Inspiration Profile - Jaime Diaz-Berrio


Welcome to this week's Inspiration Profile -  his name is Jaime Diaz-Berrio, an architect and photographer from Melbourne, Australia. Several weeks ago, Jaime sent me a lovely email asking me if I knew about the following of blog readers that I have in Melbourne? That was great to hear and hello to you all! Thanks for reading and enjoy today's profile.
RACV Healesville Country Club by SJB Architects

What do you do: I am an architect and photographer. Originally from Mexico, I trained in architecture and have worked in Mexico and Australia designing residential, commercial and industrial spaces since 2001.
Photography has always been a hobby of mine and in 2008 I began photographing the work of other architects and interior designers as a side business. A few months ago I took the plunge and made it my main focus.
I currently share my time between architecture, architectural photography and abstract photography.

Where do you live: Melbourne, Australia

What are you working on: At the moment I am working on a new series of images taken on my last overseas trip which will hopefully form my first solo exhibition.
I take a lot of pleasure from walking around the built environment with a camera in hand and taking small parts of it with me, collecting portions of buildings that can later be put back together in a different light, sometimes pieces of the same building, sometimes of unrelated subjects and then re-composing them together. 

Merricks Residence by SJB Architects & SJB Interiors


 
 

Who/what inspires me: Travel, experiencing new cities, visiting the buildings designed by architects that I admire (I’ve dragged my lovely wife to very remote places over the years...)
I recently found a quote by an important Mexican architect, Luis Barragan, that has reinforced the importance of travel for me: “Don’t ask me about this building or that one. Don’t look at what I do. See what I saw.”
Other inspirations are:
Good, simple, well considered and timeless design in any of its multiple branches (architectural, interior, industrial, furniture etc).

In architecture, I find Peter Zumthor’s work in a league of its own, he is one of the few architects that manage to truly move all of your senses when you visit one of his buildings.
In photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s images are always inspiring.
I work best: Around sunset, between the time when the light turns golden and about 20 minutes after the sun sets. Buildings seem to come alive. Sunrise is also very special, but I struggle to get out of bed that early!
What I do when I’m stuck for inspiration: I go for a walk with my camera; it is amazing how I end up relaxing after a few minutes of looking through the viewfinder. It seems to eliminate all distractions and allows me to focus on what I am looking for.
The best advice I have been given is: Whilst in my second year in University, a very respected architect in Mexico told me that I should work for somebody whose work I admire very much because at that age I would probably work very long hours and have a very small salary so I should at least enjoy the work. I worked for him for the next five years and still consider him my greatest mentor who taught me what I consider the most important element in both architecture and photography: strong composition.
My latest discovery is: A love for good dark chocolate! (70% Green & Black’s Organic)

Decontra House by Fitt de Felice

McCrae House by SJB Architects


Prahan House by SJB Interiors



Books that I get inspiration from: Classic architectural books are a beautiful source of inspiration, I particularly enjoy books on Alvaro Siza, Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Eero Saarinen and Peter Zumthor among others.

Magazines that inspire me: It’s always a pleasure when the Architectural Review (UK) shows up in the mail box. I also enjoy C+A and Mark.
My favourite room at home is: The lounge room, it’s a simple, calm room filled with sunlight during most of the day and a view to our small, green courtyard. A very peaceful and quiet place. 
My office is: At home for the moment but a couple of local cafes have also become satellite offices, I enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and being surrounded by people - a good coffee also doesn’t hurt! Favourites are Monk Bodhi Dharma & Spout in St Kilda East.
What am I looking forward to: Finding a balance between my three passions: architecture, architectural photography and abstract photography.
And why not, another long trip with Sara (and her patience!).

If you would like to learn more about Jaime, please see his website here.

Market Street Apartment by SJB Interiors

 
All photographs are by, and used with permission from, Jaime Diaz-Berrio.

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