If you’re hungry for great architecture photography in an epic location that harnesses great compositions and use of models, look no further than this Project of the Week! Today we’ll be exploring NYC based photographer Kevin Scott’s images of The Messner Mountain Museum Corones by Zaha Hadid Architects.
While there are quite a few photographs of the MMM Corones floating around, Kevin Scott’s series is hands down my favorite. He masterfully gives context to the museum in every single image, by including models that bring in scale and movement, and by showcasing the landscape that surrounds the museum, which is — in a word — breathtaking.
This iteration of the Messner Mountain Museum sits high in Kronplatz, Italy and overlooks the sprawling Dolomites beyond. In this wide and all-encompassing scene, Kevin gives us a great sense of place by shooting from down the slope from the museum. This emphasizes Messner’s position atop the peak and allows us to see the mountain range beyond.
Despite the relatively hard light, the snow acts as nature’s giant reflector, and gorgeous light bounces back onto the concrete and windows, creating a perfectly lit scene. The climbers next to the museum continue the lines created by the roof of the museum, and they help add some movement and rhythm to this scene.
To better blend it with its environment, the majority of the museum’s architecture is underground. Kevin highlights this by retaining utilizing the dark shadows within, using direction light to pull the texture out of the concrete cladding. Kevin’s perspective here accentuates the leading lines created by the edges of the concrete forms, the railings, and the channels of warm light in the ceiling. Everything in this shot gives a sense of motion, creating an amazingly dynamic image.
In the next interior image, we are able to see the view from the massive window in one of the bays. Kevin includes figures both inside and outside the museum which has two great implications; scale is given to the scene, and we are able to see the real-world application of this area of the museum. The difference in exposure between the view outside and the interior of the museum feels perfectly true to real life. I love how Kevin kept the interior relatively dark, making way for the hard shadows on the walls, and the specular highlights on the floor.
Back outside, the lighting has changed and become a bit more dynamic. Warm sunlight pulls out the texture and color on the facade of the museum. Again, Kevin tactfully uses framing here to place us in the scene and provide visual interest. There’s also great color theory at work here. The concrete casing, and ultimately the foreground elements in general, feel warm and inviting, while the landscape beyond contrasts with its cool color palette.
We’ll end this Project of the Week with the image that got me hooked on Kevin Scott’s work! The Messner Mountain Museum Corones is designed around mountaineering and alpine sporting. Its position on the mountain makes it a perfect launchpad for hang gliding and paragliding. Kevin’s fortuitous timing here creates a perfect compositional balance between the paraglider and the museum. The bright, warm light raking across the viewing vestibules of the museum captures our attention and the blocky shape of the museum gives weight to the right-hand side of the image. The paraglider fills in the empty space in the sky, and creates a sense of movement and action in this scene. Plus let’s just be honest, it’s totally rad and not your run-of-the-mill architectural photograph. This is the ultimate example of visual storytelling for a space. Awesome work Kevin!
Many, many thanks to the incredible Kevin Scott for sharing his images of The Messner Mountain Museum with us! Kevin has quite the collection of beautiful and compelling architectural photographs in his portfolio. You can delve into Kevin’s work by checking out his website kevinscott.us or on Instagram @k7scott.
As always, if you have a project you’d like to be considered for Project of the Week, you can submit it here.