Scene of abandoned industrial grandeur wins global photography prize

The public cast thousands of votes in this year’s Art of Building photography competition and chose a stunning photograph of Kelenfold Power Station in Budapest as the outright winning shot.

Urban photographer Roman Robroek from the Netherlands who took ‘Control’ said: "When I started my urban photography journey, I mostly saw empty, abandoned and decayed buildings. It didn’t take long before curiosity struck me. What was the story behind those buildings? Who used to live there? What purpose did these objects serve and why were they abandoned?

"This curiosity created a close bond between me and urban photography and I have since visited many beautiful locations all over the world. The opportunity to take a peek behind closed doors is a truly unique experience, both relaxing and enticing at the same time. It’s quite challenging to get a foot in the door in a world filled with creative photographers but winning this competition is a great honour and confirmation that I’m on the right track."

Thousands of amateur and professional photographers entered the free competition back in October 2016 with the ambition of scooping the £3500 cash prize and title Art of Building Photographer of the Year.

Matt Wain, a judge of the competition, said: "Roman deserves our congratulations, his winning photograph shows that beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places and even in decay or abandonment the built environment still has a story worth telling.

"Our thanks and appreciation also go to all the finalists, everyone who entered and all those who voted. This competition draws in people from all over the world and from diverse backgrounds but with a common purpose – to celebrate the built environment."

For the first time the competition also introduced a £1000 cash prize to support a Young Photographer of the Year (those aged 18 or under) which was awarded to Jonathan Walland for his photograph ‘Overlook’ which showcased an unusual perspective of the Heyward Gallery in London.

Speaking about his victory Jonathan said "I have always had a particular interest in photographing structures, including interiors, and I have recently developed an interest in commercial photography. To win such a prestigious award so early in my photography career is incredible."

Each year, Art of Building attracts thousands of entries from around the world. These are whittled down to shortlist of around 15 pictures by a team of professional judges from the world of art, photography and publishing. The overall winner is decided upon by public vote.

Further information about the competition can be found at
Image: This year’s winner is "Control", by Roman Robroek, depicting the Kelenfold Power Station in Budapest

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