In a series of photographs by French lensman Aurélien Aumond, strange, futuristic buildings appear to sprout up from an expanse of grass, like relics of a past-future era. And while these metal-and-glass structures appear to have been abandoned, in reality they occupy an amusement park six miles from Poitiers, in west-central France, that is very much still operational.
Called Futuroscope, the theme park and business district was conceived by politician René Monory in the mid-1980s as “a site focused on the future that would be home to a leisure destination, a business enterprise zone, and a training hub.” Futuroscope, the country’s first amusement park, opened in 1987 as a multimedia- and new technology-focused leisure park and has proven to be a bonafide tourist destination ever since.
But what to make of the neo-futuristic architecture popping up across the 131-acre grounds? Architect Denis Laming led the design of the pavilions, which include buildings shaped like spaceships, crystal formations jutting forth from the earth, and triangular wedges.
In his photos, Aumond presents the iconic structures in their purest forms, stripping them of their amusement park settings in order to draw attention to the architecture: “The aim of this series is to question if the ’90s neo-futuristic architecture drawn by Denis Laming is still relevant, 30 years later, as an embodiment of the future,” Aumond said in a statement.
The result is a set of photographs that is equally unsettling as it is amusing, perhaps because these modern buildings feel like both visions of the future and a remembrance of things past.