Sonia Mangiapane is a professional photographer whose areas of interest include architecture, spaces, landscape, art & design related projects. She has worked for a number of years for architectural, commercial and editorial clients while also pursuing my own personal work.

In 2012 she relocated to Amsterdam (The Netherlands) from her hometown in Melbourne (Australia). Recently she was shortlisted for the 2014 Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards.


The initial aim of this series was simply to document temporary structures, all of which, at the time of shooting, were in a state of transition. I felt a sense of urgency; that these buildings ought to be recorded in some way, lest they be erased from collective memory.

Today some of the structures I have photographed no longer exist. In time some will cease to exist; while others will have elements retained, but their original state will be transformed in a fundamental way.

“Mémoire” explores two themes in parallel; one for the head and one for the heart as it were…

On the one hand, it aims to provoke discussion relating to the sustainable regeneration and adaptive reuse of our existing buildings. Regeneration of the urban environment is critical to a sustainable future. However, confronted with a multitude of social, environmental, financial & political issues to consider, the path we should take is not always clear-cut.

On the other hand, as the series developed I found that it wasn’t the structures themselves that were the most interesting aspect of this project. Rather, the fact that the spaces housed by the structure once had people inhabiting, occupying, visiting or passing through them. These “shells” are embodied with the history and memories of those people. I consider this series a tribute to those memories.

Shot mainly in Melbourne’s inner urban area throughout 2008 to 2010, “Mémoire” captures fleeting moments in our changing urban landscape.

editor's note

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