Look up. Look around you. Look at every facade, and each piece of decoration, each tiny detail. Now ignore them. Instead, focus on the shapes of the buildings in front of you, behind and around you. What are they made of? Why are they built the way they are? What’s their history, their purpose. How do you get inside? Is there a single door, or a double. Revolving? Security? What does that tell you about what’s inside. What about the doorway; does anyone sleep in it? If so, is there a trace of them the next day? What is the pavement made of? The road?
Stanley Kubrick had his nephew, Manuel Harlan, document an entire road for pre-production on Eyes Wide Shut, stitching photographs together into a 6-meter-long recreation of space in order that his uncle could decide on camera movements. You don’t need to be quite that obsessive, but you do need to look.