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Coolness of concrete Architectural gems exposed on Instagram

Photographer Philipp Heer, also known as @lerichti, has made a name for himself with beautiful Swiss architecture pictures on Instagram, where more than 63,000 people follow his work. swissinfo.ch takes a closer look. 

A window frame, a doorway, patterned facades – graphic details of cool, modern concrete buildings. These architectural attributes, which are a focus of Heer’s work, are similar to the postcards you can buy in art galleries – morphed into something else: an Instagram post.

Heer has had a passion for photography and architecture since his childhood. For him, it seemed a natural progression to connect the two hobbies to Instagram, he writesexternal link. When he started on the social platform in 2015, he chose '@lerichti' as a handle, a username. It is a combination of the French pronoun "le" and the urban development area where he is living – the Richti-Areal in Wallisellenexternal link, near Zurich. 

Instagram is among the most popular social networks today, one external linkbillionexternal link users per month upload short videos and photos to share within their communities.

swissinfo.ch caught up with '@lerichti' external linkto find out a little more of what's behind the facade.

swissinfo.ch: Architecture is a passion of yours – what is it about the facade element of a building that you particularly like to use in your photography?

Philipp Heer: I have a very bad memory for faces, but I never forget a facade. Sometimes it seems to me that a facade is the face of the house. And at the same time it is like a canvas filled with graphic elements.

"I have a very bad memory for faces, but I never forget a facade"

End of quote

Why do your images often have a person in the foreground?

First and foremost, it is a matter of showing the proportions. But it's also about bringing something human to the image and making it more dynamic. Many of them are friends of mine, who sometimes prefer to walk through in front of the facade.

When I am travelling alone, I ask pedestrians if they'll walk by for me or I just wait for a passer-by. It can take a while as the colour of their clothing needs to be a contrast to the facade.

Where do you see yourself in a couple of years in terms of Instagram? Or do you not think of it as work, but more of a hobby? 

Instagram is a hobby and will remain one. The hobby helps me to move, to travel a lot and to discover new things. In Switzerland and abroad. So it's a good balance to my office work, which I also like very much.

Do you think Instagram will evolve into another format – how do feel this could affect your work?

How Instagram will develop is a difficult question: It seems as if videos are becoming more and more important, but I'm not too interested in that. Right now, I enjoy Instagram as it is, even though I sometimes feel disappointed if one of the photos doesn’t do too well. Let's see how the platform develops. Currently it still seems to me by far the best platform for what I do. If that's not the case in the future, I'll stop.

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