andreas waldschütz discusses the making-of marte marte's architectural film series

andreas waldschütz discusses the making-of marte marte's architectural film series


after sharing three short films earlier this year, marte marte architects has now released three further movies that take a closer look at the studio’s most sculptural works. the series, titled ‘appearing sculptural’, takes a dynamic, cinematic approach to the practice’s past projects in austria — including the ebnit bridges in dornbirn, a weathering steel extension to a home in dafins, and a concrete memorial and museum in fresach.

the films take a closer look at the most sculptural works by the austrian studio
image by marc lins



the audiovisual series now comprises a total of six short films created by photographer and experimental filmmaker andreas waldschütz, who has unconventionally re-staged some of marte marte’s most familiar buildings. meanwhile, the brooding soundtrack of composer and sound-designer stefan hoffmeister is based exclusively on recordings made on location. the german design award recently recognized the project, awarding it gold in the ‘audiovisual’ category.

the six films were created by photographer and experimental filmmaker andreas waldschütz
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



to understand more about the films, designbooom spoke with director andreas waldschütz and sound designer stefan hoffmeister about the key challenges they faced in making the series, how they got involved in the project, and the switch from fashion photography to architecture videos.

see more of the ‘ebnit bridges’ on designboom here
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



designboom (DB): how did you become involved in the project?


andreas waldschütz (AW): I was contacted by marte marte architects in august last year. they had seen my rather abstract fashion work, and commissioned me to produce a series of videos about some of their exceptional projects. I then brought stefan hoffmeister on board, because I wanted to create a very special sound for the videos.



maiden tower (5:27 minute film, full HD, 16:9)



DB: what were some of the key challenges in making ‘appearing sculptural’?


AW: for me the key challenge was to portrait this great architecture. it is one thing to visit the places and experience and see them yourself, but it is another thing to capture their personalities, their energy, their beauty, their settings in a video. I wanted to make videos for people to have an almost emotional journey with marte marte’s architecture.


stefan hoffmeister (SH): overall, it was an incredibly exciting task, especially since I — originally coming from the field of architecture — was suddenly given the chance to engage with architecture as a sound designer and musician. during the talks leading up to the project with jörg stadler, our contact at marte marte, it was clear that we wanted to work together to reinvent the genre of architecture videos and film. it was important for us to offer an entirely different and new experience of the architecture itself, the materials and the particular surroundings. I think we succeeded quite well in doing this.

the soundtrack was based exclusively on recordings made on location
image by marc lins



DB: how was the collaboration between you and the architects?


AW: the collaboration between the architects and us was super easy. stefan and bernhard marte were pretty much hands off. we had a kind of ‘silent artist to artist’ agreement, I guess.


SH: it was was very uncomplicated. andreas had complete creative and artistic freedom. this he then passed on to me.

the soundtrack was composed by stefan hoffmeister
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



DB: andreas, you have mainly worked in the field of fashion photography and music videos. how is shooting architecture different? was it a difficult switch?


AW: most of my fashion projects were shot on location. so the main difference with shooting architecture was not to have funky dressed people in front of my camera, but great designed objects. we spent 2-3 days with every object so I had enough time to get to know them, and then focus on important parts. the switch was not difficult at all. I actually really enjoyed shooting architecture.

see more of ‘maiden tower’ on designboom here
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



DB: are the soundtracks really exclusively based on recordings made on location?


SH: yes they are. in order to create a sound picture of the architecture and the place, I used ambient noises and the materials as a base — including the spatial structures, i.e. structure-borne and airborne noise. the sampling and layering options in the DAW (digital audio workstation/music software) also provided nearly limitless possibilities for taking even the tiniest snippets of noise and turning them into sounds that afterwards sounded like a band or an orchestra. at a certain level of editing, the original sound is no longer directly recognizable, but it makes perfect sense from a psychological and thematic point of view.



fresach protestant diocesan museum (4:26 minute film, full HD, 16:9)



SH (continued): take, for example, the soundtrack to ‘mountain cabin’. the bell-like sound is composed of cowbells ringing in the distance and the terrace railing (airborne and structure-borne noise). the kick drum is provided by taking steps on the wooden spiral staircase in the interior of the building. the clicking, on the other hand, comes from the pendant cords of the light bulbs, which light up the cabin. in the ‘alfenz bridge’ video, we hear a distinctive electric hum. this comes from the electromagnetic waves of the transformers for the high-voltage lines in the immediate area. these authentic sounds together with the images certainly make up the fascination of the films.

the german design award recently recognized the film series, awarding it gold in the ‘audiovisual’ category
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



DB: what kind of equipment did you use?


AW: we had several cameras in use, all digital. canon 5D III, panasonic lumix GH4, drone camera dji Inspire 1, sony fs7, and other gear like a ronin gimbal, a couple of cine sliders, etc…


SH: I worked with a wide variety of microphones on site. the contact microphones, which I partially made myself, proved to be very effective. I like using a simple rubber hammer from the hardware store to elicit sounds from the materials. I also like to play with the materials on site: stone, wood, leaves, sand, water, etc. the music production itself took place on a computer in my recording studio without outboard equipment.

the church is joined by an old meeting house, a rectory, and a cemetery
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



DB: the music often sounds martial and sinister. why is that?


SH: I hear that again and again. I make no secret of my preference for avant-garde, ambient, industrial and film music as well as for foley’s work (reproduction of sounds for films). they are variations that have worked well for me in video/film, and that can play an auxiliary or dominant role in telling a story. what I have learned is that most people don’t find the music dark in the scary sense, but rather as powerful and protective. and that pleases me because that is exactly what it is supposed to be. music or sounds that, together with the pictures, cast a spell over their audience — a gesamtkunstwerk, or a total work of art!

see more of ‘fresach protestant diocesan museum’ on designboom here
image by marc lins



DB: what’s the purpose of using black and white instead of color?


AW: I decided to turn the videos mainly black and white to set the focus on the ‘sculptural’ appearance. the architecture was set in the most amazing, dramatic and sometimes overwhelming nature — which I love — but I just wanted to blend it out. there are a few short color shots in each edit which I found important for the use of the different materials.

architects bernhard (left) and stefan marte (right) with director andreas waldschütz (center)
image by marte marte architects / jörg stadler



DB: do you have a particular building that is your favorite, or one that stands out to you?


AW: hard to say. I am in love with the bridges because they are set in such dramatic nature, but then I really love the mountain cabin as well. if I would have to pick one place only then it would be the poolhouse in rankweil, which we didn’t shoot, but I would love to own a place like this myself.

venice architecture biennale marte.marte designboom
see more of ‘in search of the unexpected’, presented at the 2016 venice biennale, on designboom here
image by marte marte architects



project credits:


director, camera, editing: andreas waldschuetz
camera and digital operator: faruk pinjo
drone camera: manuel gernaert
production coordinator: jörg stadler/ marte marte architects
music and sound design: stefan hoffmeister
post production: thomas rath



















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