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FROM MEGAFORM TO MEGASTRUCTURE joaquin mosquera AAD 2009-2010_GSAPP

INDEX

1. STUDY OF A MEGAFORM magic box

2. CREATION OF A MEGAFORM megachurch in la

3. VISUAL STUDY OF EXISTING URBAN STRUCTURES architecture and photography

4. MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE in new york

5. DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE public housing in mumbai

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study of a megaform magic box visual study _ digital crafts project _ magic box architect _ dominique perrault site_madrid published in Urban Magazine_gsapp

“Magic Box, big box”. A critique to Dominique Perrault. Joaquin Mosquera_jm3367 GSAPP Dominique Perrault Architecture has recently finished in Madrid the project called Magic Box, a new center for the Olympic Games candidature. The question that architecture must think is if here, as in many recent projects, not only size matters, but only what matters is size. When a building becomes bigger, size itself has already been changing specific conditions of architecture. The Magic Box was born to be big: a big scale, a big budget or big in its social or political consequences. If we think if this project is interesting, without any doubt the answer is yes, but we have to think if this interest comes more from its specific conditions derived from its size than from the high level of the architectonic thought. Five conditions are given by Rem Koolhaas in the “Theory of Bigness” that can provide us rules to differentiate it. 1. “Not fragmentation”: Three stadiums in one big box. It is clear that the parts are committed to the whole, contained in the same big building. But if each stadium had to have its own independent programs, where does the interest of understanding the group as a single conception come from? 2. “The art of architecture is useless in Bigness”. The question in this specific project is which aspects are more powerful in a building where architecture is no longer relevant. Social relevance, structure or mechanical systems are more important than classical architectural thoughts like program, space, scale or aesthetic, which are not the main criteria of design. 3. “The facade can no longer reveal what happens inside. Interior and exterior architectures become separate projects”. Inside the big box, each stadium has its own facade that separates common areas from the interior of each stadium and allows each court to be acclimatized separately. From outside, an abstract steel skin makes us understand the box as a single project. 4. “Their impact is independent of their quality”. Size matters, and big size means big impressions. The quality of this building is mainly its own quantity: the quantity of its ceilings height, the quantity of skin surface or the quantity of people that could attend an event. 5. “Bigness is no longer part of any urban tissue”. Surroundings of the project are no longer important. A cheap site in a degraded neighborhood of the city could have been the best localization in the new Olympic area. Only having closer subway and parking lots has been enough to make it work. The affection of the building is at least over the entire city.


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study of a megaform

So, overall, architecture is no longer important in this building. Other issues have pushed it to a second place. In general, the way to analyze a big building is no longer the same. In other words, perceptions change. Studying a little project of housing is not the same as studying the Magic Box. Perception analyzes from the biggest scale to the smallest, and if bigness is a quality of a building, architectonic values lose interest, and trying to create architecture becomes anecdotic. If Rem Koolhaas says that Bigness=Urbanism vs. Architecture, we could say that the Big Box=Infrastructure vs. Architecture, a continuous dialogue between two elements that could crash when they are not well-directed. When a project becomes bigger, infrastructures become more important and architecture vanishes little by little. This happens in a building that helps us to understand that Bigness has its own rules and architects only have to follow them, acting as directors with the merit of avoiding the collision. The bigger a building becomes, less choices that architecture can decide. In addition, Bigness is a precedent condition of a project. It comes from the factors that created a program, general requirements or the place. Architectonic programs in general and also the Magic Box require having its own size since the conception of the idea. What happens if it is changed? What happens if the architect fails in this attempt? Dominique Perrault wanted to design a Big Project, but was it necessary? Was the Magic Box born to be Big? Searching it without being necessary leads to lose many values in scale, program or general perception… Which are these lost values in the case of this project? In order to know them, let’s return to the five points of Rem Koolhaas: 1. Not fragmentation: Pretending to make a big building when it is not necessary usually leads to non-controlled spaces. Pretending to think a one big project when it is really composed of fragmented parts leads to residual spaces. This residual spaces usually have lost scale sense, due to they respond nor to the scale of the big concept nor to the fragment. Furthermore, three architectural fragments in a non-fragmentation idea pretending to create architecture where bigness is stronger leads us to think about a clear contradiction between the architectural components of the fragments and the bigness condition of the group. On the one hand, bigness general condition hides every architectural intention, making anecdotic the intention of the architect trying to create architecture where it should not exist. And on the other hand, architecture of the fragments is almost useless, once the user has perceived the quantity of the bigness. Quantity hides quality, as it will be shown. 2. Useless art of architecture: External factors begin to have too much importance. Engineering, infrastructural, social or even political factors are not only introduced but modify the original essence of the building. If we think, for example, in the interest of moving the roofs, we find that it has nothing to do with architecture. Spectacle architecture sometimes requires surprising elements that allow people think a project as an innovation, something that has more to do with political or social ideas than architectonic ones. The project can’t be so big that absorb all variables. Its weakness is precisely its open concept.

3. Interior and exterior as separate projects: Why trying to protect public circulations from the surrounding? This mentioned skin does not protect from the weather, but only from visual relations. There is no point in protecting the inside public space from the outside ones. They should belong to the same public concept. If the project is three different parts, why the skin that hides interior fragments? Why not represent from the outside what’s happening inside? In fact, this contradiction is clear at night, when interior lights allow us to perceive the interior fragmentation, a profound sensitive experience that has more to do with clear architectonic values than with bigness conditions. 4. Quantity impact: Quantity in big projects cannot be hidden. While quality can be modified in order to create changes in perceptions or sensations more related with architecture, quantity implies sincerely, the same sincerely that should be shown in all values of bigness. If the bigger a project is, the more important that infrastructures are, the aesthetic of the big project is the aesthetic of infrastructures, and they must be shown, given that quantity implies sincerely. However, in this project main structure of the roof and mechanisms are hidden and covered. Is not a contradiction? If the project wanted to be big, sincerely should have been extreme. In addition, contradictions between some bigness concepts and this project are shown in interior programs, needed to be cared in a scale not related with the big appearance, creating some confusion in the character of the building. 5. Independence from surroundings. If bigness implies it, why placing the front building with urban scale next to the public street? The architect wanted to give a urban scale to the neighborhood, separating the project in two different buildings with similar programs. But the bigness condition of a big building should be enough to give sense to the entire city, independently to the neighborhood. So, to sum up, it is clear that Dominique Perrault wanted a Big Box. But has he managed to complete it? Specific conditions of the project make us be closer to this concept, but incompatibilities with some of the concepts of bigness contradict it. What happens in this procedure? Project has lost both bigness intensity and architectural qualities. Every project is born to be one of them, and the aim of every architect is deciding which one is it. In this case, the project, maybe, did not require being so big, or perhaps it should have been Bigger.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Rem Koolhaas, “Bigness, or the Problem of Large” in Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau, S, M, L, XL (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1995), 494-516.


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PHOTOGRAPHS by Joaquín Mosquera Casares


CREATION OF A MEGAFORM megachurch in la studio project instructor _ reiser + umemoto site_la, USA

cross section


02 The project is based in stripes that are possible of being public space and introducing people to the inside part at the same time. The intention of socialization is evidet in a project that breaks the boundaries betwdd project an surroundings.

longitudinal section


CREATION OF A MEGAFORM geometrical evolution


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VISUAL STUDY OF EXISTING URBAN STRUCTURES

The Bridge. Study II. November 19th 2009

empty above fracture toward frame through


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VISUAL STUDY OF EXISTING URBAN STRUCTURES

empty above fracture toward frame through Multiplicity. Study VI. November 19th 2009


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VISUAL STUDY OF EXISTING URBAN STRUCTURES

empty above fracture toward frame through Multiplicity. Study II. November 19th 2009


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VISUAL STUDY OF EXISTING URBAN STRUCTURES

Steel Frames. November 19th 2009

empty above fracture toward frame through


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VISUAL STUDY OF EXISTING URBAN STRUCTURES

Transitions. September 2nd 2009

empty above fracture toward frame through


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MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE new york studio project instructor _ yehuda safran site_new york

In 1959, Constant Nieuwenhuys wrote “Another City for Another Life”, published in la Internationale Situationniste, critizising the city of the moment, saying that in old neighborhoods streets have degenerated and social relations have become impossible. He defends the horizontal conception of cities in a unique spatial construction that contains public spaces inside. “The city of the future must be conceived as a continuous construction on pillars, or rather as an extended system of different structures in which are suspended premises for housing, amusement, etc., and premises destined for production and distribution, leaving the ground free for the circulation of traffic and for public meetings” “They will be accessible everywhere by stairs and lifts. The different floors will be divided into neighboring and communication spaces, artificially conditioned, which will offer the possibility of creating an infinite variety of ambience, facilitating the derive of the inhabitants and their frequent chance encounters.” Bernard Tschumi would write in 1975: “Urban conflicts make the city a privileged field for revolutionary actions” “The purpose is therefore not merely the realization of an object built for itself, but also the revelation through building of realities and contradictions of society” He also mentions the Italian architectural scene with people like Superstudio who wanted new alternate life styles against “liberty boundaries”. Peter Cook defended that “the idea of a”non-permanent building has overtones of economy, austerity, economy.” Archigram dreamed with new cities where extended infrastructures would be opened to possible events.


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EXISTING microSTRUCTURES

IN

NY

New York and its permanent coexistance with microinfrastructures makes it be the perfect field to explore this kind of projects.

EMERGENCY STAIRS

SCAFFOLDINGS

ELEVATED PARKING

ELEVATED INFRASTRUCTURES


MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE FROM THE CONCEPT OF MEGAFORM TO THE IDEA OF MEGASTRUCTURE Which kind of relations does theory and practice have? Many terms in architecture have been discussed constantly during the 20th century in a permanent dialogue between theory and practice. The permanent influence that one has been having on the other makes impossible to differentiate where the ideas begin. It is the case of the projects joined under the words Megaform and Megastructure. Although they have been used many times by both theorists and designers, the definition of the limits is even now unknown. This text will try to make this difference clear for its future understanding and use not only as concepts but as intentional projects. The concept of Megaform precedes the Megastructure, precisely for being a previous step of those with the characteristics that are placed in the second. This word designs those projects which size allows us to understand that they try to give a unitary solution to a complex architectonic problem with a single form. As Kenneth Frampton says in his “Megaform”, its origin could be placed in the Expressionist architects of the 1920s. Between many projects, Kenneth Frampton talks about the House of Friendship in Istanbul by Hans Poelzig (1) and, although the megaform is conceived as a unique form that makes sense to the whole idea, hanging gardens are placed with the idea that external uses could be introduced into the compactness of the big mass.

1 Hans Poelzig - House of Friendship, Istanbul, 1916 But, is this enough to call it a megastructure? Of course it is not. Kenneth Frampton says: “In my view, the two terms may be differentiated from one another in terms of the relative continuity of their form. Thus, while a megaform may incorporate a megastructure, a megastructure is not necessarily a megaform.” The question is which elements we can extract now that help us to differentiate one from another. As Reyner Banham points talking about the Vertical Assembly Building in Cape Canaveral (2), it is not a megastructure “because of its singleness of function and image”.

2 Vertical Assembly Building

But the explanation is not so simple. Although many megaforms tried to break the pureness of the compact form and incorporate some elements of discontinuity, we don’t find in many of them any idea that allows us to call them megastructures. So, which are those elements? Between many of them, one of the main aspects of megastructures that allow us to differentiate from megaforms is the introduction of the concept of openness and, as a consequence, the capability of introducing multiple new changes and relations based and depending mainly on society. Maybe the first time we find specifically this idea is in Le Corbusier. He realized between 1929 and the first years of 30’s decade his projects for the reorganization for Montevideo, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Río de Janeiro and Argel (3, 4 , 5, 6, 7). Infrastructure elements are raised up placing living spaces in the lower part and leaving landscape circulation naturally free. This project, although conceived as a megaform, contained, as Kenneth Frampton says, all freedom and “upon which and within which the occupant would be free to build in whatever way he saw fit. Hence, while postulating the continuity of the megaform, Le Corbusier left its interstitial fabric open and accessible to popular taste”.

3 - 7 Several urban proposals _Le Corbusier This popular taste is referring of course to the change based on the place in which the object could be inserted, being this open concept especially important to understand how the Modern Movement tried to incorporate free programs into fixed structures. In its final years, the work of Alison and Peter Smithson incorporated it in many projects, like Golden Lane (1952) (8), in which a fixed horizontal structure were capable of containing new social relations in a new way of relating private housing and elevated public spaces.

8 Golden Lane _Alison and Peter Smithson, 1952


BLINDNESS

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The project tries to be conscious of realities and contrasts of society in New York and in most contemporary cities. What is called Urban Blindness is the loosing of feeling of group in a way of living that is based in personal achievements or individual values.

If we think in New York, we always think about different neighbourhoods with unfair different possibilities of growing and economic and social differences. It could be considered a city of islands.

NY

NY

CITY OF ISLANDS

URBAN BLINDNESS

IN

“There’s no difference between inside and outside, between here and there, between the many and the few, between what we’re living through and what we shall have to live through...this must be what it means to be a ghost, being certain that life exists, because your four senses say so, and yet unable to see it... I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.” (José Saramago, Blindness)

JOINING SYSTEM


MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE But in the mid 50’s, architects like Yona Friedman (9) begun to criticize some of the CIAM attitudes, where words like mobility, growth and change resulted to be “too vague”. His proposals would be theorized in the article “Program of Mobile Urbanism” in 1959, where he insisted in the capability of transformation of cities along time with new proposals: “a. New constructions serving for individual shelters must: 1. touch a minimum surface of the ground; 2. be demountable and movable; 3. be transformable at will by the individual inhabitant.” The text continues: “c. The means of interior circulation in the city must be communal; automobiles and other individual means of circulation will remain out of the city and will only be used for interurban circulation. The city belongs to the pedestrians. Their movements must be protected from the weather.”

9 Urban proposals _Yona Friedman Therefore, he imagined a city in which the street is for pedestrian use, elevated and in constant communication with housing, far away from noises and other bothering elements like cars and general infrastructures. He made some general proposals for different places, trying to formalize these theoretical thoughts. His drawings never reached to be more than suggestions towards a possible urban future, but in the same year 1959, Constant Nieuwenhuys wrote “Another City for Another Life”, a text published in Internationale Situationniste nº3 that criticized the city of that moment, saying that “in the older neighborhoods, streets have degenerated” and “social relations become impossible”. He defends, in the same way that Yona Friedman did, a dynamic conception of life that allows changing of behaviors and supports, opposed to the ville verte, the idea of a horizontal conception of cities. It is the “covered town”, a “continuous spatial construction” separated from the ground where traffic would be placed in different levels, leaving public and living spaces inside it.

It is especially interesting the introduction of multiple new uses in the elevated streets. Constant talks about sports fields, landing-strips, and the maintenance of vegetation. “They will be accessible everywhere by stairs and lifts. The different floors will be divided into neighboring and communication spaces, artificially conditioned, which will offer the possibility of creating an infinite variety of ambience, facilitating the derive of the inhabitants and their frequent chance encounters.” As it is observed, situationist intentions are introduced in this part of the text in which it is said that these infrastructures will have a clear social function, in a conception of the city to be traveled and with changes handled by specialist teams who will be “professional situationists”. The entire city would be destined to a realization of a “richer and more fulfilled life”. As we can see in this last years of the 1950s and early 60s, many architects and theorists thought that the solution to renew and begin regenerating again new social conditions in cities were the creation of new elements, alternative to the existing city that could contain all the new aspirations and big enough to affect to the whole city. This concept of new socialization and collectivization in housing will be continued in numerous occasions in the future. Bernard Tschumi would write, later in 1975, that “Urban conflicts make the city a privileged field for revolutionary actions”. Various examples of social problematic in London were showed to support, precisely, for a regeneration of life style. “Minimal cells and community kitchens were to be the social condensators to determine new relationships between people”. He criticizes the capitalist concept of space organization that causes division and isolation. “The purpose is therefore not merely the realization of an object built for itself, but also the revelation through building of realities and contradictions of society” This is especially important to understand that not only the megastructure contains social interchanges, but it also modifies the consciousness of society. Although Tschumi did not think about any specific megastructure, he said that the work of groups like Superstudio (10) was remarkable in terms of destruction of established culture, “being a requisite to social and economic change”. All of this “inevitably leads to strategies of the use of urban space”. His ideas for ideal cities lead to new ways for alternate life styles contraries to the idea of ghettos with “liberty boundaries”, boundaries that would be removed in a new life that clearly could be lived in new cities, new megastructures.

“The city of the future must be conceived as a continuous construction on pillars, or rather as an extended system of different structures in which are suspended premises for housing, amusement, etc., and premises destined for production and distribution, leaving the ground free for the circulation of traffic and for public meetings.” In the same way, he tries to extend the concept to all scales: “…one will be able to create a town on many levels: lower level, ground level, different floors, terraces, of a size that can vary between an actual neighborhood and a metropolis.”

10 Several urban proposals _Superstudio


04 CONNECTION WITH DIFFERENT AREAS

WORKING IN EMPTY SPACES

COMMUNITY GARDENS

STREETS

NON-BUILT SPACES-UNEXPECTED FAÇADES

PUBLIC PARKS

Mondrian_Boogie Woogie_1942-43


MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE All this ideas about new cities would have a huge repercussion in the concept of Megastructures in the Metabolism movement in Japan (11, 12, 13, 14), and their propositions and texts will strongly help, as it will be said, to differentiate its meaning from one of the Megaforms. During the 60’s Fumihiko Maki wrote “Investigations in Collective Form”, a text in which he revises the concept of collective grouping in urban scales studied until that moment defining the concept of megastructure: “a large frame in which all the functions of a city or part of a city are housed”. So he pretends that these huge infrastructures contain all social necessities required, and although all of this would be also contained in the concept of Megaform, the differentiation begins when he talks about three main keys to understand it: Form, megastructure and grouping form. The first one is the most understandable one, while in the megastructure he talks about the already commented concept of a massive structure supporting events. The Kenzo Tange project for the extension for Tokyo belongs to this concept, being a project where the main concept was understand that the system should allow efficiency and flexibility with the less structural organization. Again, the concept of multiples events and social interexchange over a single structure is directly used in urban scales, where it is not denied the different social conditions in different “grouping forms”. Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa or Isozaki would be other Japanese architects that would work in social conditions directly related with elevated infrastructures, megastructures and new grouping forms.

11 Tokyo urban plan _Kenzo Tange, 1960

12 Marine City _Kiyonori Kikutake, 1958-63

Kenneth Frampton thinks that this is the first time that the differentiation between megastructure and megaform appears: “To my Knowledge the term megaform as opposed to megastructure is first used rather coincidentally by Fumihiko Maki and Masato Ohtaka in their essay “Some Thoughts on Collective Form” of 1965. They introduce the term when writing an appreciation of Kenzo Tange’s Tokyo Bay Project of 1960 to the effect that: One of the most interesting developments of the megaform has been suggested by Kenzo Tange in connection with the Tokyo Bay Project. He presents a proposal for a mass-human scale form which includes a megaform and discrete, rapidly changing, functional units which fit within the larger framework. He reasons that short-lived items are becoming more and more short-lived and the cycle of change is shrinking at a corresponding rate. On the other hand, the accumulation of capital has made it possible to build in large scale operations…”

For Maki and Ohtaka, the megaform concept depended upon the idea that change would occur less rapidly in some realms than others. On this basis, they introduced the idea of group form, with the notion that a podium may be inserted into an urban fabric in order to provide for a long term stability while the structures on its surface would be subject to a faster cycle of change and replacement.” The Megaform is the fixed structure, “large framework”, in which the changeable units are placed. Reyner Banham also comments the idea of multiple events and changes when he says that the claims of urba n spontaneity had been studied since the CIAM, naming Nicholas Habraken, which thought that citizens should have a natural relationship to an urban fabric they themselves had helped to create. This would avoid the alienation from an artificial object estranged to them. Banham also mention the writing Urban Structures for the Future by Justus Dahinden, where he talks about “a new development which will reintegrate our social and urban structures and reunite the different social groups and activities. Consequently, future town-planning must be synthetic… For this reason, contemporary town-planners are recommending that megastructures of enormous compactness should be built: instead of being spread out over a wide area, the different social spheres will be “packed” one on top of the other.” As the compactness of megastructures is clearly mentioned, the idea of liberty and capacity for decisions of the citizen is also commented: “the logical solution to the problem was to leave so much liberty for the self-housing and self-determining intentions of the inhabitants that they had liberty also to destroy the megastructure itself.” This concept is especially important to understand that megastructures are not simple objects, but systems that allow complete freedom even to be destroyed by its authors. If the architects don’t understand that flexible concept of megastructures, they will not think in nothing more than megaforms. Even from the critique of the period, concepts were not clear, and Banham presented as megastructures examples of some projects with more conditions of rigidity, massiveness and monumentality that it would have been more precisely calling them megaforms. That is the case of the project “A megastructure” by Walter Gropius (1928), in which an isolated form contained the program as something fixed and not movable. Scale is not the concept that changes the megaform into megastructure, so this project, although it is big, it is not a megastructure.

15 Wohnberg project _Walter Gropius, 1928


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Downside relation with streets and public spaces

Upper relation-Internal and autonomous relations

Relations with private housing at the same level


MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE The same happens with other examples in the text like the particular case of Paolo Soleri (16), the architect that thought that “Man is conceived as a supersocialized vector requiring complete macro-architectural definition”. His projects condensed people in a vertical formalization called “Ecologies”, conceived as multi-level landscapes of a super scale. One doesn’t understand why Banham associates the massiveness and compactness of all these projects with the idea of megastructure. What we know now is that neither size nor compactness are not a condition of megastructures and the presentation of these massive and compact projects as megastructures is surely not precise, if not incorrect.

16 Babelnoah Arcology Project _Paolo Soleri, after 1964

Two elements are, from my point of view, basic to understand the possibilities that architects had to create megastructures instead of megaforms. The first one is the already explained of social movements placed in new free spaces. The second one is technology, which created all infrastructural conditions that now allow us to understand that it was possible to create a large scale actuation which contained the mentioned conditions of changeability and growth. From 1955, the year that Reyner Banham proclaimed the death of The Machine Aesthetic to 1960 we can see a clear evolution in the way of seeing relationships between technology and architecture. Reyner Banham was an absolute passionate of it, and in Stocktaking (1960) he talks about how even “basic” ideas like house, city or building could change. “It is no longer possible for architects to think of cities as collections of buildings with spaces between them, but as collections of buildings with streams of metallic objects flowing round them” This metallic objects, steel structures and new materials were not introduced in architecture for the first time only by architects. In this way, Banham talks about the work of Fuller and Jean Prouvé as examples of those who made closer the differences between architecture and engineering, causing the “impact of technological and scientific alternatives for the art of building.”

mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist”, bringing them closer to architecture in a new development of projects with the open elements of adaptability and changeability mentioned by Peter Hall in “Monumental Follies” (1968): “… They are autodestructive (important word that) and auto-renewing, through the agency of giant machines which perpetually roll up and down within them, ultimately controlled by giant computers.” This idea of understanding the project like a big machine constantly moving and changing had more to do with Cedric Price’s Fun Palace (1961). As it is said in the text by Mary Louise Lobsinger: “The Fun Palace was a proposal for an infinitely flexible, multi-programmed, twenty-four-hour entertainment center that marries communications technologies and industrial building components to produce a machine capable of adapting to the needs of users.” Technology and changeability are clearly together in a proposal that included that concept of disappearance previously mentioned by Banham. “Price claimed that a structure should stand only as long as it was socially useful. To ensure the temporality of the Fun Palace, Price assigned a ten-year life to its structural frame.” But returning again to “Megastructures”, the comparison that Banham makes with some proposals is not adequate. The example of Montreal’s Expo 67 of Moshe Safdie shoes us a project that, although mainlybuilt with prefabricated elements, did not have those elements of changeability and new open possibilities that make megastructures be something completely adaptable to the future. But even knowing that the number was increasing, only some architects or group of architects were in disposal of using those elements and systems that could allow completely adaptability. Peter Cook would talk about the obsolescence of some elements that after a certain time turns out to be “highly inefficient”. He would defend that “the idea of a non-permanent building has overtones of economy, austerity”. They are “monuments to the past” . Archigram (17) would dream with new cities where infrastructural networks extended in the city will be in harmony with surroundings; a network opened to new events. That is the case of projects like the “Instant City” or Plug-in City, which contained all elements, both social and technological, to be called a Megastructure.

“The profession tolerates a few peripheral radicals, whose ideas call the whole professional apparatus in question. Such a man is Buckminster Fuller…” This new open concept to new technologies and relations with other external fields is clear when we read the article about him in July 1956 by John McHale, mentioning the “change in the climate of ideas, not only in design”. What mostly interests to John McHale and the reason for this article in the Architectural Review are those changes that made possible the development of all this creations, being architecture and engineering together. Fuller posits the comprehensive designer “as an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor,

17 Oasis (Urban proposal. 1968) _Archigram


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PLan

Longitudinal section

Cross section

Growth development


MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE In 1970, Renzo Piano designed the Italian Pavillion for the exhibition Osaka’70, meeting there with Richard Rogers for the first time. The same year, they decide to participate in the international competition for the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (18), also commented by Banham, and with all intentions in Megastructures that we have commented. One can surely say that it is probably one of the only built megastructures. The architects projected a building which, not being especially big in its scale, contained all technology of the moment to create a completely freedom structure opened to any possible change. Although the purpose of the program was mainly public, it is not difficult to imagine it in a larger scale with other uses, from housing to open spaces.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: -Bernard Tschumi, “The Environmental Trigger”, in A Continuing Experiment: Learning and Teaching at the Architectural Association, edited by James Gowan (London: Architectural Association, 1975), 89-99 -Constant Nieuwenhuys, “Another City for Another Life” in Mark Wigley, Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (Rotterdam: Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, and 010 Publishers, 1998), 131-135 -Kenneth Frampton, Megaform as Urban Landscape, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, edited by University of Michigan, (A. Alfred Taubman college of Architecture + Urban Planning, 2000) -Mary Louise Lobsinger, “Cybernetic Theory and the Architecture of Performance” in Sarah Williams Goldhagen, and Réjean Legault, eds., Anxious Modernisms: Experimentation in Postwar Architectural Culture (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000), 119-140

18 Centre Pompidou, París _Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Gianfranco Franchini, 1970 Although many architects talked about megastructures as social systems where all continuous changes, mobility or transformations where included, their proposals were too rigid and formalist to be called like that. Many of these intentions were lost, creating compact formalizations that had more to do with megaforms than with megastructures. So, what’s happening in the process between megaforms and megastructures? The concept of “Megastructure” was conceived to allow people freedom and new ways of living the city. It is in itself a utopian conception of architecture, a point that architecture hardly reaches, due to it would imply being constantly in movement and change. It represents an idea and an ideal. How much a project can be closer to it does not only depend on architects but also on society, being responsible of their creation, development and also their possible destruction. In each case, the definition of possible ways of behavior is then basic to make people understand a new typology of project that is more conceived as a technological system than as a building, an infinite infrastructure that supports events and multiples relations. These rules are what will make the structure work in the way that society wants, so they should become part of architecture. Megastructures will then be responsible of joining society and technology in a complete and pure relation between people and machines. The future is clear. As much as technology is developed in time, more pure and perfect megastructures can be built. Is society ready now to create and maintain these systems? Probably not, but the unreachable condition of megastructures makes that in the route we could create some of the best and more interesting examples of architecture ever though. Megastructures become not only one of the aims of architecture, but probably the most desirable relation between architecture, technology and society in a proposition that includes all conditions in every moment.

-Peter Cook, “Editorial from Archigram 3”, in Archigram, edited by Peter Cook, (New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 16. -Reyner Banham, “Megastructure: Urban Futures of the Recent Past” (London: Thames and Hudson, 1976), pages 7-11, 196-216 -Reyner Banham, Stocktaking. In Architectural Review, January 1960 -Theodor Heuss, Hans Poelzig 1869-1936, architettura, Ed. Electa, Milano, 1991

Documenti

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-Yona Friedman, “Program of Mobile Urbanism”. In Architecture Culture 1943-1968: A documentary Anthology, edited by Joan Ockman with Edward Eigen (New York: Columbia Books of Architecture and Rizzoli, 1993), 274-275


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MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE

NON-PERMANENT micro

“The logical solution to the problem was to leave so much liberty for the self-housing and self-determining intentions of the inhabitants that they had liberty also to destroy the megastructure itself…” (Reyner Banham. Megastructure)

MEGA STRUCTURE

Screwed-on elements

I defend the changeability of the project, as a project that can be modify at any time in order to be adapted to new uses or necessities.

These dynamic concepts of development and construction imply time concepts: + If it works: quick, easy and economic construction. +If it does not work: quick, easy, economic and ecologic destruction.

Easily removed construction

PROTOCOL micro

FOR

MEGA STRUCTURE

1.

A PLACE

Adaptable façades

WAYS TO APPLY FOR

2.

RIGHTS TO USERS

-Possibility of having direct access to the structure with own connection. -Rules and forms will be at users’ disposal in the web page -Possible uses are available at the web www.micromega.com page www.micromega.com -At the same time, free manuals Some examples are given: Storage for will be given to new private uses, Community green spaces, neighborhoods that will be Tracking races, Playgrounds, Sunny integrated in the micromega spaces, Meeting places for community or net. private uses, Temporary galleries for local artists. -New buildings can use the micromega instead emergency stairs on facades. -Old buildings could replace existing emergency stairs connecting to the micromega.

3.

OBLIGATIONS FOR

USERS

-Every user has the obligation of taking care of the assigned part. Otherwise, the authorities have the right to remove all rights to the user. -In case a building agrees to use the micromegastructure, its rooftop will be for community use of the whole structure. -The existing street won’t be allowed to be privatized under any circumstance.

4.

IN CASE YOU DON’T

USE IT…

-You will have to notify to the authorities. They will make all arrangements in order to dismantle the part you used without any charges.


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General view

View from paths Frontal view

Aerial view


MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE


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MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE


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MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE


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MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MICROMEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE public housing in mumbai studio project instructor _ reinhold martin site _ mumbai, india objetives _ research about basic necessities in mumbai like general infrastructures, services and housing. The final goal is create a new typology of “infrastructural housing”

In Mumbai, slums are placed around relevant infrastructures. They are usually places not used due to they have many inconveniences, but in Mumbai it’s the only available space to be occupied.

ROADS AND SLUMS

TRAINS AND SLUMS

WATER AND SLUMS


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE Dharavi is the largest slum in Mumbai. Its analisys is especially relevant to understand the general situation of the entire city. The three main infrastructures are included in the formation of this area.


05 Three main intersections form the special points in the configuration of Dharavi. The influence of infrastructures is evidente in this points where the urban complexity is used to create a new space of opportunity. Housing and infrastructures are thought to coexist together using resources of the other to create a unique model of “infrastructural housing�. If one of the most important problems of mumbai is the abscense of surface to build, in this project housing will occupy free space of the city, with clear economic consequences.


DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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FROM DHARAVI TO THE DEVELOPMENT IN THE ENTIRE CITY


DESIGNING A MEGASTRUCTURE


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PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT 1. INFERIOR PLATFORM 2. VERTICAL STRUCTURE 3. HOUSING STRUCTURE 4. INFRASTRUCTURES AND GENERAL SERVICES 5. HORIZONTAL STRUCTURE 6. PUBLIC STREET 7. ROOFTOP 8. FACADE FORMATION

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FROM MEGAFORM TO MEGASTRUCTURE  

A research about the evolution from the concept of megaform to the idea of megastructure based on both design and theoretical practices.

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