Architecture in focus

Monday 08 Aug 2011

Zoltán Balogh wins Chartered Institute of Building's The Art of Building contest

International charity and bolsterer of quality architecture in the built environment the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has announced the 2011 winner of its annual Art of Building photography competition. Zoltán Balogh from Budapest, Hungary captured this haunting image (left) which resonated with all three judges and the voting public.

Entitled ‘The Last Tower’ the still depicts an aging boat loading building near the banks of the River Danube in Esztergom, Hungary, its eerie form silhouetted starkly against the pasty sky, leading Balogh to compare the structure to ‘a remnant of a forgotten civilisation’.

Through this regular photography scheme the CIOB encourages the general public to communicate with the buildings they live and work in, in a more active fashion. The programme invites amateur and professional enthusiasts to create new works of art from the art that we live in, celebrating ‘the creativity of the industry, the passion of the people who work within in, and the impact their work has on those who make use of the final construction’.

Nearly 2,000 moments in time were submitted this year which were narrowed down to 12 finalists by three experienced judges: architect, broadcaster and author Maxwell Hutchinson; arts writer for the Evening Standard Sue Steward; and award-winning professional photographer Matt Wain. This heavy task was approached with a set of strict guidelines, with images judged on relevancy, composition, focus, lighting, creativity, clarity of the photographer’s textual summary, and its suitability for use by the CIOB.

As part of her involvement with the scheme Sue Steward penned an enlightening article for the CIOB detailing her hopes for the contest, noting: “I enjoy viewing work which breaks established approaches to depicting buildings and which stretches definitions - as architects themselves do… While it is tempting to choose an interesting building for the competition, a good entry doesn’t need to be a landmark or a super-contemporary abstraction by a Hadid or a Piano. There is equal pleasure to gain from mundane, everyday subjects.”

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