A blog that focuses on the photography of Dean J. Birinyi, an interior and architectural photographer based in San Francisco, CA.

Form Follows Function Subliminal Communication in Architectural Photography

Council Chamber
Shasta County Administration Center
Redding, CA
Kitchell, CEM
Today’s architectural photograph is the council chamber in the Shasta County Administration Center in Redding, CA shot in 2005 for Kitchell, CEM.

This is one of the last images I shot using my 4x5 film camera.

On entering the space I was immediately struck by the power of the design. The most prominent feature was the ceiling which was used as a subliminal communication to all who entered that this was a place of power, and where the power resided. When entering the space from the public entrance the idea communicated is that all power and authority is held by those seated upon the dias. From the council position the idea communicated is that their decisions are sent out to the world with great impact.

The designer did a very good job of applying the “form follows function” theory, even in the reverse angle view, which we didn’t shoot due to budget restraints, the message is clear and powerful if you know what to look for. This space was designed by a master of the art and I was honored to shoot it.

March 1, 2012