Like castles without master surrounded by dead warriors, like deserted palaces, like homes abandonned on the edge of time, along the roads, on the bank of the canals and rivers, on the side of the quarries, at the top of the hillocks, in the hollow of valleys and ravines, right in the middle of grassy deserts,

peopled with faint murmurs, with forgotten struggles, bristling with frames, rooted in rust : workshops, plants, factories, works, warehouses, mills, covered markets, shops, chimneys, coolers, water towers, silos, driers, mute witnesses of departed activities.
As if they just had been left, sometimes.
Or then : abandonned since the birth of time, the beginning of the world, left in the soil as undeciphered messages.


(...) Closed fields of ancient struggles, rusty railings, ajar, that used to be forbidden by armed guards ; courtyards of gatherings and rallies, offices deserted by the hostages, paralysed lines where infinite repetition bred exhaustion, clocking machines without faces, scatterred forms and notebooks, silence...

(...) As if a cataclysm had passed over them, here are buildings sawed in two, cleanly, under the blade of a gigantic microtome. The cut shows, precise, moving, like an architect's blueprint or an anatomical plate. Sometimes, looking like skinned drawings. Layer upon layer, anyway, everything disappears in the end. Only the skeleton remains : steel, iron, cast-iron, concrete, stone, brick. Wood iself will only last a little while. Then rust will get the better of metals, and will make concrete burst. Mortars will disintegrate.

Even bricks and stones will sometime break up. And everything will come back on the ground, as assyrian palaces did. Crass heaps of a new kind. Tumuli.
Sometimes, buildings collapsed in one block, scaringly tilted, lying on the grass. Elements of a monstruous rubbish dump.

Architectures industrielles en Belgique et ailleurs,
Luc van Malderen et Pierre Puttemans,
Editions Labor, 1992