The sparkling new Seattle Public Library, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, was introduced in May to rave reviews for its innovative use of interior space and asymmetrical forms.
Here, Seattle photographer Jason Hasenbank adds to the disorienting nature of the building with an abstract photomosaic of the library's meshlike metal and glass skin. The image was made while Hasenbank was assisting architectural photographer Fred Housel in setting up a photo shoot of the new structure.
Hasenbank always has had an interest in tessellation, or the repetition of images in a geometric pattern. The Koolhaas building, draped entirely with its signature diamond-shaped window pattern, was an irresistible subject, he says. "This one was a very simple one," he says. "It's just a repetition of the same image four times. A blind person could take a good photo of that building."
Much of the appeal of the new library, Hasenbank says, comes from the multifaceted reflections of the cityscape seen on the mirrored glass. "I was interested in the way it is situated within the city, echoing all the tall buildings around it," he says. "It's the rug that brings that whole downtown together."
Hasenbank, a mostly self-taught photographer, honed his skills as a teacher's assistant at Coconino Community College's darkroom in Flagstaff, Ariz. From 1992 to 2002, when he worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska, his sea journeys often took him to many far-flung ports of call, allowing him to assist photographers on assignments in China and Mongolia for National Geographic.
For the last four years, Hasenbank's life literally has surrounded Seattle's Benham Studio Gallery. In addition to helping Benham owner Marita Holdaway manage the gallery, he also lives and works in a studio directly above it on First Avenue. "I consider it a paid education to work with Marita," he says.
Holdaway also occasionally shows Hasenbank's work at Benham. For more information about Hasenbank and his ongoing series of tessellations, visit the gallery's web site at benhamgallery.com.
I was interested in the way it (the new Seattle Public Library) is situated with in the city, echoing all the tall buildings around it.