For Hamburg-based photographer Sebastian Weiss, buildings are dramatis personae, or “characters”. Inspired by Ash Amin and Stephen Graham’s 1997 book The Ordinary City, in which the authors described the city as the “theater of life”, this photo-essay of architectural landmarks in the French cities of Arcueil, Nanterre, and Paris examines the personalities of public buildings.
In considering the “city itself as a theater,” Weiss has brought the “protagonists of the city” to the fore. “I was looking for architectural people,” Weiss recalls, “whose roles are essential and whose absence would make an entirely different story.” With this in mind, these are his favorite urban “performances”.
ZAC du Coteau
Location: Arcueil, France / Architects: ECDM Architectes
Choux de Créteil
Location: Créteil, France / Architect: Gérard Grandval
Location: Nanterre, France / Architects: Émile Aillaud
Le Centre National d’Entraînement
Location: Paris, France