Beautifully ugly spaces

Class 0A
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Severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Six Flags Jazzland has been abandoned since. Several of the rides still stand, a testimony to the resilience of New Orleans. The fact that it is so deserted right now even though it used to be an ultimate source of happiness makes you think of how temporary things are and how easily then can get distorted.

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Michigan Central Station – Detroit, Michigan Built through 1912 and 1913, Central Station served as the passenger rail depot for Detroit and was the tallest train station in the world. With the closure of the line in 1988, Central Station fell into disuse and all restoration plans have failed.Even though this is a train station in this particular condition it somehow reminds me of an abandoned church or a living room in 18th-century France during the French revolution. As if it is noble and public, pure and violent at the same time.


Pripyat- Ukraine Pripyat, a city of nearly 50,000, was totally abandoned after the nearby Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Due to radiation it is now abandoned and will most likely stay that way for a long time. When you think about the fact that once there were kids running around and the whole city was full of life it sends shivers down your back. P.S. The way that the “attraction park” and the forest suit each other is really interesting because I think it is a result of a gradual decay process.

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Willard Asylum – Willard, New York Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane was built in 1869 and closed in 1995. It is believed that most of the patients died within the asylum walls. The first thing that comes to your mind when you see this creepy environment is how people used to inhabit this place. I guess, this is considered ugly and terrifying in most cases. However, if we think outside of the box for a second we may question our notion of beauty and perception of ugly. A bunch of mentally ill people walking around worn out halls of asylum; this may be a theme for a horror movie or a nice photoshoot.

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Orpheum Auditorium – New Bedford, Massachusetts This Auditorium opened on the same day that the Titanic sunk, April 15th, 1912. A supermarket now occupies some of the building, but the rest remains beautifully deserted. I believe this to be the masterpiece of “beautifully ugly” series. If you take a close look at the photo you soon start seeing people where they used to sit and watch the show once. Unlike others, this place doesn’t seem abandoned at all. Personally, I think it is still full of life and art.

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Abandoned Power Plant – Belgium I consider this place to beautiful because of the general shape. The way it rises somehow resembles ancient South American temples that were designed to reach out to god. However, the condition of the place is ironically worn out and verdurous. the feeling of abandonment is present along with the terrifying feeling of solitude.


I evaluate this painting in following three steps; 1) First glance makes you think of the general composition of the painting which is pretty smooth and pleasing to the eye. Overall palette chosen by Kandinsky is harmonic. 2) When you start paying attention to the finer details the whole painting turns into a disgusting mess. I can see a lot of insects and creatures that make me feel strong aversion. 3) Finally when you combine those two points your mind starts playing games with you as the whole picture changes according to amount of detail you pay attention to.


Gray Tree- Piet Mondrian This painting is one of my favorites as it depicts an extremely deserted space with a solitary tree that somehow seems to have gone through war, famine and death. The tree itself looks extremely noble and old however you can barely call it a perfect tree shape that wee see on tv. There’s definitely something ugly and crooked about it but at the same time it looks peaceful in its environment. All in all, depending on the aspect of the painting you pay attention to it may vary from peaceful to disturbing even depresssing.


Abandoned Power Plant: Very nice example and analysis, Ujal! Also congratulations for being the first one to post :) Two suggestions: in this post, can you please insert the image into the post text too, so we could see the entire photo? It's ok to also keep it as a featured image as you have it now. Second suggestion, can you please post your photo as a profile image, so I could know who you are in class? Thanks, great start!
Thanks for posting more examples, Ujal! However, I have several bits of criticism for the things you've posted. First, please do not copy text from the sources, but try to give your own analysis and understanding of what you see, and why these images make impression on you - this is the goal of the exercise, to start analysing your own perception of things as it will be a valuable resource for you as a designer/architect. Another suggestion is to try and research a bit more, as 3 of the 5 examples come from the same blog post. Otherwise, these are really good examples, I would just like to see you get more personally and emotionally involved with the material, and see your own feelings and observations about them :)
Thank you Neko, will do! I was just collecting all of the information I wanted and then planned to filter it and add comments. Sorry for being a bit disorganized.
That's cool! I suggest add a note "work in progress" for the content that is temporary and that you plan to change later.