Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Reducing Spectacular to Simple

Helene Binet, Koluma 01, by Peter Zumthor. Courtesy Ammann Gallery.

In a world glutted with crystalline digital images of buildings to be scrolled, scanned and pinned, Hélène Binet’s architectural photography stands out for its reserve, its simplicity and an ineffable quality that comes from shooting on film. Her images can reduce a complex building on a spectacular site, like Le Corbusier’s monastery at La Tourette, to a series of vertical lines. “A lot of architecture photography is very tense because it is trying to convey a lot,” said Ms. Binet, 55, who has been shooting architecture for 25 years. “I photograph the phenomena that happen because the building is built a specific way.” She is the recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Photography award from the Julius Shulman Institute, and a related exhibition, “Hélène Binet: Fragments of Light,” will open on Saturday at the Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery in Los Angeles.