Icy architectural photography at the gateway to the Ore Mountains.

It was a great pleasure for me to implement the federal cluster of excellence in an elegant manner MERGE the Technical University of Chemnitz to be allowed to take pictures. The design from the feather of the recognized architecture office SWECO offers the lightweight technology center of the TU Chemnitz a new home. The focus of my photo shoot was the second construction phase with the administrative space as an extension on the south side of the test and research routes of the campus, which were completed in 2015.

Chemnitz in the morning frost

It was the first cold winter day at the end of November when I made my way to the Technical University in Chemnitz. Full of anticipation for the photo shoot for the 2nd construction phase of the MERGE, I drove towards dawn in a fresh -4 ° C and under a clear sky. With every kilometer that I approached the “Gate to the Ore Mountains”, the landscape changed more to a monochrome image of itself. Covered by a delicate layer of hoar frost, the stalks of the grass glittered in my headlights.

When the first rays of sunlight fell on the south facade of the new building, my camera stood on its tripod and froze the first motif of the day. At the low temperatures paired with 90% humidity, not only did the picture freeze, but also my hands, despite the thick winter clothes. If the nerves initially stung like fine needle pricks, after 20 minutes there was a feeling of numbness in the hands that whitewashed the painful joints. So the recording could continue.

The omnipresent frost gives the motifs clarity. The delicate natural structures around it give the massive structure a certain fragility. With a clear color contrast, the orange sunlight draws the viewer’s attention directly to the beautiful architecture.

By the way, you can find out what role the weather plays in architectural photography in my post “ The best weather for architectural photos ” read.

Interior photography in MERGE

After a cold hour of outdoor shots, I was very happy when I got a feel for my fingers again in the warm interior. The large foyer greets its guests like a rising sun with an intense yellow on the wall. The clear cubic structures of the exterior are also continued in the interior. As an architectural photographer, the lines of sight that emerge from the upper window on the first floor of the foyer were particularly exciting for me.

The yellow color continues as an accent through the public spaces of the administration building. In the photo of the stairwell, this results in a nice contrast with the rough exposed concrete, both in terms of color and structure. The person in the center of the architectural photo gives a relation for the height of the staircase and forms a nice anchor for the viewer’s gaze. Due to COVID-19, most of the university’s employees were in the home office, which is why I was a photographer and model at the same time for some motifs.

From orange to blue - exterior photography in the evening

At the end of the day, the building revealed another peculiarity of its location. Due to the raised building site and a wide open space in the southwest of the TU MERGE, the house is illuminated to the last rays of the setting sun. A rarity for a building in urban areas!

The low sun results in long, dark shadows paired with shiny gold light on the Wings Professional facade of WAREMA . The permeable metal slats allow different amounts of light into the building, depending on requirements. In the architecture photo, the island of closed slats creates an exciting abstract geometry.

The photo shooting from SWECO ended at dawn in the afternoon. The calming evening motifs once again required a lot of effort. Since the lights in the 2nd construction phase are controlled by motion detectors and switch off every 5 minutes, it was necessary to do some stair training to ensure sufficient lighting. With the daylight becoming weaker, the otherwise closed feeling of the west facade opens up and allows a view of the kitchens and conference rooms of the new construction phase. The large bridge crane can now also be seen through the milky glass of the research route.

The TU MERGE research center in Chemnitz is an exciting combination of a functional industrial building and an elegant design object with clear cubic shapes and colors. For me as an architectural photographer, this resulted in an infinite number of exciting compositions that I had to explore. Many thanks to SWECO Architects for this great photo production.


Chemnitz, Architekturfotograf, Forschungszentrum, Industrie, TU, Technische, Universität, Bundesexzelenzcluster, Fotograf Leipzig für Interieur, Exterieur Werbefotografie und Filmproduktionen Chemnitz, Architekturfotograf, Forschungszentrum, Industrie, TU, Technische, Universität, Bundesexzelenzcluster, Fotograf Leipzig für Interieur, Exterieur Werbefotografie und Filmproduktionen

What's behind it

Finding the composition in the foyer of the MERGE of the TU Chemnitz was not difficult. With the clear edges and surfaces, the room gives the architectural photographer clear instructions on how it would like to be photographed. Since the research center has recently only just moved into, there were no major staging challenges. A few information and disinfection stands have been removed. I rearranged the seating groups for the picture so that they comfortably fill the floor. In the image processing I corrected the yellow tone and adjusted it to a consistent tone for the entire building. Here, the mixture of artificial light and daylight almost always falsifies the colors that the camera records. Last but not least, I emphasized the contrasts in the picture even more and removed the blue of the window light from the gray concrete. This creates a consistent style for all interior architectural photos of the project.


To the photo shoot


Customer: SWECO architects
Type: Photo gallery of a completed construction project
Location: Federal Cluster of Excellence MERGE the Technical University of Chemnitz
Location: Chemnitz (Saxony), Germany