faceless buildings

(photoseries)

 

I made one of the most important architectural elements disappear from the urban space: the openings.

Suddenly, the architecture we are used to seems faceless and dismissive.

In times when „less is more“ is still a big trend in architecture, I want to ask the question with my work: Is less really more, or what do buildings have to achieve in order to become part of a characterful, interesting urban space?

 

faceless buildings venice by paul eis architecture photography buildings without windows

Ban the windows!

 

Actually, we no longer need windows today. Windows cost a lot of money, are uneconomical and make the thermal performance of every house poor. We don't need them to ventilate any more either, thanks to automatic ventilation. And instead of the view of an already devastated urban space, we could look out onto magnificent landscapes with daylight-bright displays. 

 

And this is exactly where architecture is moving towards - window areas are actually already being kept as minimal as possible for financial and energy reasons. In the USA, there have actually already been concrete plans to build student dormitories with daylight lamps instead of windows.

 

 

 

It is a tendency that not only affects the quality of interior spaces, but also has fatal consequences for urban space. Houses are becoming increasingly faceless, façades no longer have any expressive power. 

 

In the past, façades were still visible communicators in the urban space. You could identify who and what was in a building and what role it played in the social fabric of the city. Furthermore, they are essential for the experience of the city itself. Materiality, form and colour are part of a dramaturgy that creates the atmosphere of a city. For this purpose, windows and doors were usually the central element in European architecture.  

 

 

In today's architecture, façades have largely lost their cultural significance. Windows are no more than fulfilers of functions and actually nothing more than holes in otherwise neutral bodies. 

 

In my photo series, I have removed all windows from the cityscape in order to explore what it means for a city if buildings were really just faceless cubes. In turn, I want to sharpen the view of how important the design of façades is for our perception of urban space. 

 

Perhaps we will come to the conclusion that houses should have a face again in the future.