To Let is a photographic project, exploring what has become a common sight throughout the UK – empty shops. But, these shops are different. They are well stocked. Some have staff and customers inside. The open door welcomes you in, but you cannot enter. These virtual or ‘fake’ shop facades, created using a mixture of CGI, photography and illustration, are applied to conceal the empty shop behind, in an attempt to attract new tenants and to clean up the appearance of the street. Authorities in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, installed virtual shop facades in the town centre and neighbouring areas as part of a cleanup effort ahead of the 39th G8 summit being held at Lough Erne Resort.
Travelling to villages, towns and cities, such as Boscombe in the south of England, Glasgow in Scotland and Bushmills in Northern Ireland, I have discovered a range of virtual shop facades, including hairdressers, antique shops, delicatessens and pubs. You can visit the same coffee shop in Cheltenham and Belfast, and the same bookshop in Chatham and Dungannon.
The book opens with an introduction by writer and architect Douglas Murphy, whose books include ‘The Architecture of Failure’ and ‘Last Futures’.
46 Colour images
Size: 25cm x 19cm landscape
Cloth cover with tipped in image and foil lettering
Limited Edition of 500
Sale Price £23 (was £35)
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At the end of the 20th century, the architect Rem Koolhaas wrote a polemic on the architecture of leisure, entitled ‘Junkspace’. “Earthlings now live in a kindergarten grotesque,” he moaned, describing the generic environments of airport duty free and megamalls that seemed to be taking over the world. Architecture and urbanism were effectively over, and all that would be left was a single global interior whose entire function was consumption. (Extract from Introduction).