It was one of those "in between days" weatherwise, with the occasional sun peaking through the slow moving clouds. From a photographer's point of view, and this is of course very personal, not ideal either. No rain, luckily, but I do prefer a predominantly blue sky with the occasional well-formed cumulus cloud - you know, the sheep kind of cloud. Contrary to a steel blue sky, such clouds provide depth and texture to the background, and during the most part of a shoot, they allow the sun to bring out the dimensionality of the subject (in this case, the building). Factor in waiting for the proper light and background, whatever these should be according to the brief, as well as being at the right place but at the wrong time, and I get a sense of why those commissioned architecture shots can be so expensive.
This time, our stop was Houthulst, and the hamlet of Jonkershove in particular; our subject, the community house, designed by the Dutch Rapp + Rapp Architecten, and finished in 2006.
The obvious eye-catchers here are the rather austere, intersecting planes of walls and terraces, and of course the materialisation, adding a welcome playful element. There's more than a bit of Mies van der rohe in there too, albeit in a much more closed form (no doubt in no small part dictated by the function of the building).
Note how some of the bricks stick out of the facades, and how they reflect the sunlight - as well as the blue sky, adding yellow and blue hues to the otherwise reddish-brown fronts, depending on their position relative to the sun.
Oddly, despite their reflectance, the walls didn't play well with too much contrast. Colours became sort of muddy and lost their realism, so I went for a balanced rather than high contrast look, thereby considerably lifting the shadows. Nevertheless, I couldn't help myself: while breaking the style of this series, I had to add a higher contrast shot, albeit converted to B&W. Gone are the colour issues, but unfortunately also the dimensionality of the building. Made at the end of the session, the typical Belgian weather was beginning to rear its head, making for a rather dramatic sky. If only the lens played nice in terms of ghosting flare, I would have preferred to leave the sun in the frame, which would have made for a more natural upper left corner.