Sylvain Margaine is French-born and Brussels-based. He grew up in the French Pyrenees, a region with a disappearing heritage. Growing up, his father would take him on tours of abandoned textile factories, which prompted his fascination with decaying architecture. He would explore abandoned churches, castles, and hospitals, undeterred by the signs telling trespassers to keep out. Instead, they further enticed him to enter forbidden places. By 1998, Margaine was displaying photographs of the places he explored on his website, and has since published three books in French and English.
According to Margaine, there are two types of urban exploration: transcending the well-worth paths set out for us by city planners and architects, and exploring places that have fallen into decay. While Margaine is not a professional photographer, he travels for his job as an engineer, and pursues his hobby around the world.
He locations shrouded in myth and tragedy, and is no stranger to paranormal investigative teams. Margaine has been quoted saying, “in one photo from an asylum, they think they see a blurry image of a man working at the far end of a corridor. But it’s not a ghost; it’s the shadow of one of my friends. I have been doing this a long time and haven’t so far seen anything I couldn’t explain.”