The empty city revisited

Maground is a different kind of photography agency. The German company specialises in producing backdrops, often for automotive clients, searching out the most spectacular landscape, the glossiest city streets or the most brooding sky. The results are those impossible places, the ’empty cities’ so beloved of car commercials, where every sign of habitation has been digitally scrubbed away. Perversely, these vistas are more post-apocalyptic than aspirational, as seen in post-disaster movies like I am Legend and 28 Days Later (indeed, the Ghost City is a well worn trope). See also photographs of an empty London on Christmas morning and Empty London).


A recent post by Brian Rosa links to photographer Adam Ryder’s short film The City as Continuous Edifice, Monument and Fortress, ‘Nine science fiction films distilled into one vision of the future of urbanism’. Ryder is also responsible for Areth: An Architectural Atlas, which re-imagines some of the icons of mid-period desert modernism as the totems of a strange extraterrestrial civilisation / welcome to Michael Paul Smith’s Elgin Park, astonishing model work / inside the British Xylonite factory, Essex. Visit the Plastics Historical Society for more on Xylonite / Fieldhouse, an architecture tumblr / future aircraft concepts by Yelken Octuri.


How to spot a Chinese made Rolex / before and after shots of joggers / all the BMWs / how to rifle through the open drawers of the internet. Years ago people used to keep mp3s in these drawers / Napoleon’s failure: For the want of a winter horseshoe / Grand Miniature: ’19th Century Souvenir Buildings from the Collection of Ace Architects‘ / The architecture meltdown, on the profession’s woes.

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