Architecture Decay / Andrew Hawkins

Ruins in Angkor, Wat. Photo 'Cambodia' via Flickr CC User Macorig Paolo. Used under Creative Commons

By Andrew Hawkins

From the author of the popular post, “So You Want to Own Your Own Architecture Firm,” Andrew Hawkins, we bring you his latest: “Architecture Decay.”

As an architect I am interested (and have always been) in the way in which buildings are put together. To me, at times, the actual process in which a building is constructed is more interesting than the final product. Not to say the final product is not interesting to me, after all that is the intent of my design, but I find much enjoyment in the process that follows the end of my designing and brings my creation into the physical world. At certain stages of the construction, the completed portion of work produces very visually appealing imagery. (At least to this architect)

With that in mind I also enjoy the opposite process: the deconstruction of buildings. And this main fascination stems from the photo above. My obsession really revolves around the slow decay and atrophy of buildings over time due to lack of care. Also the way in which nature can destroy a building over time or in an instant is a study of architecture itself.

More examples of #ArchitectureDecay, after the break…

The materials, the durability, the resistance to the elements can all be gleaned from buildings that have been left to essentially decompose. I find this to be quite an educational experience. You can just get a sense of the fragility of our work if left unattended. Or conversely the permanence of specific components of the building’s composition can be interpreted with some relative assurance. This basically can become a study in longevity.

"Abandoned." Photo courtesy of Andrew Hawkins

So when I am out and about in the world, I tend to take photos of this type of phenomenon when I happen across it. I have an Instagram account that I tend to post these images onto with the hashtag of #ArchitectureDecay. I also post some of them onto my firms’ Facebook page. It is just a way to document the environment in which we inhabit and how architecture gets lost over time. Neglect can cause so many forms of deterioration and it is intriguing to see them in action. They can also make some pretty cool images if you can get the right shot and/or apply filters.

So as I wander through new places, I am constantly looking at the old dilapidated buildings with some level of fanaticism. You can just ignore me as I take photos and upload them. But if you have your own to add, please feel free to tag them. #ArchitectureDecay

"Burnt Out and Left Behind." Photo courtesy of Andrew Hawkins.

Story via Hawkins Architecture Blog

About this author
Cite: Vanessa Quirk. "Architecture Decay / Andrew Hawkins" 02 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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