About

There are innumerable things to fear about a nuclear exchange that are symbolized by the existence of shelters designed to protect a citizenry from an overwhelming, devastating attack. If you put the images of people's fears into a visual representation, the clear winner is the mushroom cloud-- the poster child of the cold war. The bomb shelter, specifically the blast shelter, has been something that has existed as a literary or intellectual idea but never as a visual image. My goal with this project was to reexamine these locations-- to visualize them and evoke their present status. And thereby make them real and tangible.

Working on this project I realized that there is such a minute number of extant shelters that they are ineffective as a logical solution or salvation. A nuclear exchange means an end to civilization as we know it. It may not end all life, but it would certainly be the most drastic evolutionary hiccup experienced by humankind.

Shelters are the architecture of failure-- the failure of moderation, politics, communication, diplomacy, and sustaining humanity. They represent the ultimate in optimism and belief in individual survival and paradoxically the ultimate in pessimism-- the expectation of the destruction of humanity. The architects of these structures envisioned an inevitable cataclysm.

In St. Petersburg, Russia, I photographed "The Trendy Griboyedov Club." I found it wildly optimistic. People use these clubs-- converted underground shelters-- to drink, dance, and mate. This is a celebration of life rather than an anticipation of death and destruction. The club rejects the intent and purpose of its origins. Finally it made sense.

 

Waiting For The End Of The World | Published by Princeton Architectural Press 2004

Shelter Entrance | Salt Lake City, Utah 2003

Shelter | Salt Lake City, Utah 2003

Shelter | Salt Lake City, 2003

Charlie Hull's shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Charlie Hull's shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Charlie Hull's shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Charlie Hull's Shelter | Emigrant, Montana 2003

Charlie Hull's Shelter | Emigrant, Montana 2003

Dunn School | Santa Ynez Valley, California, USA 2003

Kutuzovsky Prospect | Moscow, Russia 2003

Kutuzovsky Prospect | Moscow, Russia 2003

Kutuzovsky Prospect | Moscow, Russia 2003

Beneath one of Stalin's Five Sisters Apartments | Moscow, Russia 2003

Bolshaya Bronnaya Street | Moscow, Russia 2003

Bolshaya Bronnaya Street | Moscow, Russia 2003

Bolshaya Bronnaya Street | Moscow, Russia 2003

Jiaozhuanghu Village | Beijing, China 2003

Jiaozhuanghu Village | Beijing, China 2003

Jiaozhuanghu Village | Beijing, China 2003

Shelter | Conroe, Texas, USA 2003

Shelter | Conroe, Texas, USA 2003

Shelter | Conroe, Texas, USA 2003

Shelter | Conroe, Texas, USA 2003

Shelter | Conroe, Texas, USA 2003

Shelter | San Pete County, Utah, USA

Kelvedon Hatch | Essex, England 2002

Kelvedon Hatch | Essex, England 2002

Kelvedon Hatch | Essex, England 2002

Shelter | Vitznau, Switzerland 2003

Shelter | Vitznau, Switzerland 2003

Abbey Data Storage | Bellsize Park, London, England 2002

Abbey Data Storage | Bellsize Park, London, England 2002

Abbey Data Storage | Bellsize Park, London, England 2002

The Paddock | Neasden, London, England 2002

The Paddock | Neasden, London, England 2002

Strand Underground | Neasden, London, England 2002

Strand Underground | Neasden, London, England 2002

Nevsky Prospect, Subway Station | St. Petersburg, Russia 2003

Mayakovskaya Subway Station | Moscow, Russia 2003

Komsomolskaya Subway Station | Moscow, Russia 2003

Chechnya War Veterans | Moscow, Russia 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Greenbriar | White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA 2002

Greenbriar | White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA 2002

Greenbriar | White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA 2002

Greenbriar | White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA 2002

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Hittite Caves | Cappodocia, Turkey 1999

Suburban Shelter Building | Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 2002

Apartment Complex Shelter, near Bellyruska Metro | Moscow, Russia 2003

Moscow State University Shelter | Moscow, Russia 2003

Andair AG | Zurich, Switzerland 2003

Public Shelter | Zurich, Switzerland 2003

Public Shelter | Zurich, Switzerland 2003

DEFREK | Cambridge, England 2002

Shelter | Livermore, California, USA 2002

Shelter | Livermore, California, USA 2002

"The Trendy Griboyedov Club" | St. Petersburg, Russia 2003

Phillip Hoag's Shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Kitchen in Shelter Managed by Charlie Hull | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Abbey Data Storage | Bellsize Park, London, England 2002

Secret Bunker | Anstruther, Scotland 2002

Anstruther, Scotland 2004

Public Shelter | Zurich, Switzerland 2003

Subway Station | Moscow, Russia 2003

Charlie Hull's shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Phillip Hoag's Shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Shelter Dormroom | Conroe, Texas, USA 2003

The Seyfriend's Shelter | Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Shop in Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Jiaozhuanghu Village | Beijing, China 2003

Shelter | Zurich, Switzerland 2003

Control Board, Charlie Hull's shelter | Emigrant, Montana, USA 2003

DEFREK | Cambridge, England 2002

Novoslobodskaya Subway Station | Moscow, Russia 2003

Underground City | Beijing, China 2003

Kutuzovsky Prospect | Moscow, Russia 2003