We have seen compelling images of what happens when one half of a townhouse is abandoned or when structures are deserted, but what about the ghosts of buildings from which a shared party wall is all that remains? In many cases, these ghostly leftovers reveal spatial secrets exposed only after a structure is destroyed.
Photographer Jos Antonio Millan lets architectural remnants tell their own stories, through the impressions of decorative and structural elements on surfaces and the stark material transitions between different walls and rooms. He captures private spaces made public, revealing the remains of tiles, fixtures and furnishings from spaces past.
Other photographers like Xenmate have found ghost buildings where the walls have been artistically redecorated, animated with ghostly figures as flat as the non-spaces they inhabit.
Still others, such as freelance architectural photographer Marcus Buck, find have an art to the way they frame and photograph the urban decay of these leftover walls and imply relationships between the finished images of disparate structures. Viewed another way, he gives each building he finds equal aesthetic treatment and lets viewers determine meaning and visual relationships for themselves.
Of course, it is not only professional photographers who capture this global phenomena on film. Many other individuals have taken photos of the structural aftermath left when buildings are demolished. Some of these show strange party walls seemingly suspended in midair, the cut-off ends of row houses, colorful interiors-that-were and other revealing remnants from once-occupied spaces.
Above are a few of hundreds of images in The Unconscious Art of Demolition photo pool on Flickr. New images are added all the time, so it’s worth it to check in every now and then. Of course, you’ll want to take in the images one by one and examine all the details, but the cool thing about this collection is it allows you to view them as one big tapestry of urban ruin as well, giving the topic a new level of depth.