Sand Castles: Markel Redondo photographs Spain’s failed housing developments

© Markel Redondo

The European economic crisis of the late 2000s hit Spain hard. “Due to a toxic combination of billions of euros worth of bad loans held by Spanish banks, and a real estate bubble that burst in spectacular style in 2007, Spain’s economy now faces multiple challenges,” says photographer Markel Redondo.

One of the many fallouts of the crisis forms the basis of Redondo’s latest body of work. Sand Castles (part II) documents a handful of the estimated 3.4 million houses that now stand empty and deserted throughout Spain. The developments were, according to Redondo, constructed by developers in “a dizzying rush to make the most of cheap loans and favourable government regulation.” They now litter the landscape.

Redondo first documented these schemes between 2010 and 2012. Now, as a winner of the DJI Drone Photography Award, he has retraced his footsteps; returning to the same sites and visiting new ones.

Equipped with a car and a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone, Redondo traversed across southern Spain photographing the series. The elevated perspective provided by the drone has given the series a new edge. “It was mind-blowing,” says Redondo, speaking of photographing the complexes from above. “I knew the developments were big, but I could not imagine the true extent of them.”

Redondo is one of two winners of the DJI Drone Photography Award and will join Tom Hegen in exhibiting his work at theprintspace gallery, in London, this April.

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo

© Markel Redondo