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beautiful ruins
January 15, 2007 2:36 AM   Subscribe

Photography of the unexpected and neglected architecture. Romain Meffre and Yves Marchand travel the world photographing "singular and surprising buildings of all domains," mostly 19th and 20th century urban and industrial architecture. Don't miss the photos of Detroit (under Projects), or more of Marchand's stunning work at his personal site.
posted by melissa may (24 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, I could look at photographs like those forever. They would be fantastic collected in a book. A big glossy one.
posted by fire&wings at 5:02 AM on January 15, 2007


Lovely, though I completely expected Battersea.
posted by eriko at 5:19 AM on January 15, 2007


I find this one enchanting. It was definitely an area in a video game I played last year and it's driving me nuts trying to remember which one! How fantastic would it be to wander the world photographing intriguing architecture?
posted by iconomy at 6:24 AM on January 15, 2007


viva melissa may!
posted by matteo at 6:48 AM on January 15, 2007


Nice post. I love this stuff. Many of those Detroit buildings are very familiar: I passed by them in my daily life growing up in Detroit. I'd like to say, "Oh my how things have fallen apart!" but most of them were already falling apart back then.
posted by The Deej at 7:01 AM on January 15, 2007


I love ruins. I live in a city that is partially in ruins, with old canals, steel mills, churches and such. Seeing ruins in a city that is growing in other areas reminds me of an old tree that is dying on one side and growing on another.
posted by recurve at 7:14 AM on January 15, 2007


Interesting. Thanks melissa may.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:06 AM on January 15, 2007


very nice melissa may, thank you. I was fascinated by this picture of the Toronto Power Generating Station with an unusual mix of industrial design and neo-classical(?) architecture. Apparently (from the vanishing point website linked above) the building was not converted to a power station, it was actually built like that in the beginning of the 20th Century! "A perfect mix of architecture and engineering". Amazing.
posted by carmina at 9:43 AM on January 15, 2007


I find this one enchanting. It was definitely an area in a video game I played last year and it's driving me nuts trying to remember which one!

An awful lot of ruins photography - particularly shots of damaged and abandoned buildings and decaying industrial infrastructure - reminds me of Half-Life 2 now.

Lovely pictures.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:45 AM on January 15, 2007


oh! and I love, love his fashion and portrait photography section. I am not sure whether it is the fashion more or the photography...
posted by carmina at 9:48 AM on January 15, 2007


Wow. Astoundingly well composed shots, and the symmetry in most is simply amazing.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:22 AM on January 15, 2007


Beautiful, thanks!
posted by amyms at 10:26 AM on January 15, 2007


Beautiful.

On a more prosaic note, a couple of these remind me of the "chase through the abandoned warehouse" scene that provide B movies with their falling-death-of-the-villain-after-after-a-ten-minute-chase climax shots.
posted by kozad at 10:29 AM on January 15, 2007


This reminds me of an episode of M*A*S*H* wherein Frank Burns is auctioning off garbage to the locals. He says, "This is American garbage. We only throw away the best."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:30 AM on January 15, 2007


More photos of the Niagara tailrace tunnels. super villan hideout.
posted by hortense at 10:38 AM on January 15, 2007


Somehow it seems necessary to count the phrase 'the ruins of Detroit' among the most beautiful I know.
posted by melixxa600 at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2007


Eye Candy, for certain.
posted by RollingGreens at 12:50 PM on January 15, 2007


How fantastic would it be to wander the world photographing intriguing architecture?

Dear iconomy, I wish they'd stop by your house and take you and your gear along for the ride. You deserve a post of your own but the giant throbbing love I have for you makes me a suspect and biased source, so I sadly refrain.

Thanks very much, carmina, for the extra dope on the Toronto Power Generating Station.

I'm happy you all liked the photos.
posted by melissa may at 2:42 PM on January 15, 2007


ah, Thank you Melissa May! What visual delight. Really exquisite quality, precise images! I love the mystery of neglected places and always wonder what the story was that made them so. Seeing Romain Meffre's and Yves Marchand's photographs I kept thinking about the buildings, "What a waste! What spectacular waste! Couldn't somebody, sometime have done or do something with this place?"

I mean who would neglect or abandon a chateau or castle?

But, like savoring blue cheese, there is something delectable in the decay.

Years ago in Greece, I lived near a small abandoned village, called Geramonachos on the island of Paxos. I supposed it must have been due to lack of water...or too much. Since then, abandoned villages have intrigued me. Like this one in Portugal.

Other images of fabulous wasted places, often of great beauty or craftsmanship.
posted by nickyskye at 5:31 PM on January 15, 2007


I mean who would neglect or abandon a chateau or castle?

Someone who's tired of drafty old country houses and/or can't afford to keep them up anymore. And every member of the Polish nobility who disappeared for some reason and whose old homes were damaged for various reasons. For an example of what can be found all over Poland, see the the pics at the bottom of this page. Old castles are sadly used as partyholes. In this case, someone just photographed around the graffiti (I have seen other shots of this ruin that tell the whole story.)
posted by Listener at 6:54 PM on January 15, 2007


These are great. Thanks, melissa may. Want to see more like them? OK:

Sam Javanrouh at [daily dose of imagery] has shot some photos in a similar vein at the Don Valley Brickworks in Toronto.

Andrew Edmond at worksongs has some nice shots of a Toronto power station that appears to be the one in the bottom photo in Architecture of Electricity at the Meffre/Marchand site.

Finally, Kendall Anderson's site has a ton of photos of what he calls "abandonments, decay, industrial mayhem." Too bad he shut down his photoblog last spring.
posted by diddlegnome at 7:39 PM on January 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


And previously seen on Metafilter: a tale of photographer Dave Gorman's relatively friendly encounter with the police as he took some night shots at Battersea.
posted by diddlegnome at 8:13 PM on January 15, 2007


Wonderful additional links and pics!
posted by nickyskye at 9:00 AM on January 16, 2007


Really lovely stuff, melissa may - and great in-thread links too - great post!
posted by madamjujujive at 10:43 PM on January 17, 2007


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