Maarten Vromans' Close Ups of Urban Erosion

A photo series obsessed with the cracks, scratches, repairs, and other imperfections in well-planned urban landscapes.


In his series Urban Erosion, photographer Maarten Vromans explores architecture from an unexpected perspective. Focusing mainly on Rotterdam, and a few other major European cities, Vromans documents marks of time and decay on urban structures.

Almost completely rebuilt following the Second World War, Rotterdam has a reputation for its clean and modern buildings, but Vromans finds the cracks, patches, and occasional duct tape fixes in the Dutch city’s neat facade. The Rotterdam-based photographer has also expanded his Urban Erosion project to include other cities, such as Reykjavik and Amsterdam.

Even in the most carefully planned urban space, weather and human intervention inevitably leave their marks on buildings. Vromans turns these signs of time passing into abstract images that sometimes don’t look like buildings at all, but more like a sheet of crumpled paper, lines painted on canvas, or a close-up of a sculpture.

The central focus of all Vromans’ work is “exploring the impact that people, nature and weather have on urban development.” With this series, Vromans says that he is seeking to challenge the “seemingly ideal world” of urban planning. “Over time our urban environment evolves, and gains in beauty, far beyond the imagination of architects, urban designers, and planners,” he says.

See more of Maarten Vromans’ photography at his website, built using Format.

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