Ezra Stoller is likely to be seen as the most eminent American architectural photographer of the post-war period, writes Andrew Mead. Working primarily in black-and-white, he made widely-published images of many significant new buildings in the us and also carried out commissions abroad - as at Ronchamp (see right). Each volume in this excellent new hardback series, 'Building Blocks', from Princeton Architectural Press presents a single building in some 60 of Stoller's photographs. An introductory essay and a small selection of drawings and plans are also supplied.
The books are pocket-sized but Stoller's images, well-reproduced, are still effective in this small format. Not just his eye and technique impress but also his tolerance and apt inclusion of people; in all but the un Building there is a sense of inhabited architecture.
Introductory essays are brief but to the point. In his deft account of the twa Terminal, for instance, series editor Mark Lamster discusses the nature of the design, its critical reception then and since, its place in Saarinen's oeuvre, and also Stoller's depiction of it - 'the terminal's soaring spaces appear slightly exaggerated in scale due to the nature of his lens' - in just a handful of pages. And Philip Nobel has the measure of Paul Rudolph's Yale building : 'It's dank and it's mean and it doesn't work very well - but, oh, what wonderful gloom.'