The following is a case study about an architectural photography project we completed for Chandos Construction, a Canadian general contractor and construction project management company. The project took place at the brand new Indigo store that opened in the fall of 2023 at the new luxury shopping complex in Toronto, The Well.
The Well is a new 7.8-acre mixed-use development project located at the intersection of Front Street and Spadina Avenue in downtown Toronto. With over 3 million square feet of residential, retail and office space, The Well is set to become one of Toronto’s most vibrant and sought-after neighbourhoods.
Indigo is a popular Canadian bookstore chain owned by Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, Indigo Books & Music Inc. The goal of the architectural photography project was to take clean, bright and captivating images of the store as a key portfolio piece for Chandos Construction.
Who is Chandos Construction?
Chandos Construction is a leading Canadian builder focused on collaborative construction, a process that integrates all project stakeholders to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency. Established in 1980, Chandos has successfully implemented their collaborative approach across a diverse portfolio of projects, ranging from commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential.
Chandos was founded by Dan O’Brien and Don Coyne in Alberta. They both worked for different companies on the same construction project in Edmonton and quickly discovered they shared many of the same values. After a fishing trip together, they acknowledged that they had something special and decided to start a different kind of construction company within the industry. They named it after Chandos Lake, a body of water in the Ontario Kawartha Highlands, that had a significant impact on both of them growing up.
What Makes Chandos Construction Different?
Chandos is proudly 100% employee-owned, which means that every single employee has a vested interest in the success of the company, and by extension, the success of its projects. This unique ownership structure motivates the Chandos team to consistently strive for excellence and deliver projects to the highest standards.
Commitment to Net Zero by 2040
Chandos Construction is not just committed to building quality structures; they are also dedicated to building a sustainable future. In line with their commitment to minimize environmental impact and contribute positively to communities, Chandos has announced their ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2040. This means that their operations will not contribute to an increase in atmospheric CO2 levels, a key driver of climate change.
Chandos’ net zero commitment involves measures such as energy-efficient construction methods, use of renewable energy, and planting trees. They understand that they will not be able to reach their goal on their own without overcoming challenges and emphasize the importance of working with their supply chain, including; contractors, owners, designers, trades, and suppliers.
In 2021 Chandos Construction and Bird Construction entered into a 3-year strategic partnership called Building Good. This initiative is aimed at driving sustainable change in the construction industry and focuses on three main areas – Industry Transformation, Equity and Inclusion, and Sustainability. All for the betterment of people and the planet through promoting discussions, connections and innovation. Chandos has made it clear that the path forward is a collective effort amongst all parties in the industry.
Why is Architectural Photography Important for Chandos Construction?
Architectural photography holds significant value for Chandos Construction for multiple reasons. Since Chandos is in the business of building structures, a high-quality architectural portfolio serves as a direct reflection of their work quality. It provides prospective clients with a tangible showcase of their capabilities and completed projects.
These images also highlight Chandos’ commitment to excellence, complementing the technical prowess and attention to detail they bring to each project. Architectural images are also crucial in documenting the progression of projects and can be invaluable in presenting case studies, enhancing their marketing materials, and reinforcing their brand image in the construction industry.
Why are Portfolio Images Important?
Portfolio images are vitally important for any business looking to obtain new clients. They serve as a visual representation of the company’s experience, competence, and style. By showcasing a diverse range of accomplished projects, they help prospective clients gain an understanding of the company’s work and capabilities.
Specifically for Chandos, portfolio images also play a key role in demonstrating the versatility and adaptability of the company across different types of projects. They act as a testament to the company’s commitment to delivering quality and excellence in their work, supporting their reputation in the industry.
In a nutshell, portfolio images assist in the acquisition of new projects and clients.
Pre-Shoot Walk Through
The process of photographing the Indigo project for Chandos required a meticulous approach, a keen eye for detail, and an understanding of Chandos’s unique needs and style. The first step involved a thorough pre-shoot walkthrough of the location. This not only allowed us to acquaint ourselves with the space but also to identify key architectural elements that needed to be highlighted.
Lighting & Angles
For the actual shoot, we utilized a combination of natural and artificial lighting to create a balanced and appealing illumination that accentuated the best features of the whole building. We shot from various angles, ensuring that every important aspect and the impressive architecture of the project was well-captured. Care was taken to include diverse shots – using a wide-angle lens for context, close-ups for detail, tilt-shift lenses for vertical lines, and mid-range shots for balanced and different perspectives.
It’s important to have the right equipment while capturing photographs on-site so you can ensure every single detail of the space is delivered. Clients have many uses for images that you may not always be aware of, making it imperative that you’re prepared for every environment or scenario.
Post-production played an equally important role in the process. We meticulously edited the images to enhance their visual appeal while preserving the authenticity of the architectural design. This included color correction, balancing of shadows and highlights, removal of unwanted elements, and fine-tuning of details to ensure that every image was not just aesthetically pleasing, but also a true reflection of Chandos’s craftsmanship and the Architect’s designs.
Chandos Construction utilized the architectural photography produced from the Indigo project in a multitude of ways that served to increase their brand visibility and highlight their commitment to high-quality construction and design. These images were prominently featured on their website and other digital platforms, providing an engaging visual experience for visitors and an effective demonstration of the company’s capability.
They were also used in marketing collateral, including proposals and presentations, serving as a tangible representation of their work and allowing potential clients to visualize the quality Chandos delivers and build trust.
Architectural photography is a crucial element in promoting and showcasing the work of Chandos Construction. It allows them to document their projects, present their capabilities, and strengthen their brand image as an industry leader committed to excellence. Through professional and visually striking images, Chandos can effectively communicate their story, values, and achievements to potential clients, partners, and their target audience.
By aiding in the acquisition of new projects and clients, these photographs essentially serve as a driving force in Chandos’s continued growth and success in the highly competitive construction industry. This project highlights the undeniable power of high-quality, targeted photography in effectively conveying a company’s expertise and value proposition, ultimately contributing to its bottom line.
We hope that this case study has provided you with some insights into our approach to architectural photography and how we work with our clients to achieve their goals. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.