Alastair Philip Wiper captures nuclear test sites & Steve Jobs’ childhood home in an uncanny photo book

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Alastair Philip Wiper, a renowned photographer, has unveiled his latest book, Building Stories, which delves into the captivating tales hidden within the realm of architecture. Published by Danish Architectural Press, the book takes readers on a journey through a world where buildings possess personalities and intricate narratives, ranging from nuclear test sites to Steve Jobs’ childhood home and even the toilet of a late Albanian dictator.

For over a decade, Wiper has been capturing the surreal beauty of both lesser-known and iconic structures across the globe. His mesmerizing photographs feature ordinary supermarket parking lots in Denmark, top-secret government laboratories in the United States, the architectural masterpieces of Marcel Breuer in France, and soaring skyscrapers in Hong Kong. These images, created using long exposures of several minutes, exude vibrant colors, moody atmospheres, and a dash of black humor.

Wiper’s ultimate goal is to transport viewers into a fantasy world, allowing them to interpret the buildings in ways that transcend reality. By encouraging people to form their own narratives about the personalities of these structures, the architects behind them, and their users, he offers a fresh perspective on the integration of architecture and human experiences.

Building Stories builds upon Wiper’s highly acclaimed previous works, such as Unintended Beauty (2020, Hatje Cantz). In this earlier project, he artfully captured hidden industrial interiors like shipyards, sausage factories, and particle accelerators, providing a glimpse into the often-overlooked beauty of these spaces. Wiper’s unique vision is characterized by his profound understanding of lines, symmetry, color, and a touch of fantasy. Utilizing machines, technology, and infrastructure as his lens, he explores the fundamental aspects of human existence, including our needs, desires, dreams, and inquiries about the vastness of the universe.

When asked whether his work can be categorized simply as architectural photography, Wiper acknowledges that he aims to capture the essence of each building, regardless of whether it aligns with the architect’s intended spirit. He strives to reflect an atmosphere or a sense of wonder, often elevating objects that were primarily designed for utilitarian purposes and revealing their hidden depths. Through these artistic endeavors, Alastair Philip Wiper continues to redefine the boundaries of conventional architectural photography, allowing us to glimpse the extraordinary stories embedded within the structures we encounter every day.

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