What are the most spectacular spaces to shoot across the world? Since we launched The Spaces over two years ago, we’ve put the question to some of Instagram’s biggest architecture snappers to come up with the ultimate bucket list.
Their favourite destinations span everything from modernist homes to a cemetery and an abandoned power plant. Concrete features heavily on their list, as does colour and sharp geometry. Plus there are no less than three structures designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill… proof that he’s the man to call if you want your building to become insta-famous.
Here are the 19 spaces to photograph before you die.
Got a suggestion that hasn’t made the cut? Follow us on Instagram and tag your image #thespacesilike for a chance for it to be featured.
Ion Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, Iceland
@angrybaker: ‘It’s this massive Brutalist cement box of glass, steel, and concrete, set amongst the otherworldly, mossy lava fields at the base of Hengill volcano. The hotel is a design-lover’s dream in the middle of nowhere.’
Stahl House, Los Angeles, USA
@jesso: ‘The building (also known Case Study House No.22) designed by Pierre Koenig is a beautiful example of midcentury modern architecture and has a spectacular view across LA. I love the feel of the house, the space, and how it works as a home.’
@romain_veillon: ‘The most incredible place I have seen is definitely Kolmanskop in the Namib desert. It was once a rich mining town but its wealth and population started to decrease when richer diamond deposits were found further south. Kolmanskop became a ghost town in the 1950s, and now it’s completely filled with sand. I was there for a week to shoot it and the atmosphere is unreal and magical, like time has stopped. Being there alone reinforced this feeling. Slowly, the sand is reclaiming Kolmanskop, reminding us that in the end, nature always finds a way to overcome human constructions.’
Teshima Art Museum, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan
@lvlvlcy : ‘Architect Ryue Nishizawa and Japanese artist Rei Naito have combined nature and architecture in a very moving way.’
San Cataldo Cemetery, Modena, Italy
@francescaiovene: ‘Aldo Rossi’s San Cataldo Cemetery is incredible – it influences me every time.’
Residential towers in Hong Kong, China
@konaction: ‘There are so many amazing places that I’ve been to but the buildings that impressed me the most are the large-scale residential towers of Hong Kong. There is no other place in the world with a similar architectural density when it comes to living spaces.’
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Arizona, USA
@casualtimetravel: ‘The museum’s Nelson Fine Arts Center is a very strange building; Brutalist with a pastel colour palette that matches the dry Arizona landscape. Designed by Antoine Predock, its most unusual feature is its ominous violet monolith at the very top.’
Piazza Grande, Naples, Italy
@matthiasheiderich: ‘What a crazy and interesting housing complex. Its enormous circular towers were designed by Neapolitan architects Aldo Loris Rossi, Donatella Mazzoleni, Annalisa Pignalosa and Luigi Riviecchi, and opened in 1989.’
Les Espaces d’Abraxas, Paris, France
@philipp_goetze: ‘Ricardo Bofill’s 1980s housing estate in the suburb of Noisy-le-Grand is an amazing ensemble of buildings that seem so out of place in the context of their neighbourhood. When you’re there, you feel enclosed, as if you were in an entirely different city all of a sudden. Every angle is photogenic.’
São Domingos Mine, Alentejo, Portugal
@joao.bernardino: ‘I am always looking for unique industrial landscapes. The abandoned mines of São Domingos Mine in south Portugal are out of this world. Ten kilometres of arid landscape is punctuated by the remains of strange industrial structures that somehow look like anthropomorphic sculptures erupting from the grounds of the mine. The dimensions of the place are breathtaking.’
Walden 7, Barcelona, Spain
@romainlaprade: ‘The most unique space I’ve photographed is Walden 7: a 1975 social housing project by Ricardo Bofill on the outskirts of Barcelona. I felt something I’ve never felt before there. I was all alone is this huge and very impressive space. It seemed unreal.’
Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic
@maciekjezyk: ‘Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as a private house and completed in 1930, this exemplary piece of architecture was way ahead of its time. When I visited, I was amazed how the space still looks so modern. The way the architect used space and let so much light in is just perfect. All the fittings and furniture were designed by Mies and his partner Lilly Reich, which is something you almost never see. The use of rare materials and so many plants makes it perfect to photograph.’
La Muralla Roja, Calpe, Spain
@fredguillaud: ‘I could have stayed for days just to watch the light change on this extraordinary housing block, designed by Ricardo Bofill and completed in 1973.’
Amanera, Playa Grande, Dominican Republic
@sharonradisch: ‘I loved shooting at Amanera, designed by British architect John Heah. Aman resorts are always so beautifully constructed.’
Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France
@ilemartini: ‘My favorite so far is the Louis Vuitton Foundation, designed by Frank Gehry. The architecture, the light cutting through the building and the play between water and colour created by artist Olafur Eliasson has been a pleasure to photograph.’
Redhill MRT Station, Singapore
@dan_sully: ‘The entire interior of the station – designed in the 1980s – is candy pink, which is a remarkable choice for such a clean, everyday, functional place. I like that juxtaposition.’
The Brion Cemetery, San Vito d’Altivole, Treviso, Italy
@marco_vedana: ‘There is one special place where it all began for me: The Brion Cemetery, designed by architect Carlo Scarpa in San Vito d’Altivole and completed in the 1970s. It taught me to perceive space in a new manner.’
The Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and Jaipur, India
@clementevb: ‘These are astronomical observatories built in the 18th century in New Delhi and Jaipur. It’s incredible how modern they look. I remember the moment I laid eyes on them – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.’
Satsop Nuclear Power Plant, Elma, Washington, USA
@Chrisconnolly: Satsop is a (largely) abandoned nuclear energy facility near Seattle, which has silos which you can explore. The scale and engineering force of these structures is pretty humbling, and climbing up to the top is pretty terrifying, but it’s pretty representative of the things which I love to shoot.