Ponte City, Edinburgh

On a recent trip to Edinburgh we popped into the National Portrait Gallery and saw a great photographic exhibition featuring Ponte City, a vast decaying development in Johannesburg. At 54 storeys high, Ponte City is the tallest residential city in Africa and was originally designed as a sophisticated dwelling for affluent white South Africans at the height of the apartheid years.

Neglected for years, it has served as inspiration for a brilliant collaboration between South African photographer, Mikhael Subotzky and British artist, Patrick Waterhouse. They interviewed the remaining tenants and recorded the half-occupied building through a series of photographs and a collection of documents and other debris from the abandoned units. Absolutely brilliant, tragic and inspirational at the same time.

This development also features as part of The Guardian’s fantastic  ‘A history of cities in 50 buildings’ photographic series.

The exhibition is now sadly finished but for more information about it go here or for details of the accompanying book go here