Simone Bossi

Architectural Photographer
Milan / London / Paris


Simone Bossi

Architectural Photographer

Milan / London / Paris


«I am fascinated by all those things that transform a place into a space.»

«I am fascinated by all those things that transform a place into a space.»

«I am fascinated by all those things that transform a place into a space.»

Please, introduce yourself.

I grew up observing my fathers hard work on site as a builder, captivated by his intense contact with reality and the way he “possessed” the building until it was completed. I followed him often and I enjoyed all those rough, empty and naked spaces, sometimes they were cold and there was a strong smell of dust, but there were few moments, early in the morning or at the end of the day, when a gentle light silently came in: all these spaces became so calm, pure and true.

Later I studied Architecture in Milan and Seville and after five years as an architect between Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands I decided to dedicate myself entirely to photography.

How did you find your way into the field of architecture and photography?

I have never attended a photography course, I am a self-taught photographer. It was a spontaneous transition from my architectural studies. During the last university years, I had the opportunity to follow an esteemed architecture photographer in Milan where I understood that being a photographer could have been a tough job but as noble and interesting as being an architect. There was no a proper path: my interests in those specific moments kept it spontaneous, without any restrictions. This process has probably kept some sort of freedom in my approach and a constant need to understand, experiment and try by myself.

Everything was also related to my need to travel. It was also a good excuse to discover new parts of the city, which I would never find out otherwise. Later, my will to experience architecture in its true context emerged, where I could perceive the different moments of light, temperature, and atmosphere of that specific moment or that particular season.

What is the essence of architecture for you personally?

I am not interested in simply describing an architecture project. I like to understand the feelings I can have in a space and work on them. I am fascinated by all those things that transform a place into a space. I’ve always found interesting how simple events can create intense atmospheres, transforming the ordinary into something magical. I am intrigued by the interior space and all those inside/outside situations. Probably it is an introspective process where I try to locate myself in this space and to understand how I perceive the atmosphere. I think this approach is free and spontaneous and through it, I am able to reveal pure space sensations in the images. I like looking for the light but I am not scared to reveal the darkness.



First Impression

It is said that to try to explain an atmosphere, it loses its meaning. We just have to be inside an atmosphere to truly understand it. It is something personal, and of course, different people can perceive different atmospheres in the same place at the same me. To me, as an architectural photographer, an atmosphere is often something that makes a place into a space, and below I will illustrate how I became captivated by the atmosphere of the Newport Street Gallery that was recently designed by Caruso St John Architects.

When I found myself at the corner of Newport Street, I did not know what to expect. I recognized the project thanks to one or two pictures of the exterior I had seen a while ago made by another photographer, but I did not know that much about the building. I did not plan to be there at a certain time or in any particular condition. The winter light of the late afternoon was so gentle and I had noticed just a few people inside. I felt that the moment was favorable. Even the little calm street gave me a sense of coziness and the intimacy and the domestic scale of the building invited me to proceed without any hesitation.

I entered and after ordering a coffee I naturally took out my camera. I realized I could completely experience the atmosphere in this space, without any predicted approach, without any in influences and completely with a pure “first impression”.

First impressions are precious, first impressions give us an immediate feeling between rational and emotional. They are neither right nor wrong, but certainly, they are unique and we can experience them just once. Following first impressions is a spontaneous process that deeply reveals our subjective experience as a personal feeling interpretation. 


And the process had already started: I was completely involved by the relationship between me and the space and between the space and the other few people I had met. I did not focus on the content of the exhibition because I truly understand that my perception was naturally appealed by the “container” looking for the spirit of the space.
There was an unclear magic atmosphere and I felt the need to go further through the space. Shooting freehand emphasized my sense of being open and free to this journey and after a while, I took the first photograph. I firstly focused on the passage through the few different rooms: the thickness of the walls gave me a sense of strong transition room by room, without completely revealing what we are going to find in the next area. I have always found it interesting seeing how other people react to the space without having a clear overview of that space. It always increases my sense of curiosity: What are they doing? What are they looking at? Why is a young girl looking up? Probably because of the double height of the space? And why does an old well-dressed woman spend so much time in the same position? Is the next room so different from the one I am in? Where is the light reflection coming from?

The more I perceive a sense of vagueness, the more I feel something precious is happening. To me, it is like being in a long break between the question and the answer, and, as a photographer, I have always found it interesting to freeze these conditions as an image without finding a solution.

Ascending to the second floor, I suddenly realized that the presence of the natural light was leading me into my photography path. Through the stairs I could perceive the soft source of light, without actually feeling the need to relate myself with the outside: it naturally kept me focused on my experience inside without any pressure as I was so fascinated by the light blue temperature of the space caused by the sky.

Like a book you avoid to complete, I was pleased and sorry at the same time to be almost at the end of my discovery but then again, the light was a chance of personal experience. Having reached the last room, I had a sense of freedom approaching the calm, blue light that was coming gently from above and a couple visitors seemed unaware of its presence.

Website: www.simonebossi.it
Links: Instagram, Divisare
Pictures © Simone Bossi Photographer
Interview: kntxtr, 05/2018