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Monday, November 21, 2011

Rejecting Diderot, or the comeupance of 'Ruined Buildings'

In a previous post Rebecca quoted Denis Diderot as food for thought. Diderot raises an interesting point in his writing when he discussed which buildings are eligible to become ruins. Jukka Jokilehto describes Diderot's approach in his "History of Architectural Conservation":
"The concept of a 'ruin' was related to ruins of important monumental buildings; beautiful buildings made 'beautiful ruins'! The remains of less important houses could only be 'ruined buildings'." (Jokilehto, p.52)
This is a concept we did not properly consider in our review of ruins. Diderot felt that only important, beautiful buildings could become ruins in the Picturesque sense. In our ruins criteria we did not acknowledge this idea. But I think our project must clearly reject it - we, after all, dealt with ruins of industrial buildings, ruins of mass-produced buildings, which were not 'beautiful'. Nonetheless, we found that the Rosh Ha'ayin ruins were significant and could enrich the city. Diderot's concept, while fitting with the canonical, reflexive ideas of ruins, is exactly the stance against which our project rebelled. As has already been discovered by cities that have included industrial ruins into their parks, ruins of lesser buildings can be every bit as sublime as ruins of palaces and temples.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grossinger's Resort Ruins

Yahoo! recently ran a story about Grossinger's, a nice resort in New York that has been abandoned and fallen into ruin. My wife told me that her grandparents went there on occasion, and I believe that my grandfather once took my parents there for a vacation over Passover. In any case, the pictures show the ruins of the resort. One can imagine how the building will continue to deteriorate over the years.
See here for the link.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ruins of the War of Independence

I ran a search on "ruins" on the website of the Israeli Government Photo Archives and came up with a number of images, mostly from the War of Independence.

Most of these images were taken by Zoltan Kluger, who also photographed Antipatris during this period. One is from Yamit.

Building Life Cycle in Ghostly Ruins

As research has slackened due to the requirements of producing our final presentation, the number of posts on the blog have fallen off dramatically. I assume that in the coming years there may be posts from time to time, although for the most part the blog will become less active.

I was rereading the introduction to one of my ruin books this afternoon, Harry Skrdla's Ghostly Ruins: America's Forgotten Architecture, and I realized that it captured one of the basic principles we have understood about ruins. Ruins are not a natural or final state of a building. Most ruins are in an in-between stage: they haven't been destroyed yet, they haven't been renovated, but presumably one of those two things will eventually happen. Either a ruin will be demolished or disappear on it's own, or else it will be recycled and reused. A ruin is only a stop in the natural life cycle of a building.

Skrdla writes:
"In America few buildings are really abandoned. Someone owns every square foot of real estate, and if you don't believe it, just try claiming an "abandoned" building as your own. Perhaps "unused" is a better word for what we're interested in. Certainly "ruined" describes many of them fairly well,although some are remarkably sound and could be made serviceable again without too much effort.
"Whatever we choose to call them, they are ephemeral. Transitory. These structures exist in a limbo between utility and complete collapse. We encounter them during the relatively brief time before they are no longer recognizable and lose all meaning for us.
"This period lasts much longer for, say, the pyramids than for our structures - we building much less robustly - but the end result is the same. Either mankind of the elements will eventually destroy them.
"Occasionally some lucky few man win a reprieve and, with the help of the preservation-minded, be restored to some version of their former greatness. But these are the minority, and even after "restoration," they are never quite the same.
"In even the best-intended and executed restorations, something is lost - some reality is replaced by our version of reality. The new paint is ours, not theirs. Wood floors, sanded fresh and smooth and shiny again, are like an erased blackboard, robbed of the scratches and depressions earned by years of footfalls. Brass doorknobs, their decorative surfaces smoothed by the touch of a thousand turning hands; wood paneling, darkened with age and the cigar smoke of vanished industrialists - these are part of a building's personality. The imprint of humanity. A permanent record of the people who came and the events that occurred these. Restoration, in its striving for a "perfect" version of a building, often removes these imperfections, and in so doing sterilizes it; negating the part of humans in the building's life.
"Oddly, this only seems to be the case in structures that experience complete restoration. If a building is always occupied to some degree, the occupants gradually contribute their own imprint to the environment. They may repaint when the walls become too soiled, but it is their paint, no ours. A worn lock mechanism may need replacement, but only as part of regular maintenance. Continuity is maintained. Life goes on - and the building retains its soul.
"Part of the charm of abandoned structures is that they are honest. They have reached the end of their lives, no matter what the cause, in their own way, and we respect them for it. They are the revered elders of their race, wearing their wrinkles without regrets. There are no facelifts here. No fountain of youth. We witness their decline and passing as that of aged loved ones, with sorrow, but because of what they mean to us, not their decrepit appearance."
(P. 18-19)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dina Shenhav's "Tarchish"

Today is international museum day, and a number of Israeli papers had coverage of various exhibits going on in Israel. One of these exhibits, Tarchish (scenario) by Dina Shenhav, has a decidedly ruinous feel to it. The exhibit is being staged at the Nachum Gutman Museum in Neveh Tzedek.

According to Achbar Ha'ir,
"Shinhav's work deals with the human fear of apocalypse. This fear, she believes, is based on events from the dawn of history and up to modern time - places that were destroyed, destruction caused by man and civilization or by nature. The stories of Noah and Sodom in the Bible, the Holocaust, Hiroshima, the bombing of the World Trade Center, destruction of forests, earthquakes and tsunamis - all these are natural components of the human genome."
Here is a video of her work. It's worth watching, and an interesting way to capture the feeling of ruins and destruction. She apparently has done other ruinous work before. Here are pictures from her series, "The End of the City", "And the Wind Returneth," and from some of her earlier work.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Irresistible Decay

In 1997, The Getty Center held an exhibition entitled "Irresistible Decay: Ruins Reclaimed." Along with the exhibit, an accompanying volume was published, with a few essays about ruins. The exhibit was divided into three parts, with the second part titled "Recycling, Reconstruction and Preservation." Michael Roth writes that
"Some commentators have perceived it as necessary, for example, that an ancient building be separated in some way from daily use so that its pastness could be more dramatically made manifest. Seen from this vantage, it becomes important that the ruin appear as an anachronism: as a message from the past more than as an active site of life in the present."
However, Roth goes on to explain the manifest contradiction in reusing a ruin while at the same time trying to preserve it as a thing of the past.

Later in the essay, Roth mentions an interesting case study: a semi-fallen gateway in Baalbek, Lebanon. In a 1799 painting, the keystone is in the process of falling, but by 1870 the British had propped it up with a brick column, "preserving the keystone by making it impossible for nature to continue its work, in effect, stalling time." Finally, the Germans returned the keystone to its original location. This, Roth writes, is an example of what John Ruskin meant when he claimed that restoration equals destruction.

A second essay by Charles Merewether discusses some more points about ruins, including the way in which Daniel Libeskind and Lebbeus Woods use ruins in their work. The book's third essay, "Archives in Ruins: The Collections of the Getty Research Institute" by Claire Lyons, explains how ruins are used as historical sources. This touches on our work, and how we hope to preserve ruins as historical witnesses.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Belated Pesach Post

This is a bit late, but I wanted to add two points about ruins and Pesach.

1. If I were the one striking the Egyptians with ten plagues, I'm pretty sure that at least one of them would target their pagan temples, the storage cities they forced the Israelites to build, the palace, the pyramids, etc. Yet for some reason, not one of the plagues is reported to be aimed at the architecture. Why not? Why wouldn't it be good symbolism to leave the Egyptian buildings in ruin, the same way the economy, monarchy, army and ecosystem were left in ruin? I have no convincing answers to this question, and have never seen any commentators address this issue. If anyone has an idea, I'd love to hear. If not, maybe you can pose this question at next year's seder.

2. During the course of the Pesach seder, we do two things which can loosely be classified as ruinous.
  • We spill out some wine from our cups to show sorrow over the loss of Egyptian life.
  • We break the middle matza in half. This commemorates our ancestors enslavement (as with the matza itself, it mimics the way poor people eat).

American Ruins: Photographs by Arthur Drooker

While in the States recently, I picked up a copy of American Ruins. The book centers on infrared photographs taken by Arthur Drooker.
"Infrared light conjures up ethereal landscapes where shadows hover like apparitions, leaves and grass glow in downy white, clouds float in their own dreamy dimension, and ruins appear as fragments of an unsolvable mystery."
The use of this technology to capture the essence of ruins is both inspiring, and a reminder that one must consider multiple perspectives and try different techniques to capture those aspects we find fascinating in ruins.

The photographs are accompanied by an essay by Christopher Woodward, author of In Ruin. However, this essay introduces little new material to the discussion. One thing Woodward mentions, which he left out of his previous book, is a thought by Charles Dickens regarding the Colosseum.
"Dickens wrote that the structure should continue to crumble one inch per year, so that it demonstrated the destruction of paganism."(p13)
The ruin is preserved by allowing it to continue to crumble. It's unclear how the ruin can be maintained so that only one inch decays each year, and in any case, the idea is mostly a symbolic way to mark the defeat of paganism. It's kind of a bygone, insecure way of thinking. Should Rosh Haayin ruins be allowed to stay ruins in order to emphasize that the British Mandate is over? It would be kind of silly.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Artificial Underwater Ruins

Continuing the theme of the previous post, I read an interesting article in the February 2011 issue of National Geographic, called Relics to Reefs. The article discusses the practice of using obsolete objects like subway cars, ships or tanks to create artificial reefs along the coasts of various places. It states that
"pretty much anything you can sink has the potential to become an artificial reef. Even officially sanctioned ones are often created from distinctly odd materials, including decommissioned subway cards, vintage battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, oil drilling rigs, and specially designed beehive-like modules called Reef Balls."
Once sunk, these objects begin to attract marine life and may develop into coral. Plankton attracts small fish, the walls create shelters that draw other animals, predators come to prey on these dwellers, and soon a new habitat exists. Still, many variables determine which will succeed: "depth, water temperature, currents, and the composition of the sea bottom."

This practice is similar to our ideas about reusing ruins to create new functions. Just as new growths form on the husk of the old, sunken objects, so too we hope to create new functions around and upon our ruins, and in doing so, to create a vibrant new living area.

One of the most amazing things the article describes is how a small number of people are choosing to be cremated and to have their ashes mixed with cement and cast as part of an underwater garden, called Neptune Reef.
"The people laid to rest here must have been familiar enough with the processes of the ocean to know that these placements would soon be engulfed by invertebrate life, that damselfish would one day be laying eggs and cultivating patches of algae on their bones, so to speak."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Underwater Ruins

The MSRA - Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates - is an organization that researches shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. I grew up (mostly) in Michigan, the state which is in the middle of the Great Lakes, so the subject is literally closer to home for me than ocean shipwrecks. They estimate that hundreds of major ships have sunk in these waters, with a page that links to the story of many of the ruins that they have located, complete with GPS coordinates and pictures of the ships pre-disaster.

Other similar organizations exist as well. Neighboring state Wisconsin boasts something called "The Ghost Ship Festival", devoted to scuba diving and Great Lakes Maritime History. NUMA - the National Underwater and Marine Agency - is a "volunteer foundation dedicated to preserving our maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts." Most of us saw the movie Titanic (and perhaps "Ghosts of the Abyss) which partially showed an expedition to find the famed ship, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

I came across the subject when I read a recent newspaper article about the discovery of a shipwreck in Lake Michigan.

Underwater, or marine archaeology is a recognized sub-field of archaeology. For example, in Israel underwater archaeologists have surveyed the ruins of Herod's harbor in Caesaria. While it used to be done by divers, today miniature submarines are often used, as well as sonar for surveying. This can include not only shipwrecks, but also underwater buildings resulting from changes in coastlines, rivers etc. One example is the so-called Seahenge.
Ship ruins are not commonly addressed in philosophical literature, and rarely appear in art. Symbolically, I image they are less poignant than land ruins, simply because while a building seems like something stable, strong, and long-lasting, a ship is far more fleeting. One doesn't think of a ship on the sea as something stable or tenable - it can't retain its position for long. Therefore, it is not so mind-boggling to think about a shipwreck. In addition, sea ruins are by far less accessible to the average person, so they are not in the public conscience in the same way. Nonetheless, they do play on our fears, and the ruins themselves are quite beautiful.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ruins in Contemporary Design

We've been looking for examples of ruins used as architectural elements. Although this isn't something that one would called common, there are certain circumstances where ruins are less uncommon. We found a number of examples of ruins within parks. Seattle's Gas Works Park, designed by Richard Haag, makes use of indstrials ruins as a feature on the landscape, and even used some of the ruins a children's "play barn." In Sydney, the Paddington Reservoir Gardens by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer is a sunken garden in the ruins of an old waterworks plant. The Landscape Park in Duisburg-Nord, Germany by Peter Latz and Partners reuses a steelworks plant. Colored lights illuminate the structure, and new functions such as a climbing wall have been introduced onto the ruins. Latz also designed Harbour Island at a destroyed harbour in Saarbrucken. Mill Ruins Park in Minnesota features - you guessed it - the ruins of an old mill. France boasts the Parc du Haut Fourneau from this century and the Parc des Buttes Chaumont from the 19th century. Fundidora Park in Mexico uses the ruins of an old steel mill. Another example is the Altes Huttenareal in Neunkirchen.

We also tried to find examples of reuse of military architecture from World War II, as this is particularly pertinent to our work in Rosh Ha'ayin. At the Charles Darwin National Park in Australia, concrete bunkers are reused. Quonset Point in Rhode Island used to be a WWII naval station, and there are attempts to redesign it for new use as well. It's interesting to note that most WWII base ruins are in the middle of nowhere. In a sense, the situation in Rosh Ha'ayin, where the ruins are inside a city, is quite rare.

Other projects have used ruins for public community functions. Foster+Partners designed the Essen Design Center in the 1990s, reusing "the site as a cultural centre and to transform the old powerhouse - a masterpiece of industrial archaeology - into the home of a design centre for the promotion of contemporary design in Germany and abroad." The Bethlehem Steel Plant in Pennsylvania has been redesigned as a casino. Although I'm not certain if I consider it ruins, the High Line by Diller Scofidio + Renfro with James Corner also enter the conversation.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Edmund Burke

Several books and articleſ that I've read about ruinſ have mentioned a particular work of Edmund Burke, the 18th century English philosopher, entitled A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideaſ of the ſublime and Beautiful. I therefore came to the concluſion that it was worth my trouble to read it. I downloaded the fifth edition and plunged right in, long ſ be damned.

It was a disappointment. The book was an attempt to argue scientifically what it means to be beautiful or sublime. Living in a Postmodern world, these arguments come across as archaic. Even worse, there was hardly anything about ruins in the entire 350 page essay! All there was fit in one small section: Part 1, section 15, entitled "On the Effects of Tragedy." Burke argues that ruins are exciting because they are authentic, and because we like seeing things that cause us outrage. He writes that if London were to be destroyed, it would get more tourists as a ruin than it does as a major European city.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Quonset Hut - Military Huts + Sheds Cont'd...

Quonset Hut, converted into a house post-war, U.S.
Recently Josh found a wonderful quote from one of the designers of the American Army's Quonset Hut (or its British equivalent the Nissen Hut), which goes as follows. When asked if he ever anticipated the long post-war life the quonset hut has enjoyed, McDonnel said that the members of his team never gave it a thought; "It was an ugly thing, and its purpose was not to grace the landscape."
Although, in my eyes it is a wonderful snug-looking hut, and has since been converted/recycled to serve a variety of uses and programs.
Nissen Huts in Australia, below top, in the Northern Territory left to ruin, below bottom, in South Australia, converted to a Church.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Elisabeth Clemence Chan's "What Roles for Ruins?"

Elisabeth Clemence Chan's essay, "What Roles for Ruins? Meaning and Narrative of Industrial Ruins in Contemporary Parks" (Journal of Landscape Architecture/Autumn 2009) is an essay that directly pertains to our project. Chan writes about industrial ruins in parks, such as the Gas Works Park in Seattle and Landschaftspark Duisburgh-North in Germany, noting that most often the ruins in these parks are used just as aesthetic objects, akin to follies in English gardens of the 18th century. This, she feels, is a lost opportunity to use the ruins as a way of remembering the past and considering both the positive legacy of various industries and the negative ones.
"The ruins are not typically used in ways that project the environmental consequences, production practices, economics, or legacies of the industry. Instead, it is my view that parks containing industrial ruins are designed and built because people enjoy ruins, especially in parks."
The ruins end up serving as the type of limitless, vague monument described by JB Jackson that celebrates a vernacular past, just beyond memory, that never really existed. Chan also references Tim Edensor's book on Industrial ruins and points out that a park with industrial ruins can
"also cultivate a certain social cohesion - or at least a perceived cohesion through a broad sense of nostalgia and pride in a community's history and melancholy at its decline."
Rather than beautifying the ruins and turning them into objects, she writes that some ruins should be left untouched, which will help people view them realistically and think more critically of what these ruins denote, where they came from, and what they tell us about the past. She asks what would happen if we
"Let the crumbling ruins of industry stand, in this eroding state, as monuments? What if we simply left industrial ruins alone in all their ambiguity, with the broken glass, the graffiti and corroding structures? Parks could be built around them and among them (with many fences), but the structures and artifacts could continue to tell the fragmented stories of history. Ruins provide an opportunity for memory that is totally different from written history. The structures of industry left in their gloomy eroding state eschew "preferred memoreies" (Edensor 2005:172) and offer the uncertainties, vagueness and confusion of history that is impossible to articulate, other than through the artifacts in ruin...It is this set of meanings that is lost when industrial ruins are polished, painted and planted."
Although Chan is dealing entirely with industrial ruins, we can easily ask the same questions about the military ruins which we are dealing with in Rosh Ha'ayin. We do not want these ruins to become simple aesthetic objects in the landscape. Rather, we want to use them to remember Rosh Ha'ayin's past. Just as Chan comes to the conclusion that to achieve this effect ruins should not be cleansed and beautified, we also have concluded that we must strive to keep our ruins authentic, and that only by doing so will they be true witnesses to history.

Chan recognizes that leaving industrial ruins untouched is "an impractical position" for a number of reasons: Communities want improvements and do not necessarily want to be shown symbols of the past that they regret. Recreational space is viewed as more important that monuments, so any open land for redevelopment will probably need to be prepared for public use. And finally, there is a need to protect people and the environment from unsafe conditions. These, of course, are the same problems we face with preserving ruins in Rosh Ha'ayin. Nonetheless, she presents a series of guidelines for the purpose of making this more palatable, at least in order to achieve a middle ground.

1. Ruins should be treated as historical evidence first, and as aesthetic objects second.
2. Designers should recognize that their designs will influence how people read the history of the site.
3. The historical context makes a big difference and should be preserved as well.
4. Interventions should be minimal.
5. At least park of the site should be left in ruins.
6. Park of the design should allow for a process of discovery.

We independently have arrived at similar conclusions as guidelines for our work, and it is exciting to find someone who carried out a similar study and came to the same conclusions.

Friday, March 18, 2011

ECLAS 2009: Landscape and Ruins

Two years ago, the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools held their annual conference on the subject of "Landscape & Ruins - Planning and Design for the Regeneration of Derelict Places." The conference included 4 sections that relate to our project:

  1. Regeneration of Rejected Landscapes
  2. Catastrophic Events and Landscape Change
  3. Plants in Ruined Landscapes
  4. Archaeological Landscapes
Shmulik: Do you know if there is a catalog from this conference available? I'd like to see the abstracts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Riegl, Dehio and Ruin Preservation

Along with Ruskin and Didron, another early Conservationist who believed in minimal intervention was Georg Dehio (1850-1932), a German art historian. He influentially wrote that the first commandment of preservation was "conserve, do not restore." Dehio felt that unless monuments were valued based on their historical significance, rather than their appearance, conservation would simply be a whimsical, subjective practice with no real rules. He claimed that "To protect monuments is not to pursue pleasure, but to practice piety," [my emphasis] making it a far more egregious error to intrude on an existing building that if it were mere aesthetic considerations at stake.

Dehio famously argued with Alois Riegl (1858-1905) on the subject of conservation. Dehio felt that Riegl had placed too great an emphasis on aesthetics Rudy Koshar writes that:
"Opposed to any form of restoration, Riegl favored a radical conservation policy by which buildings were maintained but eventually aloowed to deteriorate and amortize their full age value "naturally." Although he supported this critique of restoration and by no means discounted other motivations for preservation, Dehio thought Riegl had replaced national memory with hedonistic contemplation of decay for pleasure-seeking individuals uninterested in collective visions of the past." (Germany's Transient Pasts: Preservation and National Memory in the Twentieth Century, p. 34)
In "Authenticity and Historic Preservation: Towards an Authentic History" (History of the Human Sciences 15:1 5-23) Randolph Starn refers to Riegl's theories and writes:
"Supposing ruins to represent the highest age-value, it could be argued that monuments should not be conserved, let alone restored. The documentary value of a monument could just as well justify making facsimiles as conserving disintegrating originals. Dismantling and reassembling an original in a museum might be the best way to safeguard its integrity and intelligibility; once properly surveyed and published for the historical record, it could be altered or even destroyed without its historical value being lost."
To read Riegl and Dohio one understands the extent to which preservationists tried to split hairs with their theories. They are both essentially agreeing with one of our basic assumptions, that buildings should be allowed to turn into ruins. Our understanding of ruin-preservation exists somewhere on the continuum with them. We agree with Riegl's assessment about monuments being allowed to decay into ruins. We also agree with Dehio about the historic value for national, sectoral and tribal importance. We are claiming that buildings can both be allowed to descend into ruin AND maintain their historical importance. In fact, their very ruination is part of what allows the structures to enhance their importance.

Monks and Ruins

A nice thing about working on our project in a studio is that we see the projects of our classmates and have some give-and-take with them. Topics that get discussed during other presentations can work their way into other projects as well. Amazingly, many of the subjects that are being covered by our classmates have come up in our research as well.
So with that in mind, here is a post about monks and ruins, which is connected to Gonen's project.

We've seen previously that ruin symbolism appears frequently in the Bible, as well as in Roman literature. Therefore, it should not be surprising to find it in Christian sources as well. For example, Christian writers describe the Jews in relation to ruins, particularly the ruisn of the Temple, and juxtapose this image with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, as a way of denoting that Christianity has replaced the dead Jewish religion. Accordingly, Jerome writes in his commentary on Zephaniah:
"You can see with your own eyes a piteous crowd gathering on the day that Jerusalem was captured and destroyed by the Romans. Woebegone women stand with old men who appear weighed down with years. Bodies and clothes demonstrate the wrath of God. This mob of wretches congregates and groans over the ruins of their temple while the manger of the Lord sparkles, the church of his resurrection glows and the banner of his cross shines forth from the Mount of Olives."
One of the clearest places where ruins enter the Christian landscape is in relation to monks and holy people, who would often take up residence in deserted pagan temples. These temples were often said to be inhabited by demons with whom the saints had to contend. If the monks succeeded in driving out the demons, it helped demonstrate the superiority of Christianity over the old religions. Stylites, who lived on columns, may also have been dwelling within ruins.

These stories are often very descriptive and tell of specific instances and trials that the monks underwent. They also demonstrate some of the stereotypical characteristics of ruins: that they are outside of normative civilization, that they are haunted, and that they are good shelters for vagrants.

Now all I have to do is find something ruin-related in Netivot, and I'll have all the other projects covered...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nuclear Ruins

Recent events in Japan have gotten me thinking about the various types of nuclear ruins, and what may await parts of Japan if things continue to escalate.

1) Nuclear Weapon Ruins. Japan certainly knows more about nuclear ruins than anywhere else, being the only country to have sustained a nuclear attack in warfare. The ruins of Hiroshima, from when the United States dropped the bomb, were devastating and thorough.

2) Typical Ruins that happen to be Nuclear. In some circumstances, nuclear facilities are abandoned and fall into ruin. This could happen to any facility, but it's striking when a state-of-the-art installation like a nuclear power plant is left to rot. I found an interesting photo of a bunker from nuclear bomb tests in Nevada, which is now abandoned. Another example is Yongbyon in North Korea. 3) Meltdown. My thoughts immediately go to Chernobyl. This includes the ruins of the actual facility, and the wide swath of land that had to be abandoned due to increased radiation levels. This may yet happen in Japan as well. Famously, in a nearby area there was a brand-new amusement park that was abandoned and never used. Its rides now sit in ruins, along with the surrounding towns.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Effects Contests

Tower Bridge, London

National Congress, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Brooklyn Bridge

US Capitol Hill
Whilst browsing the internet for modern ruins I came across a pretty wild website called Worth1000 (i.e. a Picture is worth 1000 words), found at the following link: http://fx.worth1000.com/contests
This website conducts what it calls, 'Photo Effects Contests'. The contests are competitions open to all, welcoming you to submit computer edited photos under whatever topic it might be. Among these contests are "edible architecture", "modern ruins", and others. Above and below are some of the fantastic images from the website of the Modern Ruins photo effects competition, with today's buildings "ruinised".

Epcot Centre Disney World

Gehry's Disney Concert Hall, LA

The Louvre

Big Ben