Federico Babina abstracts the work of architects in illustrations
Archishape by Federico Babina

Famous buildings become abstract blocks of colour in Federico Babina's Archishape series

Italian illustrator Federico Babina honed in on details of buildings by architects including Le Corbusier, MVRDV, Zaha Hadid and Mies van der Rohe to create the abstract graphics of this poster series.

Archishape by Federico Babina

Named Archishape: Architecture Shapes in Minimalist Clothing, the new series by Federico Babina reduces forms typical in the repertoire of 25 architects into a series of interlocking geometric shapes, using colours he feels are indicative of each style.

Archishape by Federico Babina

Complex buildings are broken down into a pattern of lines and shapes that Babina says are representative of  "the formal alphabet of different architects" – so Gerrit Rietveld's De Stijl designs are condensed into blocks of yellow and red, while the form of Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase takes centre stage.

Archishape by Federico Babina

Brightly coloured illustrations based on the work of Modernist icons Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn and Gerrit Reitveld are presented alongside that of contemporary practices MVRDV, Zaha Hadid and Mecanoo.

Archishape by Federico Babina

Each image is presented on a mottled background the colour of aged graph paper. A visible crease runs horizontally across the centre, giving the appearance of a poster that has been folded and unfolded.

Archishape by Federico Babina

"This series of illustrations are a little as I see, or at least how I would love to see, the world around me," said Babina. 

Archishape by Federico Babina

"Sometimes I like to half-close my eyes to blur the world. This simple exercise helps me to perceive things differently: the contours are lost and the geometries combine to take on a new appearance."

Archishape by Federico Babina

The images read as a distillation of buildings into their individual parts. They "decompose and deconstruct architectures to reassemble them into abstract geometries," explains Babina.

Archishape by Federico Babina

Two cross-shaped forms with black and sap green stripes radiating from their axis are reminiscent of the intersecting columns in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion, while the swerving forms typical in Zaha Hadid's architecture are represented by a stack of curving fuchsia and aubergine shapes.

Archishape by Federico Babina

A series of interlocking geometric shapes in a muted teal shade give a flattened perspective to another image, which appears to reference the panes of glass and tall walls of Tadao Ando's 4x4 House in Kobe.

Archishape by Federico Babina

Babina draws a connection between the two disciplines innate with architectural design – the plan and its three-dimensional counterpart. According to the designer, his work is a reversal of the architectural process.

Archishape by Federico Babina

"Architecture embodies the transformation of an abstract, planar composition into a functioning three‐dimensional form," he explained. "I enjoy reversing the process, finding the essence of the forms of buildings to make abstract compositions."

Archishape by Federico Babina

In other sets of illustrations, Babina has transformed the buildings of 26 prolific architects into letters of the alphabet and reimagined famous architect quotes as roadside advertisements.

Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina
Archishape by Federico Babina