Mar 17 2014

Landscapes of the Housing Bust—a Photo Blog

By Patrick van Dam

I was traveling through Rhodes and Crete, knowing there were many unfinished buildings around these areas. It’s a southern European tradition to build a family home in stages. But many of these structures were obviously not your typical family homes. They were luxurious villas and hotels. Unfinished as constructors ran out of funds during the crisis.

I started taking photos of these structures because all I could see was an aesthetic way of showing the crisis. These structure seemed to become part of the great landscape.

Driving around on the islands I talked to many locals, and several of the owners of the structures I photographed. They shared their frustrations at having their ambitions dashed by the crisis. One man invested all his savings to build a hotel and villa right next to his house. As the crisis struck he ran out of money, and the bank didn’t want to help him with a loan. He still lives in his old house and sees his unfinished dreams whenever he looks out of the window. He started building full of aspirations, no idea what the future held.


Patrick van Dam is an Amsterdam based photographer. All images © Patrick van Dam.

Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the Euro Crisis in the Press blog, nor of the London School of Economics.

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3 Responses to Landscapes of the Housing Bust—a Photo Blog

  1. Pingback: Habitat loss in Europe - there must be space for wilderness - European Wilderness Society

  2. If you’ve got eyes, the environment has ALREADY been affected!!!!

  3. We must credit this crisis for having stopped all these buildings. What else can save our environment from being destroyed by building.

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