In architecture, we laud the possible that looks impossible, the mind-bending sensation of looking at endless pools and the tallest skyscrapers. It’s beautiful design, made possible only by the latest science.
Victor Enrich is a Spanish photographer who rips all the science from architecture to create surreal and whimsical variations on existing buildings. A tower unzips, a road goes straight up, and multi-story slides protrude from balconies. These buildings cannot possibly exist, but in a sense, they do.
“I guess it simply comes from the frustration of not being an architect, or a good architect,” Enrich tells Co.Design. “Since I was a kid I always wanted to be an architect, but actually I had no clue about what it really means to be an architect. This, I understood when it was too late … at the university, studying architecture.” Enrich starts with his own photos of actual places, then he spends a month digitally editing each shot. The goal is “realism,” and by working wholly from real-world building blocks, his buildings come off as remarkably authentic and, often, almost possible. Much of his work is a mere half step from plausible, which makes it so much fun to the eye.
“Most architects respect the law ‘form follows function’ … my ‘buildings’ definitely don’t have an architectonic function … but they DO have other functions …” writes Enrich. That function is, more often than not, sly cultural commentary buried under a layer of Enrich’s sense of humor. He renders the Orchid Hotel of Tel Aviv with sprouting top floors, each in an arms race to have the best view. But, at a more visceral level, you feel like you’re looking at french fries–then look a bit closer, and you’ll spot the McDonald’s near the first floor.
Yes, while we’re eating up his art, Enrich is calling all of us fat, along with our supersized cities. “If some day somebody makes buildings the way I paint them, I think that the world will have gone mad,” concedes Enrich. “I have never pretended to make architecture, just photography.”