Architecture Awards 2021

58 BUILD 2021 Architecture Awards May21424 Most Pioneering International Architectural Photography Studio (Pacific Northwest USA): Nic Lehoux With a retrospective of his work coming up soon at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year, and soon to be photographing in North America, Europe, and Russia, Nic Lehoux has made himself a key voice in architecture photography. He prizes giving the viewer an insight into the people behind the buildings – both designer and end user both – and pulling together the best elements of a construction to portray the beating heart found within. ic Lehoux is an architectural photographer, a born Canadian currently based in the USA who travels all over the globe to ply his trade. His intent, above all else, is to tell stories through his work – weaving the concepts and ideas of the building he shoots into a cohesive narrative that is compelling and truthful, and working for clients whose work is spectacular. He particularly enjoys working with architects who push the limits of what it means to design a building. In this way, he often works with innovators, visionaries, and those powering ingenuity in the field, professionals with novel ideas that inform a new way to approach and undertake design. Nic is invigorated by new ideas and by the enthusiasm and drive of the people who come up with them, excited to see the clients he works with throwing off the yoke of more traditional design and applying his distinctive eye when shooting their work; this, in turn, helps the architect see their work in a whole new light. Thus, Nic’s own personal style is in and of itself innovative. He combines certain aspects of traditional street photography with the classical rigour of architectural photography, looking to photograph the spaces in question with the people who make use of them in the shot, an aspect that gives his work a naturalistic feel and makes the client’s construction feel all the more realized. Recently, Nic completed a shoot for an exemplary building in the Smith College Library – based in Massachusetts – for designer Maya Lin. At the time when the shoot was happening, it was unfortunately during the pandemic, meaning that Nic’s usual approach of ensuring to show the people using the space was less viable, as the building was not open to the students. However, he got around this by working with the campus to offer 100 volunteer places to students who would populate the library at the time of shooting. Many were thrilled to have such an opportunity to be some of the first to enter their new library and jumped at the chance, and Nic was able to group and direct them to populate certain spaces, which he then photographed in order to create an outstanding end product. Whilst initially it was a challenge to arrange working in such a way, Nic found it a genuine pleasure to be able to do so – especially since the end result turned out so well. Over the years, Nic has enjoyed significant success and notoriety in his industry, much of which has grown from his ability to hit N the ground running and immediately make his mark; he has photographed almost 2000 buildings in his career, and so has developed an exemplary backlog of experience shooting a wide variety of building types with a myriad of different end users and ways of serving them. Furthermore, he has developed a style that makes expert use of lighting and weather when shooting a building, something that gives each set a unique feel and the use of which can dramatically change the outcome of the products. In tandem with this, he makes notable use of both overall shots that showcase the building in its surroundings, and strong compositional moments both inside and outside that tell a more in-depth story of the elements that make a building truly individual. He likes to focus not just on the how and why of construction, but on spatial use and how the circulation of the building has been designed, including abstractions – Nic’s favourite part – that give a viewer insight into the feel of the project, and what inspired the architect behind it. At present, he is working on the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, as well as a project for BIG, and three museums. In the future, he will be using such projects to move onto yet more heights of success, using his focus on people and their relationship with architecture to capture the soul of his client’s buildings. Company: Nic Lehoux Contact: Jacqueline Darjes Website: Nic Lehoux