Untitled (Miller House, #02)
Lambri’s careful framing in Untitled (Miller House, #02) redefines our understanding of this iconic mid-century modernist building located in Columbus, Indiana. Commissioned by industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simons Miller, and built by Eero Saarinen in 1953, the Miller house’s open and flowing layout expands upon modernist architectural traditions. It features a flat roof, stone and glass walls, with rooms configured beneath a grid pattern of skylights and supporting cruciform steel columns. Rather than a distanced view of the overall structure—favored by modernist architectural photographers like Julius Shulman—Lambri instead works from the inside, focusing on Saarinen’s windows and the soft, even light. The resulting image is a poetic abstraction, an architectural photograph that yields not only a picture of a building, but suggests what it actually feels like to be in that architectural space.
Rudolph Schindler’s designs, part of a practice he called “Space Architecture,” marry interior with exterior and space with light. The architect’s longtime studio and residence, which he built in Los Angeles in 1922, exemplifies this philosophy, and has since become an influential part of the modernist architectural canon. In Untitled (Schindler House #01) (2007), Luisa Lambri describes Schindler’s studio by capturing its aftereffects—the play of light and shadow cast through branches onto a surface. The photograph is an ethereal portrait of Schindler’s work and ethos, evoking the building without actually depicting its concrete slabs and untreated wood.