THESE images might look like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie – but this overgrown building is actually an abandoned shopping mall.
When it opened in 1975, Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio, was the jewel in the town’s crown.
But after it closed its doors for good in 2008, it has decayed beyond recognition – with one photographer returning there to produce a stunning set of images showing the mall’s changing faces throughout the seasons.
Photographer Johnny Joo’s latest set of images show the mall taking on a life of its own as new plants creep up silent escalators, and new life springs from cracks in the concrete floor that once were filled with busy shoppers.
An old water feature, once the heart of the enormous mall is now filled with stagnant green water, and parts of the building have started to collapse.
Johnny first photographed the building four years ago, and has a stunning collection of images showing the mall in all four seasons.
During a heavy snowfall, part of the building’s huge glass ceiling collapsed, and tonnes of white snow fell into the mall’s square, covering it in two feet of the white stuff.
And during another trip, Johnny snapped the mall almost underwater, after the town experienced an unprecedented heavy rainfall.
Johnny said: “I love watching the reclamation of nature, a different view of the “Circle of life.” It’s always so peaceful standing inside the structure, and I love it in there. You can actually feel and imagine the memories.
“I have watched it for years now, deteriorating in such an incredible, beautifully destructive way. “From the initial abandonment when all was still fairly pristine – shop windows intact – to looking like a bomb dropped – windows smashed and glass tossed all around as trees begin to grow wildly throughout.
“This is definitely one of the most bizarre “forests” you will ever take a hike through. “You can imagine the past – the people rushing through during the hectic shopping months of Christmas, as gifts fly every which way from shelves. “All has since fallen, and I now wander the enchanting, echoing halls of a place where lives were lived, and jobs were worked.
“The mall has quickly become overgrown, falling further into disarray, throwing the scene even deeper into a surreal display of our otherwise normal world. Imagine trying to outrun the zombie apocalypse through a forested mall.
“When winter came last year, heavy snow collapsed the glass roof, creating an entirely brand new scene, like one straight from a fantasy.
Now, as the snow had melted, being completely open to the elements, yet another scene has emerged, beginning to turn the mall into a forest.”