56 Leonard St. For Nella Vetrina . New York City / NYC
Client : Nella Vetrina NYC
Photos : Adrian WM Jones
About The Architecture
56 Leonard Street in Tribeca NYC, also know as 'The Jenga Building' is a landmark building by Herzog & de Meuron, unique even for Manhattan. From the exterior each floor is designed to give the impression that it has been unevenly stacked, with a top heavy looking structure becoming more apparent as the building climbs higher. It's lobby and communal areas are of stylish spartan concrete, industrial, post modern yet soft at the same time which contrasts to many of the units which are glassy ,white, sleek and quite straight forward in many ways. For many it's one of those love it or hate it types of buildings, having been inside it, I am in the 'I like it camp', I do wish the spartan concrete theme had carried on through the corridors and been worked more into the apartments other than a token concrete pillar, as things become somewhat ordinary for such an iconic structure once in the apartments.
About This Shoot
Working with architecture means working with those who create it, however, photographing anything architectural the same day that even one electrician is present is less than ideal. This issue for me at least has been such a common occurrencethat it is actually one of the first things I iron out when taking on a shoot. Unless it's absolutely impossible to be accommodated on another date, having others trying to do their job, while you are trying to do yours is fine if your are working to achieve the same thing ie complete the building. What usually happens is they have been told a photographer will be on site today, they think you are 'just taking a picture' and you think ' they will be done in a minute' neither are true. My advise, make those hiring you understand that nobody working means nobody, and even that usually fails, but try!
This shoot at 56 Leonard was for Nella Vetrina an Italian company which showcases designer furniture and lighting. It was one of my first post real estate era shoots, there was a team of 10 decorators who were supposed to be just finishing up, they were there all day, I was initially only hired to photograph the cabinet fixtures however as the day unfolded we went on and covered more of the apartment. It was all a bit rushed and unplanned, I used a mixture of hot lights and strobes or just natural depending on the areas. I was pleased with the cabinetry images and still am today, however it was early days and I was still approaching most shots with a high end real estate perspective. The lighting is pretty heavy handed and there were probably much better ways to work the furniture and fixtures in to the images than my approach back then, but hey you learn something every shoot..and it's 56 Leonard St, that's why it's here :)
Adrian WM Jones
Adrian Jones is a Connecticut based architectural photographer & documentary photographer. With over 20 years in the field he has worked in many areas of the film and photography industry and now uses his vast experience to focus on photographing architecture for architects and personal documentary projects.