There is a cinderblock Barclay's bank, a desolate kebab shop, and the most depressing pizza parlor ever built. None of the stores have windows, customers, or anything behind their façades. But that was exactly the point. Built in 2002 for Britain's Metropolitan Police force, this grim replica town in Gravesend, England is used as a training ground for officers learning about riot policing. The 3,200-square-foot sham city is a highly restricted area, but somehow the Guardian's creative director Chris Clarke was able to gain access to it, shooting an unsettling series of photographs of an empty subway car and soccer stadium, and a fake post office and DVD store. His takeaway? "This surreal installation serves as a chilling account of the death of community in 21st century Britain," Clarke writes. It has "all the façade of human presence, except that presence itself."
· Chris Clarke's photos [Flickr]
· Take a Lonely Stroll through Britain's Conflict Ghost Town [Messy Nessy Chic]
· All Ghost Towns posts [Curbed National]