Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss

Sebastian Weiss captures Beijing landmarks against scenic skies for Chinese Blue series

Photographer Sebastian Weiss has captured Beijing's white and silver architectural highlights by studios including Zaha Hadid Architects and OMA set against blue skies, for his latest photo series.

Named Chinese Blue to reflect the contrast between the monochromatic buildings and the city's bright blue sky, the architecture is depicted in his characteristic minimalist style.

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Weiss's photo series includes numerous architectural highlights including OMA's CCTV Headquarters

Weiss took the opportunity to photograph the buildings in Beijing after visiting the Chinese capital to complete a project with Mini Living.

"China is a relatively closed country with a great history and is proud of its tradition," Weiss told Dezeen. "I wanted to photograph the younger buildings which do not necessarily correspond to the Chinese tradition."

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Weiss chose to focus on the city's newer icons including Wangjing SOHO by Zaha Hadid Architects

Drawn to the "bold, powerful architecture icons", the series features projects designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, OMA and Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

The twin cocoon shapes of Galaxy SOHO designed by Zaha Hadid Architects features in three of the 20 photographs in Chinese Blue.

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Galaxy SOHO is another project by Zaha Hadid Architects included in the series

The building features layers of white coils that are moulded together near the tops to form walkways. Photographed from below, Weiss accentuates the curves and stretched forms of the bridges.

"I look for the personality of a building and its secrets or traits," continued the photographer, who hopes that his photographs "converse" with the architecture.

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Weiss included photos of the Beijing National Stadium by Herzog & de Meuron in the series

Most of the photographs in the series are focused upon a section of the building, rather than trying to show it in its entirety.

"My intention is to only extract and underline what is already there," explained Weiss.

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Weiss aims to isolated the architecture from its urban context

In a photo essay for Dezeen, Weiss wrote that his abstract representations of architecture is intended to separate it from the urban context.

This was demonstrated in his Valencia series concentrating on the works of Santiago Calatrava in 2017, where he deliberately zoomed in on the overlapping details and struts to create a kaleidoscopic composition.

Continuing this style of abstraction in Chinese Blue, photographs show an isolated view through Beijing's national stadium, which was nicknamed the Bird's Nest during the 2008 Olympics.

Negative space is created from its namesake hollow, criss-crossing structure around the bowl of the arena.

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Weiss photographed the National Centre for the Performing Arts reflected on a lake

The second national building in the collection is the National Centre for the Performing Arts, located behind a lake and designed by Paul Andreu to appear as if emerging from the water.

Shot by Weiss, the reflection of the domed structure is mirrored into the lake in front.

"I was most impressed by Paul Andreu's National Centre for the Performing Arts," said Weiss. "A beautiful, harmonious building, it's a place of silence and contemplation in the middle of the noisy and turbulent city."

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Alongside numerous cultural buildings Weiss also shot the Andersen Garden Housing Complex by Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Despite multiple projects by prominent architecture studios featuring in his Beijing series, Weiss states that he chooses his architectural subjects by "charisma" than popularity.

Amongst projects of civic and national recognition, Weiss captures Andersen Garden Housing Complex – a residential complex with a sequence of six, white-granite clad towers designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

In Chinese Blue, the project is pictured as a lone tower with protruding and recessing balconies, which alternate down the facade. Taken through Weiss' signature minimalist style, the tower appears to lose its three-dimensional appearance.

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
The Watercube by PTW Architects is also included in the collection

Weiss originally studied civil engineering at the Technical University in Dresden. Influenced more by the viewpoints of a building than its technical construction, he turned to art direction as a career for the last 15 years.

He explained that his occupational focus using minimalism has undoubtedly moulded his photography style.

"While working for museums and publishing houses, they put a lot of emphasis on modern, reduced design to direct the focus to the contents."

Based in Hamburg, Weiss is the photographer behind the Instagram account Le Blanc where he documents his shots from around the world.

More images

Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
SOHO 2 by GMP Architekten
Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Bumps by SAKO Architects
Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
National Grand Theatre by Paul Andreu
Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Mandarin Oriental by OMA
Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Chinese Blue photography series by Sebastian Weiss
Bumps by SAKO Architects