It was always a pleasure and privilege to be in a position to photograph some of Enrico Taglietti designed buildings. They were not the easiest structures to photograph, but they taught valuable lessons in light, shadow, texture, form and space.
Knowing Enrico personally — and with high respect — added another dimension to the photographing of his designs. There is a great responsibility to capture the spirit and careful execution of his craft. He was a very proud and strong-willed man who remained very attached to his designs and buildings well beyond the time they were built.
I have a fascination with public buildings, and with the tension between public and private spaces we encounter in our daily lives. Enrico explored this tension across a number of buildings, including private residences, embassies, schools and churches. I photographed the Apostolic Nunciature (1975), only a short walk from Enrico’s residence, the Italian Embassy Chancery and Residence, Giralang Primary School, a church in the Sydney suburb of Marsfield, St Anthony, and a number of private residences.
The beauty in a Taglietti structure is represented in the organic forms one encounters — his use of raw materials in concrete, brick and wood — and the remarkable engineering feats he demonstrated, particularly in the cantilevered porte-cochère of the Apostolic Nunciature. There are signature Taglietti features that alerted viewers to his work; like the deep eaves, and the distinctive gutter and water management systems he used that were transformed from the functional to the aesthetic.
Enrico always talked about architecture as the space created within a structure. As a photographer, photographing space is a challenge. How do you photograph space? You can photograph the casing, walls, doors, materials, design elements and how they interact with light and their surroundings. Maybe that’s the best you can do to capture his buildings.