Mid-County Branch

St. Louis County Library, Mid-County Branch
Christner Architects
Clayton, Missouri

After successful completion of the Grant’s View Library in 2015, Christner worked with the St. Louis County Library District to design a new replacement Mid-County Branch Library located in the heart of Clayton. The new library replaces an outdated, inwardly-focused structure with limited functionality and costly maintenance. The building is designed with an outward focus that engages with the street and surrounding community. This branch is popular with workers from nearby businesses as well as residents in the surrounding area.

The building was designed to be welcoming and bright with large clerestory windows and skylights. Recessed lighting, abundant natural light and sophisticated colors offer a modern and cheerful environment for visitors, patrons and staff. A parking garage on the lower level provides full enclosure with controlled access.

Documodern’s approach to architectural photography and design means that we always look for the simple expression and unexpected moments that highlight the skill of the architect as well as the client’s commitment to good design. This is what we mean when we say that a good photograph is knowing where to stand. With our background in architecture, we look to photograph not just the overall architectural event, but also the small but deliberate architectural details that stand out as something that the architect took great care in designing to celebrate the art of building — and for us, the art of architectural photography.

Architectural photography is the sub genre of the photography discipline where the primary emphasis is made to capturing photographs of buildings and similar architectural structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and accurate in terms of representations of their subjects. Architectural photographers are usually skilled in the use of specialized techniques and cameras for producing such specialized photography.

Our approach to architectural photography has always been about the art of building, and the same goes for our images. We look for moments in architecture that are not obvious, but instead reveal the skill in creating something elegant and beautiful from years of hard work. When photographers take pictures of buildings, it is their job to find those small details which make a difference, show how skilled architects can create beauty from “nothing” — making this way more interesting than just taking a single side-on POV shot up a building without much context. That is what we aim for every time we get out on location: to take photographs that tell stories that you can’t see otherwise — so let us help you do your part by selecting the right location and props!

Interior architectural photography can also be performed with ambient light transmitted through windows and skylights, as well as interior lighting fixtures. Frequently though, architectural photographers use supplemental lighting to improve the illumination within a building. Either electronic flash “strobes” or incandescent “hot lights” are generally used. A feature of architectural photography is that the principal subjects almost always remains stationary. It is therefore possible to use post-processing editing to achieve a balanced lighting scheme, even in the absence of additional lighting.