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Estudio Taller UdeB

Federico Cairoli

Workspace activity witnessed through the eyes of an unseen visitor.

In his short film, "Estudio Taller UdeB," Federico Cairoli leads viewers through the architecture studio of Felipe Uribe, located at the outskirts of El Retiro, Colombia. Deferring verbal description of the studio, Cairoli instead tells the project's story with a series of candid vignettes of the studio's activity and surroundings. The film's opening shots depict a visitor's approach to the project site, framing a tree-shaded road leading to an unassuming building nested within a distant forest clearing. As the camera moves closer to the building, focus shifts to its material details and activity around it. Once inside, we visitors seem to remain unnoticed by the diligent studio workers preoccupied by their current tasks.

The sense that we, the viewers, observe the studio while remaining unseen is a subtle but persistent theme throughout the video. By using low camera positions at the periphery of the forest clearing, Cairoli is able to create layered photo compositions with short plants and low-hanging tree branches positioned in front of the studio. This technique effectively creates the impression that we remain hidden behind the cover of our surroundings while simultaneously exhibiting the site's material and plant diversity. The low camera position also creates some ambiguity as to whose eyes we are viewing through. We are not able to see level with the adults walking around the studio and workshop, yet we are still taller than the dog and cat who wander the site. Another powerful photography technique used is the low horizon line, particularly in exterior shots. Dropping the horizon low in the frame allows Cairoli to dramatize the height of the site's trees and bamboo stalks, proportionally scaling down the height of the studio itself.

Cairoli utilizes these technical photography maneuvers to portray the project with a particular tone while simultaneously accentuating its key architectural qualities. By viewing the studio through the eyes of an unseen visitor, the events portrayed seem natural, and therefore, believable. Witnessing the authentic happenings of the studio relieves the need for verbal description or narration of the project; Estudio Taller UdeB speaks for itself.

(Story by Alex Petruso, The Architecture Player)


Architect: Felipe Uribe de Bedout
Mentioned project: Estudio Taller Udeb
Project location: El Retiro, Antioquia, Colombia

Colombia 2016
Duration: 4'21''