
Synopsis:
Photographing architecture can be tricky. Having some key simple techniques can make the difference between a great and a so-so photograph of a building. The ability to photograph architecture is a very beneficial skill for any architect and one that can be applied to showcase his own work, and inspirational objects around him.

Hugh has been photographing architecture around the globe for many years and will showcase some of these international examples as well as local examples and photos while sharing the techniques and practicalities he used to capture specific angles to create a certain look or feel.

2. Carla Crafford, Photographer and lecturer
Synopsis: (in her own words)
Architects normally make the best photographers too. It is in the nature of their work to be aware of how buildings and building sites should be integrated, how various materials and textures are juxtaposed, how flow through, into and beyond the built environment should work. Space and mass, light and shadows; all are elements that the architect considers even before the first lines are drawn, up to the moment that completed buildings are occupied by their new inhabitants/users.

The digital age – and especially the age of the smart phone, has made the work of an outside photographer almost redundant for architects. Yet, as most of us know, we tend to not see things that we have laboured on through the same eyes as another professional would; perhaps we become too involved (a bit like a parent with his/her own child) to look at our own work with fresh eyes.

Still, much as even the most seasoned photographer would not consider him/herself capable of designing a good building, a most seasoned architect may not have all the equipment, training, tricks of trade or time that would make the best photographs of his/her buildings.

Over the years, one of the things that have always fascinated me, is the flatness of the photograph versus the depth of what was captured. In fact, specialising in the photography of specifically three-dimensional artworks (sculpture and installations) over the past three decades, have taught me that the slightest change in the camera’s position, the lens used, the treatment of light and shadows, can vastly differ the resulting image. (Examples: Shadows cast, where difference between object and shadows are almost indiscernible; wide angle views versus zoom views, varying depth of field and focus, etc.).

Furthermore, should the building be seen as an uninhabited monument to the architect? How does the landscaping integrate with the building? Do we show spaces as if they are much more roomy (such as happens when one looks up hotel rooms on the internet)?
Examples of all, and also different kind of sites – with the accent on vast difference between tropical sites versus desert sites, versus city, farm, small town, interior and exteriors, Examples of analogue versus digital, etc.

The constraints that pinhole photography present – LONG exposure times, and a fairly laborious process, remind me much of what architects have to go through to explain at least the visual components of their work.

Unlike immediate digital photographs – that we all know so well – or the well rendered ‘peri’ (perspective drawing) that so many computer programmes allow architects to show their clients a ‘prospective view’ or at least an ‘architect’s impression’ of what the building MIGHT look like, the pinhole photograph relies on slow, laborious processes – producing one image at a time, with little promise of satisfying the fast life, fast image, fast results that our contemporary machines/devices allow us to do.

The results are as remarkable – or as remarkably unexpected – as you would hope your building would be.

3. Lood Welgemoed, Boogertman + Partners
Synopsis:
Department of Environmental Affairs 6 star rated HQ
The recently completed 6 star design rated PPP project is the first 6 star Government project and also the largest one in South Africa. This bears evidence to the fact that the SA Government is pushing the green agenda and are leading by example.

The discussion will give a brief outline of the timescales involved in this project, the contractual parties and the complicated approval processes which are over and above those of a normal project.

It will then describe the design development through a slideshow of sketches, and progress photos of the construction. Numbers and statistics will inform the sustainable features of the building.
Finally, the lessons learned will be discussed long with how these have informed our current designs on the drawing board and under construction.
>> Click here to download the presentation (28KB)

4. Llewellyn van Wyk, Principal Researcher, Building Science & Technology, CSIR
Synopsis:
The presentation is titled ” Urban by Nature“.
The presentation describes the role that green infrastructure plays in building resilience. Green infrastructure is defined as “an interconnected set of natural and man-made ecological systems, green spaces and other landscape features including planted and indigenous trees, wetlands, parks, green open spaces and original grassland and woodlands as well as possible building and street-level interventions”. The presentation makes the connection between health and well-being and environmental issues and the risks posed to health and well-being by the deterioration of ecological goods and services. The presentation suggests that humanity’s land use patterns require a new definition of nature conservation. The presentation then makes three propositions supporting green infrastructure and expands on each namely, environmental resilience, health and well-being, and reduced capital expenditure.
>> Click here to download the presentation (9.4MB)

More presentations:

Lafarge – Solutions for sustainable, efficient construction
>> Click here to download the presentation (50.8MB)

SAFINTRA – Sustainability in the Built Environment
>> Click here to download the presentation (2.3MB)

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