The photographs of Romain Veillon reveal the beauty of abandonment, the natural textures and rich organic patina of decay and allow you to experience a moment frozen in time. They make me feel like I am experiencing the past, yet these places most likely still exist. You may be thinking, “What is the relevance to hospitality design?” Well these places may seem to have past their use by date, but I am sure they will be recycled with a new purpose and inhabitants. We can all think of recently opened cafe’s or restaurants that have reinvigorated disused industrial spaces whilst allowing the textures and character of the old to create the rich atmosphere. As well we also see establishments mimicking these worn textures of old.
Space station? I don’t know what this is but it’s amazing.
Kelenföld Power Plant in Budapest, Hungary is an incredible monument to Retro-Futurism combined with the unexpected Deco glamour of a picture theatre. I remember breaking into an similar old Powerhouse as a child, to explore and it so captured my imagination. It is now a theatre, restaurant and café. Sadly it was stripped of most of its unique equipment.
I am a big supporter of stripping back finishes in heritage sites to reveal the layers and not painting over.
Romain’s industrial prints remind me of Piranesi’s impossible drawings form the 18th Century.
The rusty machinery looks so incredible with the blues and greens caused by rain and nature creeping through.
The imagery of the desert sands in Namibia reclaiming the abandoned town of Kolmanskop reveals textures at one with the landscape and serenely devoid of human memory or iconography. Settled in 1908 for diamond mining, it was abandoned in 1958 when water and champagne became to difficult to get.
Time is the artiste.
“Man has always been fascinated by the concept of transitory and fleeting things that surround us. Odors, dust, vegetation or even mold, all these ghosts of the past remind us that we are only passing through here and in the end, everything returns to the earth.” Romain Veillon
Images from Romain Veillon. Prints available for order.