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We Could be Heroes: The Photography of Balthazar Korab

Honored in June by AIA Michigan with the first edition of an eponymous award, Balthazar Korab photographed Modernist architecture in stark, imposing ways that translated distance and self-assured authority into heroism.


New National Gallery in Berlin

Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery in Berlin. All images courtesy of Balthazar Korab and the Library of Congress.

Dulles International Airport

Eero Saarinen’s Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.

G.M. Tech Center

A water tower in Warren, Mich’s., GM Tech Center designed by Eero Saarinen.

TWA Terminal at JFK Airport

The interior of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal at JFK Airport in New York City.

The gardens of Villa

The gardens of Villa Gamberaia in Tuscany, Italy.

Air Force Academy Chapel

The Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colo., designed by SOM.

National Gallery of Art

East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., designed by I.M. Pei, FAIA.

Flooding in Florence

Flooding in Florence, Italy in 1966.

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto-Dominion Bank in Toronto.

Kansas City Hyatt Regency

The Kansas City Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Mo., designed by PBNDML.

Gateway Center

Gateway Center in Chicago, designed by SOM.

Prudential Insurance

The Prudential Insurance Western Home Office building in Westlake, Calif.,  designed by A.C. Martin Architects, Calif.

World Trade Center Towers

Minoru Yamasaki’s World Trade Center Towers in New York City.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright, photographed shortly before his death in 1959.

Balthazar Korab

Self-portrait of Balthazar Korab.

Famed architectural photographer Balthazar Korab was the first recipient of the AIA Michigan honor named after him—the Balthazar Korab Award. The Hungarian-born, Detroit-based photographer received the award at the annual AIA Michigan Celebration of Architecture conference in June. The award recognizes an individual’s significant efforts and contributions to architecture and the arts. Heroic, distant, aloof, but immensely powerful, Modernist architecture as documented by Korab in stark black and white reflected the pristine visions of the future created by the canonical designers (Mies, Corbusier, Saarinen) he documented.

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