By Katy Cowan
In the depths of winter in cold and rainy Manchester, when I might sometimes consider moving to warmer climes, I always wonder whether I’d be able to cope without the luxury of having culturally-rich Europe on my doorstep. The different languages, the charm and beauty, the historic architecture – are always just a short plane ride away.
For German photographer Philipp Siempelkamp he wants to capture the richness of Europe’s history and beauty by documenting its classic architecture in a way that really makes an impact. His photographs are devoid of any people to really showcase each building or landmark, hitting home the message that these are magical places that have withstood the test of time, and will continue to stand for many centuries to come.
Each black and white image is also perfectly composed with a symmetrical layout and strict aesthetics. But despite this approach, the series does not feel artificial. Instead, one is left with an intimate portrait of some of Europe’s most famous buildings. To achieve this feeling, Philipp said: “First, the environment is explored. Then, the exact position is found in which the building shows its best face. Finally, that one moment is captured. This observation – the exploring and the understanding – is the basis for my immense fascination of the history of European architecture.”
Based in Munich, Philipp studied economics at the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck in Austria. In 1999, he also graduated in composition and guitar at the MGI Institute in Munich, Germany and started working as an international music producer and photographer, working on campaigns for brands such as BMW, McDonalds, NIVEA und Gerry Weber.