As innovations in the field of architecture grow, the limits of what can be built are pushed further every day. Magnificent designs, plucked from the minds of visionaries and mavericks, can be found all around the world.
For the past seven years, Spanish photographer Andrés Gallardo Albajar has been documenting these structures, their beauty captured in digital form. From his birthplace of Alicante to the bright metropolis of Seoul, each building is a discovery, a construction of shapes to be marvelled at. The photographer has spent a significant amount of time travelling to cities around the world and the result of these adventures have been published in a new book, Urban Geometry.
Those who come across Gallardo Albajar’s work will notice that, yes, buildings are the subject, but it’s the innate details on display that are the real stars: a perfectly jagged rooftop precipice; meticulously aligned windows on a seemingly uninspiring building; a splash of colour an otherwise bland wall. In the book’s foreword, journalist Rachel Segal Hamilton writes that his work “speaks an abstract language of symmetry, line, curve and colour”. It is this attention to detail that brings the landscapes that Gallardo Albajar brings to life, revealing things that usually don’t get attention but are nonetheless spectacular.
The buildings in Urban Geometry are also diverse. The book begins with Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho building in Beijing – “the kind of visionary, high-tech architecture that has reshaped cityscapes” – and moves on to an array of edifices. From vibrant housing blocks to museums and shopping centres, minimalist compositions and maximalist designs juxtapose each other.
Many are unknown buildings, simply captured because Gallardo Albajar has happened to come across them. Perhaps he is making the point that it isn’t just structures made by those aforementioned mavericks, but the random undistinguished ones that bring vibrancy as well. Segal Hamilton also describes the photographer’s work as “playing out like a personal travelogue of discovery”. Many images in Urban Geometry are a result of observation, of walking around with no apparent destination. There is elegance and artistry to be found everywhere, and like Gallardo Albajar has done, it for us to simply seek out.
Urban Geometry by Andrés Gallardo Albajar is published by Hoxton Mini Press.