1. ArchDaily
  2. Architectural Photographers
  3. Are Abandoned Constructions the Ruins of Modernity?

Are Abandoned Constructions the Ruins of Modernity?

Are Abandoned Constructions the Ruins of Modernity?
Are Abandoned Constructions the Ruins of Modernity?, © Sam Laughlin
© Sam Laughlin

Europe's ancient ruins are numerous: Pompeii, the Parthenon, the Colosseum - but what about new ruins? Skeletons of incomplete buildings now litter the skylines of European cities. A form of memento mori, these abandoned constructions prove that no structure is permanent or impervious to the changing desires of a society in flux. English photographer Sam Laughlin documents the creation of these 'ruins' in his series Frameworks, a contemporary dissection of the aging built environment.

Enter the abandoned world in Frameworks with more photos and info after the break. 

© Sam Laughlin © Sam Laughlin © Sam Laughlin © Sam Laughlin + 16

© Sam Laughlin
© Sam Laughlin

Laughlin photographed his centerpieces for Frameworks throughout Italy, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The eerie photographs show an unfinished world - some projects in progress and some abandoned, never to be completed. Laughlin describes his subject matter for Frameworks: "Here we see architecture paused; construction has ceased and we are left with the bones of buildings in stasis." He adds: "As each framework remains unfinished for economic or political reasons, they become modern ruins – evidence of an unsustainable need to build that belies our thirst for progress."

© Sam Laughlin
© Sam Laughlin

Laughlin ruminates on the intersection of ancient and contemporary ruins, arguing a strong connection exists between the two periods. "Predominant methods have changed relatively little, a classical lineage therefore connects contemporary buildings with the ruins of Ancient Greece," Laughlin says. Laughlin's parallels between the unfinished reinforced concrete structures of contemporary society and the rudimentary stone constructions of ancient times ring true in his dark, brooding photographs.

Learn more about Laughlin and Frameworks on his website.

© Sam Laughlin
© Sam Laughlin
About this author
Cite: Finn MacLeod. "Are Abandoned Constructions the Ruins of Modernity?" 06 Sep 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.