Photographs that peer into the places where people work always feel oddly satisfying—they fulfill our voyeuristic curiosity about others’ spaces without having to leave our own. That goes double for the offices of architects and designers: Where can you find more interesting spaces than with those who make a living designing them?
The London-based photographer Marc Goodwin has been visiting the offices of architects all over the world, documenting his finds for the rest of us curious interlopers. His ongoing series, which he’s been working on for about a year, has taken him to China, the Nordic region, and most recently to Paris to scope out the digs of leading architecture firms. Goodwin was looking for differences in office design across regions—from the Beijing offices of MAD Architects to the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris—and the various ways local character can seep into workspaces.
The verdict? “I wish I had a short answer for that,” says Goodwin. “I’m still trying to work all out in my head.” Many of the offices he shot in London—which included Foster + Partners and the London offices of Zaha Hadid Associates—felt more corporate than the other countries he visited. The Nordic offices were as beautiful, organized, and as minimalist as you might expect. The spaces were most unexpected were in Beijing—”I was taken by surprise by the beauty of some of the Chinese offices; they were quite exceptional,” he says—and Paris, where the offices felt more eclectic and personal.