Iwan Baan: Architecture photos that put people in focus

Iwan Baan is an architectural photographer but his buildings are as concerned with people as they are with buildings. He talks to Jonathan Glancey from the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

A 2013 exhibition by the Dutch architectural photographer Iwan Baan was entitled The Way We Live – a perfect summary of the essence his pictures capture. They challenge the traditional way of photographing buildings by putting people at their centre and documenting the social environments that architecture creates.

“I’ve always been interested in places and public spaces, and what people do there,” he tells Jonathan Glancey.

Baan has photographed everything from shiny new buildings by leading architects like Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid to Caracas’ vertical slum, the ‘Tower of David’. His images of the usually luminous towers of lower Manhattan plunged into darkness after Hurricane Sandy were some of the most memorable to emerge from the disaster.

Iwan Baan tells BBC Culture about his unique approach to photographing buildings.

BBC Culture is a media partner of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, which runs from 3 October 2015 – 3 January 2016.

Throughout October and November we will look at the work of some of the world’s most exciting architects and examine how buildings shape our lives. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest from Chicago.