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Model Project Captures Worn Buildings

Friday, March 14, 2014

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Shiny new buildings may be easier on the eyes than decrepit structures. But for one artist, it's the forgotten buildings that inspire creativity and elicit emotion.

That is how many of America’s barns, warehouses, factories and houses in various states of disrepair came together in a recent project by New York-based artist Ofra Lapid.

Broken Houses
© Ofra Lapid, 2010-2011, images used with permission

Ofra Lapid used photographs of rundown buildings and created mini-replicas from wood, cardboard and other materials.

In “Broken Houses,” Lapid said she attached printed photographs of structures she found online to cardboard cutouts and used wood and other materials to create mini-replicas of the tattered buildings.

She then photographed her models against a gray backdrop.

‘Transformation of Place’

In an interview, Lapid told that she was living at home in Israel when she made the models in 2010 and 2011. She had been inspired by a particular set of photographs of abandoned structures she found on the internet.

Broken Houses
© Ofra Lapid, 2010-2011

The project is a "bit of an emotional work in a weird way," Lapid said.

“For me, the thinking is more a transformation of a place that I am attracted to or that I find fascinating as a place that I want to represent,” she said. “And how, from an image that I find, or from a memory, or from one place, I transform it into my own image.”

Broken Houses
© Ofra Lapid, 2010-2011

The complete "Broken Houses" collection can be viewed on

She said many people have responded to the project.

“It called out to their emotions, or their memory,” she says. “It’s a bit of an emotional work in a weird way.”

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Tagged categories: Architecture; Artists; Design; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Maintenance + Renovation

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