From Digital to Reality: A Comparison of FALA Alelier’s Collages to the Actual Buildings

To avoid hyperrealistic renderings we have witnessed the emergence of other options for architectural representation which seduce the viewer, not for their overwhelming resemblance to reality but rather the opposite, its resemblance to everyday life’s textures presented through unpretentious drawings inspired by collage, watercolor, and painting. Digital collage and other similar representation tools have gained more popularity when discussing how architecture can be communicated. 

Among the practices already working with this kind of representation, is FALA Atelier, a Portuguese studio lead by Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares and Ahmed Belkhodja based in Porto. The trio described themselves as “a naïve architecture practice” working in different scales, “from territories to birdhouses,” merging “formal languages, references, quotations, and themes” and ruled only “by an obsession for clarity.”

This obsession is made evident when we compare the digital images produced by the studio and the photographs of the completed buildings. The level of resemblancy is surprisingly high (could it be considered higher than hyperrealistic renders?) and make a statement: FALA’s collages are not merely stylistic but powerful tools for representing and designing.

Below, you can find a comparison of FALA’s architecture “before” and “after” completion. By seeing the collages followed by the photographs we understand the potential of these humble representations that leave no room for doubt – FALA’s nonchalance regarding realism can be anything but “naïve”. 

Apartment in Graça; Lisbon, 2015. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Exhibition “Anticlimax”; Lisbon, 2013. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Garagem House; Lisbon, 2015. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Apartment in Príncipe Real; Lisbon, 2014. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Real Estate Agency; Porto, 2015. Photo © Flávio Pires

Apartment in Chiado; Lisbon, 2015. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Apartment in Graça; Lisbon, 2015. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

House in Faria Guimarães Street; Porto, 2015. Photo © Ricardo Loureiro

Apartment in Chiado; Lisbon, 2015. Photo © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Factory in Abragão; Penafiel, 2016. Photo © Fala 

All images are courtesy of FALA Atelier. Some of the photos may be an inferior quality due to the GIF format; to view them in high definition, go to the FALA website.