Looking Up

Looking Up

We live in an accelerating world. The “electronic superhighway” has changed communications forever; in 2020, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion. When we walk through city centres and high streets, how often do we look up? Or are we fixated by our phones? Katharina Klopfer (b. 1979) is a German-born architect and photographer interested in the details of urban environments.

After studying architecture in Germany and Sweden, she moved to Vancouver. Quickly, she became fascinated by the “graphical peculiarity of buildings” in the city – noticing an intriguing variety of forms, patterns and styles in her new home. “Coming from a small town in the former GDR where rather functionality was valued over creative expression, all the shapes of post-war architecture were a feast for the eyes,” says Klopfer. Expressive, futuristic shapes meet brutalist edges and postmodern inventions.

Her photography is defined by reduction, abstraction and minimalism – capturing sweeping curves and angular protrusions against pale blue skies. Windows stack up on top of one another, multiplying into the distance. Klopfer’s background in architecture has enhanced her understanding of these structures, enabling her to capture their unique aesthetics in clarity. As Klopfer concludes, the series: “shows that it is worth looking up towards the top of the buildings – seeking details.”



All images courtesy of Katharina Klopfer, from the series perspectives.
1. Bricks
2.ZikZak I The Polygon Gallery, Patkau Architects
4. Old and new I The Fairmont Hotel, John Smith Archibald
5. Postmodernism I The Park Place, MCMP Architects
6. Bricks
7. Ribbons I Cardero Building, Henriquez Architects