It almost was obsession at first sight and after all these days of going back to this visual, I still can’t figure out why or how it works on so many levels. From a photographer’s point of view, the elements in this shot are near-perfect: the bareness of the landscape, the black telephone poles scattered around like the remaining of a shipwreck, the smallness of the people walking on the shore. This could be a still from a post-apocalyptic film, shot anywhere but Earth and that strange looking building could easily be a space vessel. Architecturally speaking, its angularity and the way it ‘poses’ make it very attractive, almost elegant and the transparent exterior ads a welcoming and inviting element. So inviting, it makes me wand to take this image and starting adding graphic elements: lines, shapes, typography. I think the results would be rather interesting.
This is Awaroa Lighthouse, a project by Wellington based architecture student Henry Stephens et al. (Nick Roberts and Jansen Aui). Located in New Zealand’s Abel Tasman national park, it is recording both immaterial data flow from a worldwide network and material seismic data from a local network of telemetric rods at its base. But there is more than science in this; addressing the lighthouse for both its architectural typology and its imagistic quality – which I guess is what worked on me in the first place –this work situates architecture in the volatile mid-point between the otherworldly beauty of the New Zealand landscape, and an anxiety of destroying it latent within its national psyche.