IN PICS: Drone photography reveals haunting beauty of Spain’s unfinished housing

Fiona Govan
Fiona Govan - [email protected]
IN PICS: Drone photography reveals haunting beauty of Spain’s unfinished housing
Sand Castles (part II). © Markel Redondo.

Spanish photographer Markel Redondo has travelled the length and breadth of Spain photographing abandoned housing projects from the air.


The result are a collection of haunting images that reveal the wasteland left when Spain’s housing bubble spectacularly burst in 2007.

Sand Castles (part II). © Markel Redondo.

A decade long construction boom saw swathes of Spanish coast and countryside concreted over in a building frenzy that made Spain into one of the fastest growing economies in Europe.

Sand Castles (part II). © Markel Redondo.

Easy credit and the promise of short-term financial rewards saw Spain, at its peak in 2006, build more new homes than France, Germany and the UK put together.

READ MORE: Spain's property market just recovered to pre-crisis levels 

But when the bubble burst and the 2008 financial crisis hit, construction companies went into liquidation leaving banks saturated with toxic assets of properties they were unable to sell, even at rock bottom prices.

Sand Castles (part II). © Markel Redondo

Some 3.4 million houses still stand empty or were never finished in skeletal developments that are scattered across Spain outside denser urban centres.

It is these derelict housing projects that Redondo chose to photograph after winning the DJI Drone Photography Award.

Sand Castles (part II). © Markel Redondo.

Using a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, Redondo spent a fortnight traversing Spain to visit abandoned building projects he had first photographed a decade ago.

The resulting aerial footage was “mind-blowing”, said Redondo.

“I knew the developments were big, but I could not imagine their true extent. I had seen them from Google Earth, but a drone captures different angles and details,” he said in an interview with the British Journal of Photography (BJP).

WATCH: In this video the photographer explains his project.

He hopes the footage will have an impact.

“It is important to understand that this is not an isolated problem; it is something that has happened systematically across Spain. We need to ask why this is still happening and how we are going to fix the problem,” he said.

Sand Castles (part II)  is being exhibited at the DJI Drone Photography Award exhibition at The Print Space gallery in east London until April 18th.

Sand Castles (part II). © Markel Redondo.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also