Over the years, I have become fascinated with architectural details that lie above. Entering a space wondering what the ceiling and space might convey is inspiring. Before documenting the patterns of the ceiling above, I spend time walking and studying the floor plan below, as defining my point of view for my compositions is key. For some spaces, I am able to find the spot instantly where as for others it becomes a give and take between what the eye sees and what the lens captures. The following is a growing series that started back in 2009 while enjoying a Milanese evening. Inspiration struck quickly and I invite you to scroll through the gallery to discover the composition.

mary, queen of the world cathedral

Montreal, Canada (2016)

iso 100 | 24mm | f/8.0 | 2.0sec

 

Work began in 1875 and was to follow the floor plan of St-Peters Basilica in Rome. In 1894, it opened to the public with the name of Saint James Cathedral. At the time, it was the largest church in the province till the completion of St. Joseph's Oratory and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. In 1919 it attained the designation of minor basilica and soon to follow would be a name change to Mary, Queen of the World in 1955. The building is 101 meters in length, 46 meters in width and has a 23 meter diameter copula that brings the maximum height to 77meters.

sakirin camil

Istanbul, Turkey (2013)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/8.0 | 1/13sec

 

As it stands today, this is probably the most modern mosque in Turkey. The 10,000 square meter complex took 4 years to build, with its grand opening in 2009.  The calligraphist is Semih İrteş, and the water drop chandelier was designed by Nahide Büyükkaymakçı, "reflecting a prayer that Allah's light should fall on worshipers like rain."  Also, this was the first mosque interior to have been designed by a women,  Zeynep Fadıllıoğlu.

yavuz sultan selim camil

Istanbul, Turkey (2013)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/22 | 6.0sec

 

Ground broke in 1520 and it was completed in 1528.  The Yavuz Sultan Selim Camil is the second oldest imperial mosque in Istanbul and was designed by Alaüddin. The dome has an outer diameter of 24.5m with a height of approximately 32.5m

divino vortex

Siracusa, Italia (2012)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/8.0 | 1/4sec

luce nuova

Roma, Italia (2012)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/8.0 | 1/13sec

 

No stop in Rome would be complete without a stop at the Galleria Alberto Sordi to admire its beautiful Art Nouveau architectural details that date back to 1922.

abrir lembrete

Lisbon, Portugal (2011)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/8.0 | 1/640sec

Saturday the 1st of November 1755, the churches of Lisbon filled with citizens, all paying their respect on All Saints Day. At 9:40 in the morning, all calm changed to panic as a magnitude 8.5 to 9.0 earthquake hit. The death toll was estimated between 10,000 to 100,000 people, almost eliminating Lisbon off the Portuguese Kingdom. Whatever was left standing within Lisbon was dramatically scared,  Igreja do Carmo, to this day still makes its presence felt within the cities skyline. After the earthquake, Marques de Pombal (a government minister) ordered that the Gothic arches be preserved so as to hold up the sky. They were left as a reminder of that silent morning when ground shook.

panteão nacional

Lisbon, Portugal (2011)

iso 200 | 11mm | f/8.0 | 0.6sec

Also known as Igreja de Santa Engrácia has a dome that soars to a dizzying height making the structure a prominent feature within Lisbon lower eastern skyline.  

Work on the dome started in 1966, 284 years after construction started on the Greek cross church plan it now adorns. It now is the resting place for some of the countries influential literati.  

The man behind this bold, never done before in Portugal structure, was João Antune.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Milan, Italy (2009)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/8.0 | 1.3sec

Named after the first king of a united Italy, it was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. It connects two of Milan's most important landmarks: The Duomo and the La Scala, and was the first building in town to get fitted for electric lighting.

 

Housed within the four story complex are high end couture boutiques, bookstores, cafes and bars. It is said that in Milan those who are meant to be seen walk, and those who watch, sit.  If you want to watch the hit and yup some of the big misses of Milan fashion, this is one of the places to be.

spiral

Toronto, Canada (2009)

iso 400 | 34mm | f/8.0 | 11/80sec

During my Toronto visit, my friend and I visited the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). We are both huge architecture fans and were simply delighted to walk the re-vamped Frank Gehry space.

mezquita

Cordoba, Spain (2008)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/14 | 8.0sec

The space is so beautiful, the dim lighting and the tight series of arches and columns (that seem like they go on forever - over 1,000 columns) make the environment very intimate and personal. You could be packed in there with tourists and locals, and you would still feel as if you were alone in this masterpiece.

saint-léon

Westmount, Canada (2016)

iso 100 | 24mm | f/8 | 5.0sec

uprising

Athens, Greece (2011)

iso 200 | 10mm | f/8.0 | 1/60sec

Walking into the Athens Polytechnic campus, the first thing noticed is that all the walls are covered in slogans, poster and spray paint. The campus is where a final stand off that saw the dismantling of a military regime that at its height of power denied civil rights (and much more). The morning of November 17, 1973 saw changes and the campus saw bloodshed.  I am sure the atmosphere was tense, dramatic and freighting...and the walls of the campus reflect that emotion. The ceiling looked to have escaped unharmed, but if they could talk I am sure they would have memories of a day that brought back liberty.

basilica di sant'agostino

Roma, Italia (2014)

iso 200 | 20mm | f/8.0 | 2.5sec

stoa of attalos

Athens, Greece (2011)

iso 200 | 20mm | f/8.0 | 1/50sec

After being educated in Athens, King Attalos II of Pergamon (159 BC to 138 BC) built the stoa to show his gratitude for what the city provided him. The main building materials were pentellic marble and limestone. It was located within the cities agora and was in constant use till its destruction in 267. Like many structures of the time, its material was carted off to built the city's fortifications. In 1950, a major restoration campaign rebuilt the structure back to its former glory for all to see. It is now the home of the Ancient Agora Museum. In 2003,  it was the chosen spot for the the signing ceremony of the 2003 Treaty of Accession.

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