Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Photographer Ben Marcin focuses on the grids that make up the seemingly mundane structures.
Many travelers will stop in their tracks to photograph some spectacular scenery. Ben Marcin looks for parking garages.
After coming across some parking structures on a Los Angeles trip in 2010, the Baltimore-based photographer found himself drawn to even more in car-loving Houston and Dallas. “Now I photograph parking garages wherever I go,” says Marcin. “It’s become a ritual of sorts.”
It’s more challenging than it sounds. Like his skyscraper photos, Marcin looks for patterns in these massive structures, then tries to find the right spot to shoot them from. ”I usually have to figure out how to get on top of a nearby building or walk out onto an elevated freeway,” says Marcin. “If I’m lucky, I’ll come across a vacant lot a couple of blocks away.”
As mundane as they appear at first, Marcin is able to make these structures oddly beautiful with his camera. “There’s a certain sense of genericness that is often associated with the function of these buildings,” the photographer says. “I find [them] beautiful and, occasionally, frightening.”
All photos courtesy Ben Marcin.