Frank Gehry’s Luma Arles is a striking building. Situated in the heart of the Parc des Ateliers, the new 56 meter tall stainless steel clad tower emerging out of a glass drum is a nod to Van Gogh. The mixed use space holds everything from an exhibition hall to private offices, a library, and even an event venue. On June 26 2021, the tower opened to the public. The first to show us around this dazzling and ever changing building is Sharon Tzarfati.
Sharon Tzarfati is an Isreal based architectural photographer, and a great one at that! Sharon’s compositions are tidy, thoughtful, and tell a great story. Just check out this first image of Luma Arles. We get a good look at the tower, its shapliness, the materials used, and some context as it juts out of the park. The red headed figure adds a bit of scale, some color, and a dash of whimsey.
As we head inside, we are met by more of Ghery’s classic stainless steel and complex, twisting shapes. Sharon’s perspective plays well with the mix of curves and staggered lines, creating an interesting rhythm within the scene.
“I do my homework before the shoot and prepare ahead of time,” Sharon relays. “I always take into consideration the location of the building in relation to light at different times of the day.”
This is evident, as we see a lovely balance in exposure, yet full of dimensionality and shapely shadows.
I love this next image and how our eyes immediately try to follow the labyrinth of the twisting staircase. Sharon perfectly times an individual passing up the stairs to add more movement to the scene. The shapes and light here are just sublime.
This perspective allows us to see the immensity of the tower and its playful design. The entertaining slides sport the same stainless steel. Their hard reflective quality fits nicely here. I love the figure standing in the window overlooking this area. It helps us understand just how spacious the interior is.
Sharon spent two days photographing Luma Arles. This allowed him to catch the building as it interacted with light throughout the day. The result is beautiful. The facade reflecting the changing sky appears to shift the color of the structure. As the light changes, new details and shapes are carved out. Windows and unexpected channels are illuminated from within.
We’ll wrap up this Project of the Week with Sharon’s favorite image. Luma Arles juts up from the street, perfectly mirroring the dusk sky. With the pockets of yellow beaming out of the twisting sculpture-esque building, it is easy to see its resemblance to Van Gogh’s Stary Night.
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