China National Tennis Center : Atelier 11 Architects
As an architectural photographer based in Beijing sometimes it can be frustrating not having a huge array of architectural styles to visit and boost your portfolio with. But in this building I found an unusually pleasing use of hardlined structure and concrete finishing. In the process of architectural photography I want to test myself on buildings that have innate integrity and elegance without the embellishments or extraneous details that often become process in a rapidy growing country, where better to look for such a example than a communist stadium.
So I arrived at the location and it’s desolate and empty, cold and windy, surrounded by a big fence and a little guard house.
Guard walkby – first take, not enough courage, story not fully formed, no bottle. Seemless 180 degree turn and back to entrance. “Hi I’m here to take photograph for a big magazine”, the jovial teenage guard keeper smiled, let me in, probably the most engagement he’s had on the job thus far. Well, at least until his boss finds me and gives him a bollocking. Knowing that my time was limited and that I had only managed to break through the first chink in the armor, I rapidly set up tripod and snap away at different locations. It’s funny how the first shot you take is often the best of the day, the rest tend to gradually become fillers. After 20mins or so someone important does shoo me away, I pack up and leave, job done.
A rare clear blue sky in Beijing, perfect backdrop for the image below, sets of the sandy tone of the concrete perfectly. I was waiting for as long a possible for a little schoolkid to come running over the horizon waving the red flag of china, but alas it’s never quite as good as the adverts.