Photographer David Sopronyi gives a new softness to London’s gritty West Way.

Many people, especially those who prefer suburbs, tidiness, and comfort, tend to view concrete buildings and structures as marks of violence inflicted on cities, scars of old ideas that didn’t work out so well. However, many architects and city-dwellers have an opposite view: that these seemingly brutal structures have a poetry and elegance of their own. Concrete buildings and bridges revel in heaviness and mass, anchoring urbanites to the built environment.

Photographer David Sopronyi new photo series, entitled West Way after a major highway in London, takes these concrete wonders as their subject. Sopronyi uses the subtleties of natural lighting and the seasons to give a new softness to London’s West Way and its surrounding residential monoliths. In these images, a normally grim onramp bridge becomes a graceful arc. There is still plenty of grit, to be sure, but somehow, Sopronyi’s work removes the threat from these typically passed-over zones, and imbues them with interest.

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

    In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.

  2. Downtown Roanoke is pictured.
    Life

    The Small Appalachian City That’s Thriving

    Roanoke, Virginia, has become what many cities of its size, geography, and history want to be. It started by bringing housing to a deserted downtown.

  3. A maglev train on a test track outside Tokyo. A scheme to build a line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., has been in the works for years.
    Transportation

    The Battle of the Supertrains

    Promoters are touting two different multi-billion-dollar high-speed projects between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Is it a fantasy, or a game changer?

  4. Environment

    The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

    The book Third Coast Atlas seeks to illuminate the Great Lakes—America’s “third coast”—through maps, plans, photos, and more.

  5. The Rafiq Nagar slums in Mumbai
    Equity

    Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better When It Comes to City Size

    A pair of studies from LSE suggests that developing countries are better off with smaller cities.