MAGICAL CHAIRS: THE CROSLAND TOWER READING ROOM AT GA TECH
Project: Price Gilbert Library + Crosland Tower, Ga Tech
Architects: BNIM, Kansas City in Collaboration with Praxis3
The challenges of photographing architecture at colleges and universities in the time of Covid are numerous. But problem solving is nothing new for us. It's just a matter of switching into problem-solving-overdrive.
The challenge here: In the interest of keeping students at a safe social distance from each other, the school put most of the chairs from the tables in this reading room into storage. And they made it very clear that they weren’t about to take the chairs out of storage for us. As we were setting up the photograph and my client was heading out the door for the evening, his parting words were, “just do the best you can.” Do the best we can with all those chairs missing? Hmmm...all we had to do then was to make a dozen chairs magically reappear!
Reaching into our bag of tricks, the solution turned out to be a variation on the theme of musical chairs. We captured a photograph of the overall room at twilight, with most people as you see them in the space, with gaping holes between them where chairs were missing. Then when a couple of students got up to leave, we grabbed their chairs before they became occupied again. My assistant then walked them to the first place at the first table where chairs had been missing and pop, 1st exposure, moved them again, pop, 2nd exposure…5 more times around all the tables. We put everything back in its place, packed up and headed home for the night.
Back at my home office, I switched on some music to keep the momentum going and sifted through the many images of this view. From those I selected 2 catching the fleeting moment of twilight, 2 capturing the students walking in the distance and 7 of the musical chairs, assembled in harmony as the music faded into the night.
To see more photographs from this project, please follow this link.