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Our current issue featuring Cyprien Gaillard contains several references to and images of architectural curiosities where unfortunately we did not have the space to go into further detail – but we will present some of these here during the next few weeks.

The issue opens with a spread of Cyprien in the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, which was abandoned in 1986, following the catastrophe at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Originally founded in 1970 to accommodate the workers of the power plant, Pripyat was the ninth ‘atomograd’ – nuclear city – specifically built as a satellite city to the nuclear plant. The town is located about 100km from Ukraine’s capital Kiev and used to house about 50,000 inhabitants before the accident. It was evacuated within two days of the catastrophe, forcing inhabitants to leave all their belongings behind, which led to a considerable amount of looting. Pripyat lies now within The Zone, an area of 30km radius around Chernobyl, which is closed off for any civil, residential or economic activities, with the borders policed by special military units. However, according to scientific research, 26 years later pollution levels have dropped to levels that are considered relatively safe, and indeed it is possible to visit Pripyat, requiring a special permit and the company of special guides, with the city of Chernobyl a few kilometers south even offering hotel accommodation for tourists.

Go here for more details, featuring plenty of images and stories by former residents.

Photography by Cyprien Gaillard