Have you ever wondered why rust frighten us, while ruin is considered a reassuring character? Is it somehow easier to turn our back on years of tradition and build a new sketch for the future?

Francesco Russo questions this theory through “Ruin or Rust” — a representation of the urban landscape of London, where gas holders are now a forgotten memory.

The ruin restores man to nature. Rust, on the other hand, confines him in the middle of his productions as if within a prison, a prison all the more terrible since he is its builder.

Professor Antoine Picon – Harvard School of Design

Around the 19th century, gas holders dominated the urban landscape of Great Britain. Large volumes of gas were stored in these holders, until natural gas was discovered.

Now, these rudimentary structures — which once resembled architectural icons, seam meaningless to the new and changing scenery. Without purpose, they slowly became imbedded in the heritage of the country, but what’s their role in the contemporary society?

Through this photographic project, Francesco Russo questions if these sentinels will ever find a new motive in today’s times or if they will be missed. Will they be considered Ruin or Rust?

Kensington Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Kensington Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Beckton Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Beckton Gas Works by Francesco Russo

There are more than twenty gas holders remaining in the Greater London area. With the time they became the backdrop of everyday life scenes as well as stand out elements in the London urban landscape.

Francesco Russo

Sydenham Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Sydenham Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Rotherhithe Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Rotherhithe Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Old Kent Road Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Old Kent Road Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Mitcham Gas Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Mitcham Gas Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Leigh Road Gas Holder by Francesco Russo
Leigh Road Gas Holder by Francesco Russo
Kennington Gas Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Kennington Gas Holder Station by Francesco Russo

Haggerston Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Haggerston Gas Works by Francesco Russo
Greenwich Holder Station by Francesco Russo
Greenwich Holder Station by Francesco Russo

Francesco Russo is a London based photographer who enjoys traveling far and wide. Well-known for his photography in the architectural space, Russo strives to produce simple yet bold and striking images to illustrate the work of architects and designers.

To see more of Francesco’s work visit his Cherrydeck profile or his website, here. For more interesting projects dealing with existentialism, have a look at Gabriel Isak’s photo series, Entities. 🍒


Posted by:Cherrydeck Editorial

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