Photographer documents the art of American highway interchanges

Updated Jul 27, 2015
The Black Canyon Freeway and Highway 101 Interchange in Phoenix. (Photo Credit: Peter Andrew)The Black Canyon Freeway and Highway 101 Interchange in Phoenix.
(Photo Credit: Peter Andrew)

Photographer Peter Andrew has travelled the globe taking aerial pictures of the highway interchanges transporting people all over the world, and the resulting photo essay was recently featured by Politico Magazine.

The photographs show the interweaving art that infrastructure can create on the natural environment—from the grey highway standing out in the orange desert of Phoenix to the intricate complexity of the Highway 401/Allan Rd. interchange in Toronto.

“I think the 401 was the real catalyst for my fascination with interchanges. When I was a kid I remember flying into Pearson Airport and seeing the traffic flowing over the highway interchanges below me,” Andrew said. “I couldn’t believe how enormous and elaborate they were. I’m still amazed that they aren’t more celebrated.”

The photos were accompanied in Politico Magazine by an essay written by author Tom Vanderbilt about highways.

“At ground level, it’s hard to appreciate the geometric rationality of an interchange. This is why it is a virtual law that artful depictions of highway interchanges must happen from above. One might capture the sculptural strength of a supporting pillar, but it’s an isolated, static moment. To capture the network in its entirety, at once, one needs the aerial view to make highway interchanges legible, if not still somewhat baffling, like computer circuit boards,” Vanderbilt wrote.

Don’t miss this one. Check out the photo essay here.