Photographing the Guthrie

(Last Updated On: November 22, 2019)

A photo class has brought me back to Jean Nouvel’s Guthrie Theater.

I find to be one of the most difficult buildings to photograph well. As I’ve indicated previously, I find the Guthrie to be a rather uninspiring, a dark blob on the riverfront – not at all like the other Nouvel buildings I know, with their intricate construction and sense of movement (for example, the Arab Institute  and Quai Branly in Paris).

I don’t actually hate the building, but I am having trouble shooting the whole building in a way I find interesting (and have the right lenses for – I need my ultra-wide and it isn’t in my bag today) so I look to the building’s details for inspiration.


I probably should go inside (the interior spaces are fascinating), but it is a beautiful spring day so I turn my attention to the nearby mill ruins.


This is such a wonderful part of the city – it would be fun to live here. I wonder how much it would cost to buy one of these condos?

I bet I could even learn to love the Guthrie if I lived here!
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2 thoughts on “Photographing the Guthrie”

  1. The Guthrie is an AMAZING building–the way it showcases its surroundings and makes them part of the interior, the way it creates a gathering place with its endless bridge and makes its beautiful location–the falls, the river, the city–part of the whole experience. The exterior may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the way the design of the theater celebrates the geography, history and vitality of its location adds so much to the experience that I am willing to forgive its rather blah exterior. (Love reading your blog!) =)

    1. Thanks for your thoughts – I truly love this area of town, perhaps some of that is due to the presence of the Guthrie's building. . .you've given me something to think about there. What I really love about it all those weird reflections in the windows inside, the way they let you see the neighborhood and the river combined in unnatural, but totally realistic ways.

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