Page 1

Martin K Baillie

Public Space in the Post Capitalist City


Martin K Baillie - 060003353 Material Unit 2011 / 2012

Masters Year Thesis Project

Public Space in the Post Capitalist City


Preface This document forms part of an investigation into the definition of public space in the contemporary city and the nature of its ownership and control.

The research and conclusions developed in this text are

explored in conjunction with a series of design exercises, considered in the context of the city of Perth. The role of public space in the city is a topical issue in the wider climate of economic downturn and political protest, as well as in the site specific context of Perth’s recently reinstated city status, and related discussion over the demolition or reuse of a number of the city’s significant former public buildings.

The legal disputes and

discussion over the Occupy protests, viewed alongside the congruous debate over the demolition of Perth City Hall, creates an intriguing and fluid backdrop for this research.

“To study architecture, you have to choose a city, that is, a place which offers the lesson of ‘totality’. In social terms, totality implies participation, in spatial terms it means context, and in temporal terms it demands re-use.” Christian Norberg-Schulz


Contents:

1-

Introduction.

2-

Despotic Economy; Polis to Urbs.

3-

Political Space in the contemporary city.

4-

Occupy Movement; lessons in appropriating space.

5-

Outlook Tower; Cultural Laboratory.

6-

Archipelago of Identity.

7-

Subversion of Consumerist Urbanism.

Atmosphere of Social Space.

8-

Programming Collective Structures.

9-

A place for democratic participation.

Despotic economy; The regime of commercial urbanism.

Public or Private? Providing Places for Protest.

Patrick Geddes; Nationalism, Regionalism and Localism.

Smithsons and De Carlo; Territories in the Cluster City.

Constant and the Situationists; Unitary Urbanism,

Cedric Price and Bernard Tschumi; Event Space.

Re-establishing Landmarks of Locality. Aureli; Instauratio Urbis, Latent Monuments.

10- Conclusion. 1 Place Specific-

Latent Communities.

2 Community Appropriation of Space.

3 Discourse, Debate, Dialogue and a Democratic means of Production.

4 Flexible, Adaptive Organic Structures.

11-

Project Method and Design Implementation

12-

Appendix: Project Development & Research

Perth Site Specific Network of Subversive Structures.

Catalogue of project development research and investigation.


1- Introduction.

democratic protest, civil disobedience and strike action, often highlight issues that went unnoticed during periods of growth.

Since the early 1980s the influence of large commercial organisations on our cities has increased exponentially. The UK government has relied on private capital to subsidise its investment, leading to the freemarketisation of development. This process of commercialisation has left everything from schools and hospitals, to the open spaces and streets in our cities under the influence and control of business and individual self-interest.

The privatisation of our urban environment

has increased the feeling of isolation and disconnection between the inhabitants of this environment and those whose interests control it. The very idea of society is under threat from this lack of common, collective space in our cities.

The individualistic consumer driven

economy envisaged by Margaret Thatcher, who in an interview in 1987 with ‘Woman’s Own’ magazine stated that “there is no such thing as society”1, has gone fundamentally unchallenged under successive Labour and Tory

The global ‘Occupy’ movement has highlighted the somewhat ambiguous nature of much of what is considered public space in the modern city, space that is often described as ‘public’ on glossy planning applications.

The

Occupy London Stock Exchange protest, when denied entry to the privately owned Paternoster Square, set up their protest camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral.

However this space is owned by the Church of England, which

considered threatening legal action to disperse the protest.

A similar

scenario has faced the Occupy movement in numerous cities around the world and gives rise to the question; where in the contemporary city is the public space so essential to the expression of democratic freedoms? In a recent article for the Guardian newspaper Rowan Moore discusses this rise of pseudo-public space, writing about the proposed ‘London

administrations at Westminster.

River Park’, designed by Gensler on behalf of asset management company

“Publicity is the culture of the consumer society. It propagates through

various tourist attractions along the Themes and is compared by Gensler

Venus.

images that society’s belief in itself.”

consumer

society

is

described

by

John

Berger

as

being

and our image orientated culture. This seems to have allowed consumerism to penetrate every aspect of our lives to such an extent that the public places within our urban environment have silently slipped from our The dream of a better life, disseminated by advertisement,

an idea which sustains enslavement to mortgage payments and monotonous jobs, is shattered during extended periods of recession such as the current global financial crisis. 1

As Moore points out however it is the

to create the illusion of public space.

controlled by the promise of a better life delivered through advertising

control.

to the High Line in New York.

latest in a series of private owned, profit making developments that serve

John Berger Capitalist

This proposal is presented as a public park that will link

Douglas Keay, Woman’s Own

The citizens’ response to these crises,

Along with Paternoster Square

other pseudo-public spaces in London have been exposed by the Occupy protesters, Broadgate and Canary Wharf obtained injunctions preventing public protests on their property.

As Moore points out some of these

spaces were former industrial sites with no public access, so their creation as pseudo-public space is of less concern.

However areas like

Paternoster Square and the Liverpool One development where formerly public streets have been sold and are now controlled by the private sector is, I would argue, of deep concern to democratic society. Although protected from most of the Westminster Government’s privatisation of public services and utilities, with Scottish Water, Scottish NHS

6


and education, protected by the devolved government in Edinburgh, the management of public space is similarly driven by commercialism in Scotland and in England.

Glasgow’s George Square is technically public

space, though it has been developed to allow its frequent rental to private businesses and organisations to run commercial events.

The

Occupy Glasgow protesters were removed from George Square due to the busy programme of events scheduled for the festive period, though arrangements were made for their move to Kelvingrove Park, out with the city centre. This ambiguity in our open public spaces is a serious threat to our asserted status as a free and fair participatory democracy.

Communities

must have a stake in their urban environment if they are to engage with it and each other in a meaningful manner.

Political space where people

can express their right to freedom of speech, and develop a sense of collective and community, is essential in the maintenance of society.

2- Despotic Economy; Polis to Urbs.

A place for democratic participation.

“As we see that every city is a society... and the society thereof a political society”2 Aristotle The influence of architecture on the establishment and politics of public space, its nature and control, is severely diminished in contemporary society.

Pier Vittorio Aureli argues that the primacy of urbanisation

and its proponent, capitalism, has led to our abandonment of the ideals of the city, which he sees as the principal cause of this erosion of the significance of architecture.3 The separation of the ‘political’ from much of our vocabulary of the city can be traced back to the Roman conquest of ancient Greece, the dominant Roman ideology is present in both the etymology of our vocabulary and the nature of our cities.

The Greek concept of cohabitation of place or

‘Polis’ is technè-politikè, the root of our word ‘politics’.

Politics

is therefore the relationship, or space, shared between individuals in cohabitation played out in the public realm or ‘agora’, as opposed to the ‘oikoi’ or private space of the home.

The contrast in governance and

behaviour appropriate within these two diametrically opposing spheres is stark, the communal, mutual coexistence of the Polis compared with the autocratic self interest which characterised the governance of family and slaves, the technè-oikonomikè from which we derive the word ‘economy’. As Aristotle explained; “Domestic government is a monarchy, for that is

what prevails in every house; but a political state is the government of free men and equals.”4

The struggle between public and private interests

is one which has been played out in every place of cohabitation. 2

Aristotle, Politics: A Treatise on Government, Book I, Chapter I

4

Aristotle, Politics: A Treatise on Government, Book I, Chapter VII

3

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 1

7


When individuals choose to coexist in a space there has to be compromise between self interest and the interest of the collective. The clear distinction of the city as political space in the Greek model can be seen in the Greek colonisation of the Mediterranean, where citizens of a polis would leave to found a new, independent political sphere in a new polis.5

This concept of city development alters radically with

the rise of Rome, the ultimate political heart of its conquests.

The

dichotomy of public and private interests is defined in the Roman city as

‘urbs’ and ‘civitas’.

The Latin definition of the city as urbs contrasts

with the Greek polis in that it refers to the material construction of the city and is created autonomously from any sense of community.

This

can also be seen in the method of founding new Roman cities from tabularasa, with all political rights and privileges subject to Rome.6

“The urbs, in contrast to the insular logic of the Greek polis, represents the expansionist and inclusive logic of the Roman territories.”7 The Romans political realm of the inhabitation of cities was linguistically and ideologically separated from the urbs however, ‘civitas’ the concept

whereas the Greek nomos acted more like a constitution that served as

Fabio Calvo, ‘Antiquae urbis Romae cum regionibus simulachrum’, 1527. The blank space in between monuments is more important than the monuments themselves. It alludes to the possibility of reimagining the totality of Rome starting with only the evidence of a few finite parts1. The map demonstrates the Instauratio Urbis strategy for the development of Rome based on its preexisting historic monuments employed as markers which define their ‘archipelago’ of urban space.

a framework to mediate political debate.

1 Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 99

of citizenship was of crucial importance, a right afforded to those deemed to be citizens under Roman law.

This law, lex, differed from that of the

Greek polis, ‘nomos’, as it was a political tool utilised within civitas Rome was primarily concerned

with the clear and efficient functioning of its cities, the urbs and the

infra, the ancillary space necessary for its existence, infrastructure. However the necessity for civitas, debate and discussion, the public and political life of the city was very much enshrined in their operation. Hannah Arendt describes the foundation of Roman political Authority 5

Arendt, H. Promise of Politics; The Tradition of Political Thought, pg 48

7

ibid. pg 6

6

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 4

8


as being conditional on the provision and maintenance of Religion and Tradition this permission for authority survived Rome’s demise in the preserve of the Catholic Church.8 It is with the fall of Rome and the subsequent rebirth of the Western city that the demands of economics, industrialisation and material progress eclipse the founding principal of classical cities as political entities. The fundamental concepts of architecture and the city as places of collective cohabitation were set against the demands of urbanisation as defined by Ildefons Cerdà in 1867 as an expandable and inclusive theory concerning the material fabric of dwelling.

“Since the genuine sense

of urbs referred principally to the material part of the grouping of buildings, for all matters referring to the inhabitants [the Romans] used the word civis”9 It is with Cerdà’s plan for Barcelona and popularisation of the concepts of urbanisation and suburbs that we see Aristotle’s technè-oikonomikè assert its dominance over the city as a place of collective cohabitation. Henri Lefebvre recognises this reality, defining the drive of industrial process as the predominant ‘political economy’ . This subjugation of the 10

city to marketisation and economic self interest continues to define the very nature of the contemporary city.

“...modern forms of governance

Ildefons Cerdà. Plan for Barcelona, 1860. Urbanisation overtakes the city as in colonial cities in the Americas, Cerdà’s plan tor Barcelona exemplified the role of urbanisation as the new form of biopolitical government. The plan prioritises urban Infrastructure over democratic public space. This urbanisation begins to advance the concept of recreational space as an alternative to political space.

consist in the absorption of the political dimension of coexistence (the city) within the economic logic of social management (urbanization).”11

8

Arendt, H. Promise of Politics; The Tradition of Political Thought, pg 49-51

10

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 80

9

11

Cerdà, I. The five bases of the General Theory of Urbanisation, pg 80 Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg x

9


3- Political Space in the contemporary city.

Despotic economy; The regime of commercial urbanism.

“The growing pressures to concentrate use, to assemble ever larger sites, to erode the public realm are driven by economic development, and architects are usually left to interpret and facilitate decisions that have been taken at a much earlier stage of the process, decisions that architects and planners are rarely party to.”12 Adam Caruso The commercial development framework that defines the nature and control of our contemporary cities was unleashed by the deregulation of the financial markets and stock exchange by Margaret Thatcher’s government in the early 1980s.

Known as the ‘Big Bang’, due to the profound impact

it had on the culture and operation of financial institutions, this policy of deregulation served to create the freely available credit needed to fund a booming property market.

Basing the economy on ever

rising property value instigated wholesale change in the way cities were developed and subjected them to the ambitions of those who were driving this development.

The Corporate Architecture re-branding of development

extended to the language used to market the process, redevelopment was now

Paternoster Square, London. Owned by the Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd., gives the clear impression of public space, with its arcade lined frontages to the surrounding buildings and a central obelisk giving the impression of a public monument.

known as ‘regeneration’ from the Latin ‘regeneratio’ meaning rebirth.13 Thatcher’s early policies of deregulation and free-marketisation also underpinned New Labour’s approach to both the city and the economy, the use of Public Private Partnerships and the American policy of ‘Leverage’ employed public funding to draw private investment into a designated area with the aim of increasing property value.

This approach was

pioneered at the London Docklands development in the 1980s, a project that has served as the blueprint for commercial development ever since. ‘Leverage’ of investment is one of the key components of the neo-liberal 12 13

Caruso, A. The Feeling of Things. pg 37 Minton, A. Ground Control. pg 5

10


capitalist ‘trickle down’ theory, which attempts to rationalise how the public at large benefit from private profit through property price rises. Private capital was not just to be lured in by the allocation of public funds however, a policy framework had to be created that allowed for these schemes to go ahead in a decisive manner.

This was done through

the establishment of ‘quangos’ (Quasi non-governmental organisations) such as the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) via an Act of Parliament in 1980.

The UDCs were funded by the taxpayer and had economic and

planning powers to grant planning permissions with no involvement from the democratically elected Local Council14.

Along side this, these

development bodies were to conduct ‘land assembly’ by means of ‘compulsory purchase orders’, a process attacked by Adam Caruso in his essay ‘The Emotional City’; “land assembly, one of the most direct and destructive

manifestations of the current economic regime on the city.”15 It is the undemocratic powers of the UDCs that allowed for business districts such as Broadgate, Docklands and Canary Wharf to be created.

Blueprint Magazine highlight the limitations on open spaces in London as part of a campaign to encourage Boris Johnson to remove the rules and regulations on pseudo-public spaces.

The land assembly allowed vast tracts of our cities to be transformed into cities within cities, privately owned, controlled and policed. The trend for out of town retail developments has now declined however property developers have more recently used land assembly to privatise large areas of city centres, places such as Liverpool One and Westfield London that Anna Minton asserts represent “what is increasingly common

the creation of open-air property complexes which also own and control the streets, squares and open spaces of the city.”16

Minton further

contends that this ownership model of city space is regressing 150 years of the progress of local democracy.

In the early 1800s ownership

of cities rested largely with the aristocracy and private landlords, these individuals ran their neighbourhoods as they saw fit controlling 14

Thornley, A. Urban Planning Under Thatcherism. pg 126,165-169

16

Minton, A. Ground Control. pg 15

15

Caruso, A. The Feeling of Things. pg 38

11


its access, society and character.

Despite the feudal nature of this

arrangement these individuals were often far more concerned with the long term development than many property speculators are today.

The use on

these gated estates of private uniformed security personnel mirrors that of contemporary developments.

However growing public opposition and the

establishment of local government led to two parliamentary inquiries by 1864-5 and the passing to public control of 163 miles of road and the removal of 140 tolls.17

The Victorian era victory of public space and

local democracy has been under attack by successive UK governments with very little meaningful opposition.

“Do not be fooled by,... the well maintained squares, the lunch time activities, these developments constitute a serious erosion of democracy and of the public realm.”18 The powers of compulsory purchase were increased substantially by the New Labour UK government in 2004.

The process of land assembly through

Private police forces are operated by pseudo public spaces such as Canary Wharf, ensuring the level of public activity permitted remains strictly controlled and the ‘Clean and Safe’ commercial environment is maintained.

compulsory purchase had been required to demonstrate the ‘public benefit’ of a project, by altering the definition of ‘public benefit’ a far greater emphasis was placed on the economic case as opposed to the benefit for society or local community.19

This further concession to the despotic

economy fuelled a drive to “Improve Trading Environments”, “Reclaim the Public Realm” and for “Clean and Safe” places, broad, positive and seemingly uncontroversial statements that everyone can agree with. These were the mantra’s of the ‘Business Improvement Districts’ imported from America by New Labour as successors to the UDCs.

Labour and their

BID’s insistence on treating cities as commercial spaces to be kept clean and tidy and conducive to enterprise further eroded democratic public space by transferring it into a managerial culture of risk minimisation and profit maximisation.

Like nowhere else in the World the UK has

17

Minton, A. Ground Control. pg 20

19

Minton, A. Ground Control. pg 22

18

Caruso, A. The Feeling of Things. pg 39

12


embraced a surveillance culture of fear and suspicion, with more CCTV cameras monitoring our behaviour than in the whole of Europe combined.20 This surveillance is often monitored, not by the police but by private security and is part of the asserted desire to “Reclaim the Public Realm”, but as Minton explains the public in question is the ABC1s, or wealthier citizens with money to spend.

Other elements of society

such as the homeless, youths, skateboarders, political protestors and performers are all strictly controlled or discouraged.

“Like No-Stop City, the actual modern city has become a shopping mall, where value-free pluralism and diversity - the totalising features of its space - have made urbanisation the perfect space of mass voluntary servitude to the apolitical democracy imposed by the market.”21 Numerous investigations exploring interactions between communities and public space have been published by social policy research and development charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

One of the most important

factors in the public perception of public space was found to be the ability to “do nothing” in a place free from interference and regulation.

Archizoom, No-Stop City, 1968-1972. Urbanization Imagined as the superimposition of three main urban paradigms: the factory (production) the supermarket (consumption), and the parking lot (living).

“Towns need to establish places where activities can take place and groups can go where they will feel secure and free – including places for young people, people who want to drink and homeless people. It is important to question whether it is better to have spaces with people who are ‘doing nothing’ than spaces that are ‘doing nothing’”22

20

Minton, A. Ground Control. pg 47

22

JRF. Social Interactions in Urban Public Places. pg xxi

21

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 20

13


The idea of ‘regulation’ and control of our society has enormous influence on our architecture and urban planning and manifests itself in our indiscriminate proliferation of CCTV and signage.

Roads, buildings

and streets in the UK are littered with signs that tell us of potential hazards and of limitations on our behaviour which contrasts dramatically with the more self-regulated approach to urban space seen across Europe. The Moabit residential area in Berlin maintains a feeling of community and a human scale environment through the use of tree lined streets, changing texture of the cobbled streets demarking pedestrian and vehicular crossing points and the densification of vacant plots with trees which create pocket parks in the urban grid.

These features serve to create a

self-regulating environment where people are more aware of risks due to their exposure to them whereas an overprotective nanny state creates the culture of blame and abdication of personal and social responsibility the UK seems intent on importing from America.

Anna Minton recalls

a meeting with a Business Improvement District manager who described their approach to public space “We do audition our buskers and we even

let Scots pipers in.. We prefer planned creativity. There’s a trade off between public safety and spontaneity.” Echoing John Berger’s criticism of our image dominated society Henri Lefebvre contends that this reliance on the visual leads to the artificial

Moabit Residential area in Berlin (above) uses trees and green space to densify gap sites and make distinctions between pedestrian and vehicle routes. The use of ground textures, unmarked and mono-level junction areas control traffic speed creating a semi pedestrianised atmosphere in which the increased risk is sufficient to influence the attitude of drivers and pedestrians without the need for hazard signs, traffic lights or CCTV.

illusion of public space described by Anna Minton; “Sight and seeing,

which in the Western tradition once epitomised intelligibility, have turned into a trap: the means whereby, in social space, diversity may be simulated”23

These simulated places, Lefebvre predicted, would be

repeated endlessly , packaged as a product to be marketed at the citizen consumer creating near identical units of place.

Minton references

the writings of Lefebvre while making her case that the development of our cities and streets as commercial areas, controlled by private organisations and business leaders, is anti democratic and leads to the erosion of the concept and fabric of our cities. 23

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 76

14


“This blurring of democratic accountability is as confusing as the status of today’s new type of public space, open to the public, but only on certain conditions.”24 Although remaining relatively small and uncommercial Perth has recently been engaged in a successful bid to be recognised as an official city. The citizens and their representatives already viewed Perth as a city and this dichotomy of reality and perception has led to some rather detrimental development decisions.

A particularly pertinent example is

the proposed creation of a new civic square, requiring the demolition of the now redundant Perth City Hall.

The removal of the Category B listed

building, constructed in 1911 and which had been at the heart of civic life in Perth until its closure in 2005, is controversial in itself. However the council’s plan to replace it with a ‘piazza’ representative of the pseudo public space discussed by Anna Minton is arguably more questionable. As can be seen from the promotional material, the developers present an idealised, sterile and generic representation of what this space will be like, completely alien to the character and scale of Perth. As argued by Aureli and Minton this form of recreational space is motivated by commercial interest, the council talk of the improvement to businesses the space will provide, clearly establishing the role of the ‘piazza’ in bringing in people with money to spend and encouraging their role as passive consumer.

The council reference George Square in

Glasgow as a model for the events based, stage managed, public square they wish to create.

Of course these events will be commercial in

nature and represent an expansion of the shopping mall approach to the city, with activities or individuals deemed to be detrimental to the ‘Clean and Safe’ commercial environment excluded from this definition of ‘public’.

Referencing Berlin’s Moabit Residential area, the proposed public node centred around the former St Paul’s Kirk in Perth utilises the subtle means of influencing citizens to respect the changing atmosphere of their urban environment. The use of multiple, rough ground textures at the unmarked and mono-level junction regulates traffic speed, fostering a semi pedestrianised atmosphere in which the increased perception of risk engenders a cautious attitude in drivers and pedestrians. This allows for a genuine ‘shared space’ where all citizens participate in a self regulated communal place.

The activities envisioned for the square by Perth Council are

infrequent commercial events which are organised and controlled by the 24

Minton, A. Ground Control. pg 56

15


private companies who rent the space.

Although a more moderated form

of public/private control than the outright private ownership of space in London, Liverpool and Manchester discussed by Minton, this system however represents the ordinary citizen’s gradual loss of control of the public realm. These managed public squares represent an erosion of the political nature of the city as a place of urban cohabitation and cooperation.

Do these civic spaces provide our society with sufficient

public freedoms?

Promotional image for the proposed new public ‘piazza’ in Perth, requiring the demolition of City Hall. A generic continuation of the ‘shopping mall’ environment aimed at the passive citizen consumer.

16


4- Occupy Movement; lessons in appropriating space.

Public or Private? Providing Places for Protest.

“the notion of urbanisation presupposes the fundamental substitution of politics with economics as a mode of city governance to the point that today it is reasonable - almost banal - to ask not what kind of political power is governing us, but whether we are governed by politics at all that is, whether we are living under a totalitarian managerial process based on economy”25 Pier Vittorio Aureli The Occupy movement has brought the issues of ownership of public space and our right to political expression into the public consciousness to some degree.

The media attention surrounding the attempt to occupy

Paternoster Square outside the London Stock Exchange and subsequent appropriation of the space outside St Paul’s Cathedral gave prominence to the debate over our right to political protest and the ownership of land.

As analysed in the work of Anna Minton and discussed previously

Paternoster Square is emblematic of the pseudo public space the pervades

Paternoster Square entirely sealed off by security fencing, apologising for the inconvenience caused by the nearby political protest of the Occupy Movement.

the capitalist city, an open space in the city with all the hallmarks of a contemporary public square.

However when confronted with one of

the fundamental principals of citizenship, the right to free assembly and political protest in the urban environment, a right enshrined in the origin of the word ‘politics’, the true nature of this space as a privately owned corporate concern of Japanese real estate giant Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd., is exposed. Occupy

protests

in

Scotland

faced

considerably

less

resistance

in

selecting and maintaining sites for their initial occupations with Glasgow’s George Square and Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s Square being the 25

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 11 + 13

17


property of the respective local councils.

However the arms length

private company charged by Glasgow City Council with organising the civic and commercial activities which take place in the square required the removal of protestors in time for its busy and lucrative programme of winter events.

Although Glasgow City Council showed a willingness

to negotiate with the protestors their solution of providing facilities for the protestors at Kelvingrove Park, well outside the city centre, seriously reduced the visibility and effectiveness of the occupation. The declining influence and visibility of the Glasgow protest ended with the Kelvingrove site abandoned on the 10th of December 2011. Regardless of the wider aims of the Occupy Movement it has established a framework for Participatory Democracy in the context of mass public assemblies.

This process aims to work to a consensus of participants

through negotiation and individual contributions. The movement reference the Quakers religious society as well as the ancient Greek democratic city states as inspiration for their participatory approach.

The consensual

structure has perhaps led to some of the criticism of the protest in

Police enforce the revoking of public access rights, granted by court injunction, to Paternoster Square and the surrounding streets.

terms of the clarity and achievability of its goals however it does give individual members a feeling of ownership over the agenda and involvement in its decision making.

After being denied the right to protest in

Paternoster Square the Occupy movement have won a number of significant victories, firstly media and public attention forced the Church of England to withdraw its legal bid to evict the camp following the resignation of canon chancellor Dr Giles Fraser.

The Corporation of London backed

down from their initial legal challenge, negotiating with the protestors and agreeing a time frame for the protest.

That period ended on the

28th of February 2012 bringing the four and a half month occupation to an end, with the camps eviction by Police.

It is unlikely the protest

will have any lasting impact on either the policies of the UK government towards the dominance of the banking industry and its bonus culture or on the right of citizens to protest.

However the occupation has certainly

18


clarified the level of public access afforded in privately owned civic space, with numerous urban spaces around England successfully gaining court injunctions preventing public assembly, Canary Wharf being a high profile example.26

Reaction from the political establishment along with

the success of High Court Injunctions in preventing further occupations suggests citizens may find it more difficult to hold similar rallies in the future.

Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster

constituency, Mark Field, was quoted by the BBC after the eviction of the protestors from St Paul’s, stating: “I’m not sure there will be any

distinct legacy left by the camp. And the Corporation of London needs to work with other landowners in the City of London to see that we don’t see any repeat of this sort of protest in the Square Mile.”27

26 27

BBC News: St Paul’s protest ‘can stay until new year’

Cacciottolo, Mario. BBC News Occupy London: What did the St Paul’s protest achieve?

Counter Forms “All that is solid melts into air; all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” Karl Marx An Urban Exercise involving residual space and visual thinking, resulting in a series of site specific, studio interventions of counter forms was produced in response to the Occupy protest. Proposals for the occupation of sites around Perth, beginning with the imagined occupation of City Hall, were investigated in reaction to the council’s demolition plans for the building. The worldwide ‘Occupy’ protest has demonstrated the lack of political space in our urban environments and serves as a case study for the transformation and appropriation of space. The appropriation and reuse of redundant public buildings became the basis for exploring an alternative form of democratic, participatory public collective space.

19


5- Outlook Tower; Cultural Laboratory.

Patrick Geddes; Nationalism, Regionalism and Localism.

The work of Patrick Geddes in addressing the social deprivation, societal inequality and cultural development of the late 1800s is eerily relevant to the regression of political and collective spaces in the today’s volatile society. Geddes exploration of nationalism, regionalism and localism in developing his Outlook Tower as a sociological laboratory, provides an interesting precedent with which to examine the idea of ‘political’ architecture and the meaning of public space.

The work of

Geddes was primarily focused on understanding and quantifying societal evolution of what he described as the great social machine. He strived to educate the masses in order to improve their conditions, both physically and mentally, through a method of generalism in education developed through the Outlook Towers, Halls of Residence in Edinburgh and the reestablishment of the Franco-Scots College within the University of Paris. On one of his foreign tours, a visit to Dublin, he became interested in Parnell’s Irish Home Rule Party and the idea of using nationalism as a driver for social change through the emotional investment and commitment it engendered among the populace28.

The Celtic culture that

underpinned this nationalism was of particular interest to Geddes who experienced a similar Celtic revivalist nationalism on a visit to the first college of the University Colleges of Wales, Aberystwyth.

This

University engendered “it’s own organic relationship with the Welsh

people and their social culture”29, which is something Geddes wished to emulate through his work by exploiting the “crucial connection between

nationalism, cultural identity and social endeavour.”30

Scotland at the

time was a nation divided between Gaelic Highland and English Lowland 28

Meller, Helen.

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 63

30

Meller, Helen.

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 63

29

Morgan, Kenneth. Rebirth of a Nation: Wales pg 106

Patrick Geddes’ Outlook Tower in Edinburgh, est 1892, as “the world’s first sociological laboratory” reconnecting Folk, Work and Place.

20


and further between the forward looking industrial giant of Glasgow in the West and the conservative and preservationist Edinburgh in the East. Finding Edinburgh lacking the Celtic revivalism experienced in Ireland and Wales, in the 1890s Geddes “more than any other individual, managed

to create a sense of Scottish nationalism, which he wished to use in the cause of promoting higher levels of social evolution.”31 Although keenly interested in the cultural value of nationalism and other political movements, and just as keenly opposed to the political views advocated by the Fabian Society, Geddes did not believe that central government could influence or cultivate the relationship between individual and environment.

This relationship between people and place

was central to Geddes’ philosophy of localism, social evolution and the evolution of cities themselves.

However this attempt to operate outwith

the contemporary political debate isolated his work from the political arena where large scale societal change was ultimately to take place.32 His projects in Edinburgh started out as an attempt to overcome extreme dilapidation in the old town, carrying out repairs, clearing land for gardens and attempting to beautify closes and common areas, however Geddes soon became involved with centralised charities in the city and began to acquire property.

As well as living amongst the poor himself,

his properties served as student residences for Edinburgh University, encouraging engagement with the real issues facing people living in poverty.

By living with the people Geddes hoped to foster a sense

of community and engagement with place which he felt were crucial to societal evolution. Geddes described the Outlook Tower, in 1899, as “the world’s first

sociological laboratory”, the project was at the centre of his efforts to improve and understand the city of Edinburgh and its people through direct engagement with place. 31

Meller, Helen.

Originally opened to the public as an

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 65

32 Gilbert, Bentley. The Evolution of National Insurance in Great Britain: the Origins of the Welfare State. pg 21-58

St Paul’s Kirk in Perth previously served the local communion, providing a strong focal point for the community and acting as a prominent marker, or landmark, for the locality. Incorporating Geddes’ Outlook Tower programme the building has the capacity to reestablish the locality’s sense of community and identity and provide an active and engaging social space for the public.

21


observatory in 1856 by Maria Short, Geddes acquired the building, at the top of the Royal Mile, in 1892 and began to transform it into and educational public encyclopedia. Organised in a way that highlighted the immediate surroundings’ intimate relationship with the wider environment of Region and Nation, Continent and Globe. Geddes described this as his Philosophy of Civics “reintegration with the results of other studies,

into the geographic and social whole, the regional and civic unity before us.”33

The Camera Obscura at the Outlook Tower was part of

the building’s previous incarnation as Short’s Observatory but Geddes saw it as central to the work of the Outlook Tower as it “harmonises

the striking landscape, near and far”34 it also served to demonstrate Geddes’ ‘in-world’ and ‘out-world’ allowing the consideration of the city directly from the ‘Prospect’ terrace and also to internalise this and contrast it with the isolated view of the city given by the Camera Obscura. Floors bellow were dedicated to the city of Edinburgh and to the Scottish Nation. Bellow this a floor documenting Language as an identity,

Camera Obscura

“being here taken as a more sociological and social unity”35 The remaining

As part of a site specific investigation of Perth the use of a Geddes inspired Camera Obscura allowed the local community to be engaged with issues concerning the development of their urban space. Employing Geddes theories on ‘In-world’ and ‘Out-world’ this was a method of allowing the citizens to observe and interact with their surroundings. The portable Pin-Hole projector was used by members of the community as an interactive instrument, providing interested parties with a unique way to view, experience and record the build environment. The use of the instrument in and around the city centre of Perth allowed for the establishment of the role of ‘Architectural Activist’, interacting directly with people and place. The appearance of an unusual box structure in their urban space prompted passers by to stop and engage, and establishes a basis for a dialogue concerning their thoughts on their urban environment and its development. Operating the Pin-Hole camera at strategic flashpoints of community controversy, such as the derelict St Paul’s Kirk, or the redundant Perth City Hall, allowed citizens to fully engage with the existing urban condition and allowed them to make observations and ultimately contribute to these spaces curation as fragments of the city’s cultural narrative.

two levels were comprised of exhibitions demonstrating Edinburgh’s place in the wider European continent and globally. The building itself and its programme were never intended as an outcome but as a tool for the development of a “Encyclopaedia Civica of the

future” which Geddes believed would act as an interactive, living educational tool to connect people with place. “For this must include at

once the scientific and, as far as may be, the artistic presentment of the city’s life : it must base upon these an interpretation of the city’s course of evolution in the present : it must increasingly forecast its future possibilities; and thus it may arouse and educate citizenship, by organising endeavours towards realising some of these worthy ends.”36

33

Geddes, Patrick. Cities in Evolution. pg 323

35

Geddes, Patrick. Cities in Evolution. pg 325

34 36

Geddes, Patrick. Cities in Evolution. pg 321 Geddes, Patrick. Cities in Evolution. pg 320-321

22


Citizenship as a concept became central to Geddes’ social projects,

a greater level of participation among the working classes he attempted

the code of moral obligations which could harmonise individuals in a

to assist had he been more forthright about the political nature of his

collective identity, something which, in a pre-urban environment, would

activities.

have been provided by loyalty to a clan or tribe.

The programme devised

by Geddes for his Outlook Tower as a new form of Museum intended to provoke a desire for communities to take responsibility for their own futures by allowing a participatory engagement with the Museum, and ultimately achieving a cohesion of people and place. Geddes then “wanted

to change the whole cultural context of the city by promoting new social relationships through practical activities”37 and in doing so deepen the community’s experience of their local region.

Along side citizenship

Geddes saw the ‘Celtic Revival’, seen in Ireland and Wales, and the sense of Scottish nationalism he had begun to foster through publications such as his Evergreen Northern as underlining the significance of an understanding of place to society.

“The degree of civilisation to

which any nation, city or province has attained is best shown by the character of its public museums, and the liberality with which they are maintained.”38 Despite his projects and writings dealing frequently with issues such as

citizenship,

nationalism,

economics

and

society

Geddes

remained

resolutely apolitical. This is partly explained by his Localism, through which he views these wider cultural issues.

Geddes’ Valley Section (above) demonstrated the link between Place, Work and Folk. This relationship was a key influence on latter architects such as Peter & Alison Smithson and their Team 10 group. Occupations which connect the workers to their site specific place creates a sense of rooted community. A productive, formal public space could achieve this settled sense of community (bellow) by creating place specific cooperative communities, in control of the means of production.

His development of a civic

nationalism was founded in the perception of place as being the generator of national identity, and the advancement of culture reinforcing that identity.

His ultimate progression of the Outlook Tower concept was

termed ‘The Index Museum’, a structure “not dedicated to the commercial

enterprise”, but able “to generate ideas about how to achieve peaceful economic and social progress”39, these objectives are overtly political whether Geddes acknowledged this or not.

Further, Geddes projects could

have been perceived as being more radical and perhaps have instigated 37

Meller, Helen.

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 90

39

Meller, Helen.

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 115

38

Meller, Helen.

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 107

23


6- Archipelago of Identity.

Smithsons and De Carlo; Territories in the Cluster City.

Geddes’ social agenda and Localism greatly influenced Peter and Alison Smithson’s description of the points of interchange within their ‘Cluster’ city methodology.

These places for “nodal events” in a “connective

network”40 form part of a localised system of urban development and were intended to enhance the connection between people and place.

The

Smithsons utilised Geddes’ valley section diagram in developing Team 10’s Doorn Manifesto.

This manifesto was critical of the post war modernist

urbanism, which although recognising the need for manageable districts within an urban plan failed to connect these adequately to their place. The Doorn Manifesto asserted that in order to “comprehend the pattern of

human associations we must consider every community in its particular environment.”41

The valley section illustrates the Smithsons’ interest

in scales of association within the communities of village, town, city and their relationship to place.

The Smithsons’ Geddesian approach

to social studies and exploration of community association led to the development of their ‘Cluster’ diagram in order to break down urban

The Smithsons developed their ‘Scales of Association’ diagram (above) with inspiration from Geddes’ Valley Section. The ‘Urban re-identification’ diagram 1952, (below) demonstrates the principles behind the Smithsons’ Cluster approach to urban development.

schemes into clusters of manageable scale in terms of social association. The development of the term ‘Cluster’ is described as “The search for

groupings answering patterns of association, patterns of movement; able to give identity, responsive to place, to topography, to local climate.”42 The key to this strategy which, the Smithsons contend, was neglected by the CIAM inspired modernist new towns was ‘Identity’ which they describe as the “missing quality, essential to man’s sense of well-being”43

The

term Cluster then proposes a system where community is fostered and maintained through a ‘hierarchy of associational elements’.

The public

space necessary to create a ‘cognitive society’ within the Smithsons’ 40

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Urbanism. pg 78

42

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Urbanism. pg 19

41 43

Smithson, Alison. (ed) Team 10 Primer. pg 75

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Urbanism. pg 24

24


city of clusters is described as calm, empty and urbane.

Large open

spaces are seen as an intrinsic embodiment of a “revolt against the

norm of speculative development”44, publicly appropriated space within the city preventing the densification made necessary by the economic regime.

The Smithsons argue that the ‘holes’ or gap sites found in

post industrial cities should be claimed by the city and offered to its citizens as usable, connective green space. Der Berlinerbaum park in Berlin.

45

In their 1980 project for

the Smithsons proposed a ‘built’ tree for Tiergarten This structure, along with a proposed ‘ruin’ in its

shadow, served as a marker that created a sphere of influence giving identity to its place.

The proposal created an events space, with the

constructed tree producing mist, smoke and light to enhance the sense of wonder in the ruin’s relationship to the sky. Giving identity to place specific territories was a theme explored through Team 10 meetings at which the Smithsons came into contact with Italian architect Giancarlo De Carlo, as well other like minded architects such as Aldo van Eyck and Shadrach Woods.

The Smithsons’ 1980 project for Der Berlinerbaum in Tiergarten, Berlin.

De Carlo defined himself by his

resistance, beginning with literal resistance to Mussolini’s Fascism and continuing through his anti establishment activities, his “opposition

to the static, dominant blocks in society.”46

His belief was that

architecture needs to be freed from the demands of power and for it to be given “an immediacy of representation and expression”47.

De Carlo

believed in the architect as instigator of social change analogous to the principles of Geddes.

Although questioning the vain ambition for

conventional architecture to change society De Carlo concludes that this

“doesn’t make vain the ambition for society to be transformed”48.

44

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Urbanism. pg 52

46

McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 168

45 47 48

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Architecture. pg 468-470 McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 168 McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 168

25


The architect’s primary act of resistance, according to De Carlo, begins with the enlisting of the vernacular.

A central theme in the

work of De Carlo is territory, reminiscent of Geddes’ Localism and the Smithsons’ Cluster city concept.

Through this territorial approach

“small articulations can allow large transformations”49, interest in the city is found in a neighbourhood, a street or a building, in whatever

“manages to escape from controls, from these rules of reductive order”50. De

Carlo’s

subversive

attitude

to

community

engagement

embraces

confrontation, where differences of opinion are employed as a motive for discussion, a motive that extends to his goal “of designing spaces

which stimulate social behaviours”51, spaces which foster “the creative energies of the expansion of democracy, of community participation”52. Comparable to Geddes rejection of political power structures, De Carlo refused to collaborate with the post war Italian politics of governance, however this rejection did not make De Carlo apolitical, as it did with Geddes, on the contrary politics was central to De Carlo’s activities but always outwith the mainstream, a perennial part of the resistance. In attempting to stimulate democratic expansion and community participation De Carlo asserted “architecture can be more

De Carlo confronting artists and designers protesting outside his exhibition at the Triennale of Milan in 1968

effective than other activities in developing this sort of action, the problem comes back to the one of changing architecture.

Which in

its turn implies that the more architects are politically concerned, the more they ought to be competent in mastering the means which are specific to architecture.”53 De Carlo focused his attention on the field of education, both through his establishment of the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design, ILAUD and through various designs produced for 49

McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 170

51

McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 170

50 52 53

McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 170 McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 169 McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 170

26


educational buildings.

Building on the theme of territory and locality

as well as community engagement De Carlo’s proposal for the Dublin University masterplan consisted of dispersed educational ‘condensers’,

“nuclei within the urban texture”54.

Loosing out on this competition

he applied the same principles to university masterplans at Siena, Urbino and Catania while also utilising these structures to enhance the urban fabric and heritage of place.

The structures and spaces

proposed by De Carlo all furthered the aim of politicising communities and individuals, engaging them with education and the territories they occupy, “to organise and shape space for use, to consign it to individual

and collective experience, ... until at a certain point it begins to design and redesign itself”55

54 55

McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 172 McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 173

Studio Practice “the model that seemed to work was to take something that seemed to be public space, reclaim it, and build up an organization headquarters around that from which you can begin doing other things.” David Graeber This Urban Exercise concerned place making, establishing territory as an architect in residence. Establishing a role as Architectural Activist at the Seed Merchant Warehouse on South Methven Street required an installation that allowed for engagement with the local community. A temporary and transportable Urban Allotment was created for this purpose which acted as a laboratory for participatory urban investigation. As a symbol of commercialist and retail driven society, freely available recycled pallets provided the necessary material for the intervention. These pallets were used to construct an entirely transient urban allotment capable of a nomadic appropriation of unoccupied sites within an urban area. These community allotments served to bring private space temporarily into the public realm, engaging people in the upkeep and maintenance of their appropriated space. The direct action and utilisation of gap sites references the work of De Carlo and the Smithsons.

27


De Carlo’s masterplan for the San Giuliano housing scheme in Rimini (above left)makes use of a network of Constructivist ‘Social Condensers’, intensifying the activity and significance of their established locality while contributing to the wider area through the network. Proposed public ‘Social Condensers’ in Perth (below left) explore a similar strategy.

28


7- Subversion of Consumerist Urbanism.

Constant and the Situationists; Unitary Urbanism, Atmosphere of Social Space.

“Let us take a closer look at this concept of ‘social space’. Historically,

the street was more than a mere traffic artery.

Its additional function,

which may even have been more important than its role as thoroughfare, was a collective living space where all the public events - markets, festivals, fairs, political demonstrations - took place, as well as encounters and contacts between smaller numbers of individuals, in short, all those activities that do not belong to the more intimate private domain. ... The tremendous increase in traffic robbed the street of this social function.”56 A congruous radical resistance and social agenda to that of De Carlo can be seen in the activities of the Situationists International, of which Constant Nieuwenhuys was a founding member.

The urbanist ideas

of the Smithsons and De Carlo were transmitted to Constant by Aldo Van Eyck, influencing his work on the New Babylon project.

New Babylon was

intended to confront the mainstream forces of urbanism but it was also a ‘real’ proposal, shown in context, offering “the emergence of an other

man, of a new way of living in community, in society.”57

It acknowledges

and engages with the wider powers that shape our places, our outlook;

“with politics, with the values and instruments that we forge for our

New Babylon Den Haag shows an elevated network of social space rising above our redundant industrial cities, grounding Constant’s scheme in a real world location.

interaction with the world.”58 The critique of urbanism and the contemporary city developed in the New Babylon project began with Constants association with Van Eyck, and through him various prestigious architectural groups such as De 8 in Amsterdam and with CIAM and Team 10. His interest in cross disciplinary work, and 56

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 134

58

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 5

57

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 5

29


in particular with the architectural profession led to the development of his urban theories in conjunction with the Situationists International, along with Guy Debord.

Constant encountered the urban ideas of the

Smithsons through Van Eyck and his involvement in the Team 10 Doorn Manifesto.

The influence of projects used by the Smithsons in developing

their ‘Cluster’ approach to the city, such as Golden Lane Housing in London, and the proposal for the reconstruction of Berlin Hauptstadt, can clearly be seen in Constant’s New Babylon design.

Assimilating the

architectural influences gleaned from his collaboration with Van Eyck, Constant was instrumental in developing the founding principle of the Situationists International, the idea of ‘unitary urbanism’.

This urban

theory was intended to serve as “a subversion of conventional urban

planning”, which was “set in motion by their infamous dérive, the roaming drift that undermines the structure of the city by locating transient atmospheres outside the control of any centralised authority or dominant economic force.”59

Once identified these atmospheres could be manipulated

to form the basis of political action, a premise given form in Constant’s New Babylon project.

The concept of unitary urbanism, and its inherent

critique of the capitalist city, was well formed and coherent however the psychogeography described by the Situationists International proposed

“the construction of ambiences, behaviour and architecture” upon which

View of New Babylonian Sectors showing the adaptable and improvised, ad hoc construction capable of being reconfigured and extended by its inhabitants.

the group had difficulty forming a consensus. Unitary urbanism made a criticism of the contemporary capitalist city in the 1950s essentially very similar to that made in more recent works by Manfredo Tafuri, Lefebvre, Aureli and Minton, discussed previously. Constant attacked town planning urbanism for playing a key role in the

“cultural crisis” which he saw as characteristic of his time, to the extent that he “would even go so far as to claim that the continued

existence of culture currently depends on a revolutionary intervention

59

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 12

30


in our everyday environment and in our way of life.”60

Continuing his

condemnation of commercial urban planning Constant identifies identity, creativity and culture as areas ignored or suppressed by Le Corbusier and CIAM’s Athens Charter.

Viewing the city as a commercial machine for

living, working, transport and recreation as envisaged by CIAM, Constant contends is “to blame for the failure of the modern city as a human

habitat, for the disappearance of a social space in which new culture could arise.”61

Social space and the facilitation of an alternative

reality are the central tenants of Constant’s unitary urbanism, creating a unity of lifestyle and environment.

The way in which social space

is harnessed by unitary urbanism implies its definition as a political space as outlined by Hannah Arendt; “Politics arises between men, and so

quite outside of man... Politics arises in what lies between men and is established as relationships”62. Constant highlights the importance of these political relationships; “the overriding importance that unitary

urbanism attaches to social space, is related to the role of frequent personal contacts which it considers vital for culture.”63

New Babylon,

therefore, was to be composed largely of endlessly flexible social space giving the inhabitants the power to modify their environment physically, as well as its temperature, lighting and ambiance.

Constant wished

Ladderlabyrinth exploring a post industrial machine aesthetic. Constant developed the ideas of the Constructivists for a society in which the idea of labour, and ‘the worker’ are a thing of the past. The society of New Babylon is founded on the leisure space of a liberated workforce, where production is automated.

to harness the collective creativity he believed to be dormant in the masses, suppressed by our capitalist regime of the city.

Although

essentially a work of art, an imagined project for an imagined scenario

“it anticipates history, it is a futuristic project; it is based on a desirable course of history”, Constant viewed New Babylon as something more tangible; “I prefer to call it a realistic project because it

distances itself from the present condition, and because it is founded on ... what is inevitable from a social viewpoint.”64 60

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 131

62

Arendt, H. The Promise of Politics. pg 95

61 63 64

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 131 Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 134 Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 132

31


The New Babylon project serves as an interesting exploration of the destructive forces of urbanisation and presents an extreme response to a distant, utopian, yet also somewhat dystopian future in which automation has released humanity from its servitude to physical, productive labour. While this vision considers how an alternative society may realise and inhabit a radically different form of city, the work of the Situationists and Constant’s discussion of Unitary Urbanism can be used to explore how an alternative society and sense of community may be developed.

Genuine

flexibility plays a central role in the social space proposed by unitary urbanism, the ability of citizens to directly, and democratically, fashion their environment.

Ivan Chtcheglov sets out the argument for the role

of flexibility in his essay ‘Formulary for a New Urbanism’ describing an endlessly adaptable architecture shaped by the desires of its occupants, at once “a means of knowledge and a means of action.”65

The potential

role for architecture as a critical tool within the existing capitalist city is recognised in Situationists thinking, “subversion of traditional

structures must give way to subversive structures”66.

Guy Debord further

defines the role of these structures; “we have to experiment with forms

of architecture as well as rules of conduct” towards “the complete construction of architecture and urbanism that will someday be within the power of everyone.”67 This

concept

of

flexible,

subversive

structures

within

the

New Babylon Amsterdam, from a series of images placing the project in a real and recognisable context. The proposal is reinforced as an ‘alternative reality’ by its imposition onto existing city forms.

city,

constructed or adapted by the citizens could become the basis for a new formal expression of public space in the contemporary city.

Sites for

these structures can utilise redundant buildings with former roles in their communities, allowing interventions to redefine their localities and become a focus for their latent communities.

65

Andreotti, L., Costa, X. (eds) Theory of the Dérive. pg 15

67

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 16

66

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 16

32


Townscape Reconnaissance “starting from the local experience, seeing our world, and taking part in it… Observe how people live and work:… by sharing in their work and life..…get beyond books, and even ball games, and into active survey, always growing and extending the real world around you..” Patrick Geddes

The Reconnaissance Urban Exercise which was undertaken entailed observation of the public realm, marking, documenting, recording and measuring the city as it was explored. A series of maps were produced curating these initial experiences, including an unplanned, ‘dérive’ route (above) through the city from the train station to the tower on Kinnoull Hill. This map documented observations made on this journey and subsequent investigations into their past and their significance to the built environment of Perth. This investigation reflects a Situationist methodology, identifying urban atmospheres and desire lines within the urban fabric, outwith the established commercial influence.


8- Programming Collective Structures.

Cedric Price and Bernard Tschumi; Event Space.

Geddes’ development of the Outlook Tower and his ‘Encyclopaedia Civica’ were primarily exercises aimed at establishing a programme that allowed for ordinary citizens to be educated, and engaged with their culture and locality.

Programmed structures with which to achieve this fundamental

objective have been explored by numerous architects through a diverse range of engaging projects, writings and theories, often with reference to the work of Geddes.

More generally his establishment of the concept

of social engineering has been developed by architects asserting a radical social agenda.

Cedric Price developed his Fun Palace as a

social laboratory and catalyst for societal change, however although the agenda driving the programmed structure contains similarities to Geddes’ social museum proposals in its participatory educational facilities, the Fun Palace abandons the place specific context underpinning Geddesian Localism.

Acknowledging his structure’s intended role as a broader

social condenser, a ‘laboratory of fun’, a ‘university of the streets’, Price states; “This complex, which enables self-participatory education

and entertainment, can only work - and then only for a finite time - if

The Fun Palace, by Cedric Price acts as a Social Condenser for its locality and region. The programmatic events and structure of the Fun Palace could serve as part of the network of Social Condensers utilised by De Carlo and the Smithsons in a wider urban regeneration and reinvention of ‘public space’.

it is not only accessible to those living and working in the immediate neighbourhood but also, through its varied communication links, accessible as a regional and national amenity.”68

Price viewed the challenge of

designing the structure to be primarily how it dealt with time.

Where

the Team 10 agenda promoted the importance of ‘chance and growth’, Price introduced the idea of ‘uncertainty’ as the foundation of social space.

The Fun Palace was an attempt at a social activist architecture,

capable of sustaining and responding to uncertain circumstances, with Price intent on inserting this structure into a community to stimulate and engender events.

68

“The activities designed for the site should be

Obrist, H. U. Re:CP by Cedric Price pg 28

34


experimental, the place itself expendable and changeable.”69

Responding

to the uncertainty he saw defining contemporary existence, Price designed a non-permanent structure, unenclosed, easy to dismantle and reassemble as necessary.

The transience of its structural design extended to the

duration of its existence, estimated through “an assessment of the

valid life-span of the total complex, assessed primarily in socio-urban terms”70.

Price highlights the importance of flexibility and free-space

in programmed social structures, while maintaining the interactivity and social education necessary to stimulate social change and community cohesion.

Such a structure would become a process or an ongoing event

through “In built flexibility or its alternative, planned obsolescence”71 Bernard Tschumi developed a form of programmatic ‘event’ space in his approach to the Parc de la Villette competition, Paris 1982.

Exploring

the collision of programme, people and events this project aimed to create a new typology, that of the 21st century Urban Park.

Tschumi’s

realisation of this new urban parkland shares some interesting social conclusions with the society Constant envisioned for New Babylon.

The

post industrial landscape which forms the background for Constant’s new civilisation is comparable to the former abattoir site dealt with by Tschumi at La Villette.

The leisure based, flexible events space

developed by both Tschumi and Constant hints at a more holistic and engaging public realm. The structuring system used by Tschumi spreads the programme across the site through the use of ‘Points’ within a rigid grid layout, the resulting ‘Lines’ and the parcelled pockets of ‘Surfaces’. Intersections in the park’s grid, similar to the nodal events in the grid format of the city at large, are highlighted as organisational spaces capable of providing identity and marking territory, a similar assertion to those made by Aureli.

Tschumi marks these points with ‘Folies’

in the form of structures not exceeding a 10 x 10 x 10 meter cube of 69

Obrist, H. U. Re:CP by Cedric Price pg 32

71

Price, C. The Square Book pg 56

70

Price, C. The Square Book pg 56

The point grid used by Tschumi to provide identity and mark territory at Parc La Villette is reminiscent of the Smithsons’ Cluster urban methodology. However points or nodal events are used by the Smithsons as an organisational device on a wider urban scale.

35


‘neutral space’, intended to provide for flexible occupation by the Park’s diverse range of programmatic activities72.

Recalling the ambitions of

Geddes’ programme for his Outlook Tower, Tschumi’s Park de la Villette is intended to be an open air cultural centre hosting an integrated programme consisting of leisure, education, communication, youth and community interaction events.

The structuring of programme within the

scheme engages the citizens of Paris in an interaction between space, movement and event however Tschumi undertakes to create a relationship

“between architecture and program” which “intentionally can be one of indifference, reciprocity, or conflict.”73 Public space is developed by Tschumi in the interstitial space between structured programme in his 1997 Le Fresnoy Studio for Contemporary Arts. The structure is an art laboratory, mixing education, cinema, performance spaces, studios and student accommodation, which strives to create “a new relation between space and event, in which the “in-between”

or programmatic interstice plays an essential role.”74

The in-between

in the Le Fresnoy design begins with the juxtaposition of the various retained industrial buildings and the giant canopy roof erected over the site.

Between these elements Tschumi suspended a metal walkway designed

as “a place of the unexpected where unprogrammed events might occur,

events that are not part of the “curriculum”.”75

Jonathan Hill sees a

recognition of the Japanese precedent for unprogrammed public space, supported by programmed private space, in Tschumi’s statements regarding the Le Fresnoy scheme; “programmed activities, when strategically located,

can charge an unprogrammed space (the in-between).”76 Here Tschumi recalls the advocacy for in-between space as an essential but often neglected aspect of design expressed by Herman Hertzberger 72

Tschumi, B. Event-Cities 2. pg 53-57

74

Tschumi, B. Event-Cities. pg 12

73 75 76

Tschumi, B. Event-Cities 2. pg 16 ibid. pg 399

Tschumi, B. Architecture in/of Motion. pg 21

Constant’s Monument voor de wederopbouw, Rotterdam 1955 demonstrates a similar use of public structure as a marker to that of Tschumi at La Villette.

36


and Rem Koolhaas.

Hertzberger concurs with Tschumi’s interpretation of

interstitial space in his design of Le Fresnoy, describing in-between space as a means “to make interior and exterior as well as private and

public interpenetrate”, while disintegrating “the autonomy of buildings free-standing in the void they have themselves created.”77 In utilising the in-between, void, or unprogrammed space as a critique of Functionalism Tschumi identifies two methods of achieving flexibility through programming.

The first he describes as “uselessness, which contradicts

societal expectations of usefulness in terms both of specific buildings and spaces and architecture as a whole.”78

The second method is applied

as in-between at Le Fresnoy; “disjunction, the intentional or accidental

appropriation of a space for a use for which it was not intended.”79 These definitions of flexibility correspond to those outlined by Price namely ‘in built flexibility’ and ‘planned obsolescence’ suggesting a similar categorisation of space as either being inherently adaptable by design or appropriated and modified to serve a new or changing function.

Whereas

Price maintains a strong social agenda through his flexible structures, Tschumi primarily explores the juxtaposition and collision of programme and typologies and, as can be seen in his Manhattan Transcripts, appears to have a more dystopian view of society and cohabitation.

Where Price’s

Tschumi’s use of walkways and meeting areas, suspended from the umbrella like roof, as unprogrammed public events space occupying the interstitial space between the structured public programme, housed in the contained existing industrial structures.

Fun Palace remains overtly political in nature, and intention, Tschumi’s Parc de la Villette, through its realisation, integrates elements of the commercialism and control synonymous with contemporary cities and their public spaces.

77

Hertzberger, H. Space and the Architect. pg 218

79

Tschumi, B. Index Architecture pg 105-106

78

Tschumi, B. The Pleasure of Architecture pg 51

37


9- Re-establishing Landmarks of Locality.

Aureli; Instauratio Urbis, Latent Monuments.

“Both the idea of architecture and the idea of the city as defined through the categories of the formal and the political are mobilized against the ethos of urbanisation, the “managerial” paradigm that, within the rise of capitalism, has characterized our global civilization since the twilight of the so called Middle Ages.”80 Pier Vittorio Aureli presents a contemporary critique of the capitalist city, in which he elaborates on the role of architecture in combating the

detrimental

effects

of

commercial

development.

His

suggested

methodology for achieving this is described as ‘Absolute Architecture’;

“the possibility of an absolute architecture is the attempt to reestablish the sense of the city as the site of a political confrontation and recomposition of parts.”81

Aureli presents the work and theories of

Ildefons Cerdà, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Archizoom, and Rem Koolhaas as the most extreme, emblematic projects of urbanization and employs various projects and urban theories to demonstrate the basis for counteracting the perceived negative outcome of commercial capitalist urban development. The latter projects of Mies van der Rohe are advanced as schemes which successfully deconstruct the forces of urbanisation and present finite and separate parts, his “plinths reinvent urban space as an archipelago

of limited urban artefacts.”82

Mies’ designs are shown to demonstrate

the possibility of the city archipelago; “In contrast to the integrative

apparatus of urbanization, the archipelago envisions the city as the agonistic struggle of parts whose forms are finite and yet, by virtue of their finiteness, are in constant relationship both with each other and with the “sea” that frames and delimits them.”83 80

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg x

82

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 37

81 83

The project used by Aureli to illustrate ‘The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture’ is the Hotel Sphinx in Times Square by Elia Zenghelis (1975). The Sphinx proposed the urban hotel as a model for mass hosing, in a similar narrative to that of Constant’s New Babylon, where the liberated citizens of the global city have no fixed abode, drifting at will between residential islands in a sea of social, leisure space.

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg xi Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg xi

38


The architecture that defines this archipelago must be the antithesis of what Aureli describes as the ‘iconic building’, “a postpolitical

architecture stripped bare of any meaning other than the celebration of corporate economic performance”, representing essentially “the victory of economic optimisation over political judgement.”84

The absolute

architecture that defines Aureli’s archipelago is measured by its resonance with the political, social and cultural circumstances of its locality, and on its radical engagement with, and autonomy from, the forces of capitalist urbanisation.

The term ‘archipelago’ was introduced by

Koolhaas in describing his ‘City of the Captive Globe’ which explores the extreme consequences of urbanisation, and highlights what Aureli sees as “two fundamental ‘collateral effects’ of urbanisation, which at first

sight seem to contradict the logic of bad infinity: the enclave and the landmark.”85 The role of architecture in this archipelago of landmarks is discussed in relation to its ‘formal’ qualities as apposed to its form, formal describes an experience of limitation, the demarcated distinction between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, the internal action versus the external

datum or situation.

“The task of architecture is to reify - that is,

to transform into public, generic, and thus graspable common things the political organisation of space, of which architectural form is not just the consequence but also one of the most powerful and influential political examples.”86

Rem Koolhaas, The City of the Captive Globe, 1972. The competing ideologies represented by buildings as icons reinforce the urban order. The more unique the iconic building the more prominent the urban grid becomes. The agonistic pluralism between conflicting built forms is absorbed by the managerial order of urbanisation. The ‘Captive Globe’ represents New York’s Central Park, a pseudonature contained and subjected to the economic reality of urbanisation.

If the consequence of urbanisation is, as Aureli and Lefebvre both identify, the pervasive integration and repetition required by economic efficiency;

”repetition

has

everywhere

defeated

uniqueness,...the

artificial and contrived have driven all spontaneity and naturalness from the field”87, it can therefore be argued that the essence of the city is in the heterogeneity of place. “In this sense architecture is a constructive 84

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg xii

86

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 42

85 87

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 21 Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 75

39


and theoretical apparatus whose “publicness” consists in its possibility of separating, and thus forming the space of coexistence within the city.”88

Architecture can, according to Aureli, therefore combat the

forces of urbanisation and provide the public, social space so essential to the cohabitation of place. Andrea Palladio’s interventions in Vicenza are proposed as Aureli’s first illustration of architecture’s potential, a project that mastered the “dialectic between continuity and discontinuity” of the city in a way that emphasised the role of his buildings as “civic actors”89. Palladio was commissioned to redevelop the town hall in Vicenza, which became a central part of his reestablishment of the city’s Roman grid. A classically inspired arched loggia facade was added creating a semi enclosed public space around the buildings perimeter.

Palladio utilised

a further Roman reference in renaming the Palazzo della Ragione as a Basilica, envisioning a public forum where politics were discussed and the business of government and trade was carried out. However a wider strategy for intervention is identified by Aureli in the work of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, illustrated by his Campo Marzio proposals.

This work presents the urban strategy developed in Rome

between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries by, among others, Raphael in response to the ad hoc development of the city’s relationship with its ancient past.

This strategy of Instauratio Urbis, ‘the instalment

of the City’ operated on the “principle of reinventing the city by strategically highlighting some of its existing but latent monuments.”90 Architecture was defined through this methodology as a relationship with topography and context in opposition to the classical interpretation of the primacy of the compositional orders. Early mapping exercises by Fabio Calvo in 1527 show Rome as the sum of its ancient monuments and their 88

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 46

90

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 101

89

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 57

The development of Vicenza Basilica by Palladio made reference to the central public and administrative building of the Roman Forum, through the addition of arcaded isles around the structure’s central space. A similar programme to that of the Roman Basilica was created internally, with market vendors trading in the main ground floor space and arcades and the large public hall raised above. This civic structure houses all the functions necessary for local governance, with public political meetings, legal disputes and assemblies held in the town hall, with the trade, exchange and negotiation of the market space accessible form the public square. Palladio’s Basilica is a reference explored through a design intervention for Perth City Hall (above right).

40


juxtaposition with the River Tiber and the boundary of the city wall. Utilising the urban strategy promoted by Instauratio Urbis provides a further theoretical grounding for a contemporary intervention in the city and appropriation of latent buildings; “Ancient ruins were not

simply evidence of a past to be preserved, but were also formal examples to be recomposed according to the narratives of power.”91

Rome is seen

by Aureli as a crucial case study for the role of political architecture;

“Given its political organization, Rome developed as a kind of dynamitic battlefield made up of the destruction and reconstruction of city parts, where individual buildings were erected either to define alliances or to use city space against an enemy.”92

The development of Rome and its

architecture therefore demonstrates the potential for “strategically

located architectural projects rather than ... an overall urban plan.”93 Aureli demonstrates the perceived influence of the Instauratio Urbis strategy and the work of Palladio and Piranesi on Oswald Mathias Ungers.

Ungers’ 1977 Berlin as Green Archipelago (above) proposed a regeneration of post war Berlin which utilised pockets of urban density, established around significant historical or social markers, which formed islands in a sea of open space and forest enclosed by the Berlin Wall. Point Supreme Architects 2010 Athens by Hills (bellow) utilises the archipelago of islands strategy in diametrical reverse, with the urban sprawl of Athens intensifying its hills.

The critique of urbanisation presented in Ungers’ work directly inspired the early work of Koolhaas and Zenghelis, particularly their Exodus, the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture. The concept of the urban inhabitant as the voluntary inmate is developed as the urban archipelago by Ungers in his plan for West Berlin.

Similar to Constant’s envisaging of New

Babylon, Ungers was interested in alternative community structures and carried out studies of religious communities and the structure of their settlements.

This communal life was characterised by an abundance of

common, collective space, in contrast to the contemporary city, shaped by land ownership. “Ungers considered how radical social lifestyles were

implemented not only as totalising utopias imposed on the whole of society, but also as a set of communitarian principles voluntarily embraced by secessionist groups that build their villages as self sufficient places,

91

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 104

93

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 112

92

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 112

41


independent from existing urban centres.”94 This approach concurs with the Situationists vision for architecture’s role in fostering a new society, an archipelago of subversive structural interventions within the fabric of the existing city where citizens can directly and democratically shape their social space.

This communitarian concept encouraged Ungers to

imagine a city of independent communities “the concept of the archipelago

opened up a new political conception of a city form in which groups of inhabitants could self-organize their independence through architectural artefacts that allowed them to claim space for their communitarian life.”95

Colin Rowe’s Collage City makes the case for a similar approach

to counter urbanisation, calling for an architectural bricolage city, one which “would lead to a city fit for a liberal democratic regime based

on the cultural principles of inclusion and pluralism.”96

Despite the

similarities in their work Ungers viewed the nostalgia of Rowe’s Collage City as quite different from his approach which, in reaction to the comparison, he termed the “Dialectic City”.

Ungers’ approach served

to highlight the fragmentation and anonymity of urban form and utilise the inherent unstable programmes in order to confront these forces.

In

Guy Debord’s Naked City (above) maps Paris through a urban dérive of the city with districts and localities with similar atmospheres linked, running counter to the economic regime of urban management. A similar exploration of Perth (bellow) recognised redundant public buildings and their latent communities.

accordance with Constant’s views on unitary urbanism, and with those argued by Aureli, Ungers asserts that any structure intended to challenge commercial urbanisation must be adaptive, a finite structure; “which, by

being straight forward in its function, allows for its appropriation by the inhabitants.”97

94

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 199

96

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 205

95 97

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 200 Ungers, O. M., Planning Criteria, Lotus 11 pg 13

42


10- Conclusions. Karl Marx’ commentary on the work of Ludwig Feuerbach, in 1888, made a criticism

of philosophical theorists; “Philosophers have hitherto only

interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it”98 or as Constant interprets; “speculative analysis is every bit as important as

critical analysis.”99

As such, this proposal is both critical

analysis

of the existing structures of society and speculative analysis of how an alternative may be realised.

98 99

Marx, K. Theses on Feuerbach. 11

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 236

“a Kazimir Millevich suprematist Architecton” (above) “an architecture without programme to be conquered programmatically by a future civilization” Pier Vittorio Aureli

43


structure that defines our collective conscience.

Localism however has

a robust and inherent resistance to a priori regimes; “places of social

space.. the local (or ‘punctual’, in the sense of determined by a particular ‘point’) does not disappear, for it is never absorbed by the regional, national or even worldwide level.”104

This social relationship

harks back to the founding concept of the Greek city, where the community

structures serve as the political, public life of the city, providing a counterpoint to the despotic economic regime of the contemporary city,

while the nation state acts as the Greek nomos, a regulatory framework defining the broader definition of society.

01 Context: Place Specific - Latent Communities and Instauratio Urbis. As with Geddes’ Outlook Tower and Halls of Residence in Edinburgh which;

“were a means of educating the young about social and cultural change

The place specific nature of

this new public realm is essential, the civic nationalism identified by Geddes as a catalyst for the cultural forces of social change is routed

in a community’s knowledge of, and identification with, its location, city, region and nation, and by extension that nations place in the world.

and making them more self-aware”100, the form of public space, advanced by this thesis, is an attempt to address the dormant communities within

the city and reengage them with their place, society and culture.

104

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 88

Through investigation of, and experimentation with, the urban strategies

discussed in this thesis, redundant sites can be selected which serve as the “existing but latent monuments”101 Aureli suggests “strategically

highlighting”102

Urbis principle.

in order to reinvent the city through the Instauratio

This new concept of social space attempts to integrate

the Instauratio Urbis methodology for urban regeneration and the unitary urbanism devised by the Situationists in a place specific, Geddesian localism and sense of community.

The range of urban theories which have

been discussed all point towards the establishment of self-organised

social structures founded on communitarian principles, independently self reliant but not in isolation “from the state and the superstructures

of society”103 that Lefebvre recognises as the fundamental organisational 100 101 102

103

Meller, Helen.

Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. pg 79

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 101 Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 101

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 85

44


mobilized against the ethos of urbanization, the ‘managerial’ paradigm

that, within the rise of capitalism, has characterized our global civilization since the twilight of the so called Middle Ages.”107

The

present model of development responsible for producing our public realm is enslaved to the forces of finance and consumption.

A public square

is proposed where it will ‘enhance the business environment’ or allow for an ‘exciting new commercial opportunity’, the provision of social space is far more important to the workings of a democracy than the economic regime allows.

A new framework of ownership for structures and

spaces which combat this commercial mind-set will rekindle the concept

of ‘Common Good’ land, held by the people and enhancing their collective citizenship, while its collective ownership denies access to corporate development.

02 Ownership: Community Appropriation of Space. Structures intended to develop a sense of community and engage with their local citizens must themselves be appropriated by these collective individuals.

107

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg x

Lefebvre describes a 13th Century precedent for such

cooperative operation, that of the Métayer, who was to “receive a share

of what he produced and hence, unlike a slave or serf, he had a vested interest in production.”

Such a cooperative organisational structure

provides a genuine investment of people in their place.

The importance

of collective investment in the social spaces of the city is recognised by Constant; “New Babylon presupposes socialisation, the common ownership

of land”105

The active citizenry created by these structures then set

the rules of their interaction, the terms of their occupation.

In a

similar fashion to the open social space which the Smithsons viewed as a “revolt against the norm of speculative development”106, these community structures exist in defiance of the forces of commercial urbanism.

In

doing so they fulfil the role Aureli defines for absolute architecture in the contemporary city; “Both the idea of architecture and the idea of the

city as defined through the categories of the formal and the political are 105 106

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 234

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Urbanism. pg 52

45


Here Lefebvre begins to identify the new definition of public space explored by this thesis, as an interactive and polyvalent social space. These new public spaces can serve as active nodes in a network of community engagement, active citizens appropriating the means of production.

As

Constant asserts, the provision of pseudo-nature as public space within the city, the ‘Garden City’ ideal, has robbed the citizens of the

contemporary city of the genuine space of social interaction109, the political event of public discourse as a counterpoint to the forces of commercial development. A new form of public space is required to counter

the commodified recreational space typical of the contemporary city, the interventions proposed by this thesis are intended to become this radical alternative.

To provide a space of rewarding social interaction the

role of public space should be more assertive, a programmed, productive

public structure has the potential to achieve the “unmasking of things

in order to reveal (social) relationships”110, which Lefebvre described as the great achievement of Marxist though.

These new programmed public

structures then, are capable of subverting the capitalist economic regime, engaging citizens with place and production and as a producer of

03 Programme: Discourse, Debate, Democratic means of Production.

Dialogue

and

a

“Is space a social relationship? Certainly- but one which is inherent to

property relationships (especially ownership of the earth, of land) and also closely bound up with the forces of production (which impose a form on that earth or land); here we see the polyvalence of social space, its ‘reality’ at once formal and material.

goods exposes “what things at once embody and disseminate, namely social

relations and the forms of those relations.”111

The city as a means of

production is also shown to be a conflict “between the social character of

this production and the private ownership of its location.”112

This new

concept for public structures allows for the production of social space

and in so doing highlights the relationships, the politics, inherent in cohabitation.

Though a product to be used, to

be consumed, it is also a means of production; networks of exchange and

flows of raw materials and energy fashion space and are determined by it. Thus this means of production, produced as such, cannot be separated

either from the productive forces, including technology and knowledge, or from the social divisions of labour which shapes it, or from the state and the superstructures of society.”108 108

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 85

109

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 131

111

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 81

110 112

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 81 Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 89

46


assembly, simultaneity”116 this organic and fluid definition of public space suggests a structure which facilitates this process of encounter

and assembly, as opposed to the indifferent, disinterested canvas of commercially dependant recreational spaces which currently serves as civic space.

In this environment “actions and spaces can either be

independent or interdependent depending upon the circumstances”117 and

so each social locus may take its place within the network of community

structures which define their territory and influence the atmosphere of the city at large.

“Confronted with an unstable and complex environment, the language of building cannot tame the city in all its manifestations, but can only insert exemplary forms into its unstable body.”118

The finite,

transient structures proposed serve as these exemplary forms, these

04 Form: Flexible, Adaptive Organic Structural Forms.

‘strategically highlighted latent monuments’, provide a challenge to

“New Babylon was to be made by the New Babylonians themselves, ... it is

“appropriation by the inhabitants.”119

no say in that future. What we can do is predict or strive for changes in

“Any determinate and hence demarcated space necessarily embraces some

possible alternative urban forms.”113

cooperation among the local community give all citizens the opportunity

A flexible, adaptable and interactive composition of interventions, which

important physical repositories of a place’s history, but even more

they serve, reflects Lefebvre’s contention that “(Social) space is a

the appropriation of their social spaces by the communities who inhabit

be predetermined but must be shaped by those who intend to use it,

concentrate use, to assemble ever larger sites, to erode the public

impossible and pointless to design a city for the future because we have

the way people live together, to take these into account when considering

commercial urbanisation of the city, as Ungers suggests, through their

Their importance as social space

is enhanced by their democratic principles of inclusion and pluralism;

things and excludes others”120, spaces formed and altered by consensus and to shape their locality.

As Adam Caruso identifies “cities have become

can serve as a new model of public realm, formed by the communities

powerfully the city is a manifestation of a particular living culture”121,

(social) product.”114

these cities offers the chance to combat the “growing pressures to

A truly democratic architectural structure cannot

once the framework is established it will come to resemble “a Kazimir

Millevich suprematist Architecton (an architecture without programme “to be conquered programmatically by a future civilization that deserves

it”)”115. Lefebvre further asserts “The form of social space is encounter, 113

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 236

115

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 220

114

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 26

realm”122 116

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 101

118

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 54

117 119 120 121 122

Hill, J. Actions of Architecture. pg 73

Ungers, O. M., Planning Criteria, Lotus 11 pg 13 Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 99 Caruso, A. The Feeling of Things. pg 38 Caruso, A. The Feeling of Things. pg 37

47


11- Project Method and Design Implementation

Perth; Site Specific Community Network.

Community Network of Subversive Structures. A series of site specific Urban Exercises drew attention to the large number of vacant retail units, brown field sites and derelict buildings within the Perth as well as the new developments occurring on the periphery of the city as it expands.

These issues became central to the development

of both the thesis text and the nature of design interventions being proposed.

Of particular interest were buildings which had previously

served their communities in a religious or civic role but had fallen derelict, awaiting purchase and renovation in a commercial capacity. This erosion of the public, civic life of the city became the basis for the wider investigation of the nature and ownership of public space. In order to develop a critique of public space in the contemporary city it is necessary to explore it in a physical, real world location.

The

Scottish city of Perth serves as an interesting case study for this, at a time when it has recently regained ‘City’ status.

Although the citizens

and civic leaders have always asserted Perth’s status as a historic city, the fabric of the town is now beginning to reflect its status as a city. At this point of transition which comes during a global financial crisis, and a crisis of the capitalist system, the proposed creation of new ‘civic’ space in the city centre is an important opportunity for Perth to reflect on the type of city it wishes to become.

The community structures used to illustrate and explore a new definition of public space, developed by this thesis, represent landmarks, or markers, which become the focal point of their locality’s identity. However the above map demonstrates the ‘Clusters’ of local communities and neighbourhoods within the city as a whole, which would each establish a similar collective structure and take their place in the urban network of social condensers.

However the proposed

interventions, although developed with a place specific approach based in Perth, are intended, in addition, to serve as a more general theoretical critique of the contemporary city along the lines of Constant’s ‘New

Babylon’, of Guy Debord’s ‘The Naked City’ and of Archizoom’s ‘No Stop City’.

48


Potential sites within the context of Perth are defined by their status as redundant buildings of significance which previously fulfilled a role within the local community, structures with the potential to act as markers, or landmarks within an archipelago of alternative social space. The three primary sites which are the focus of the investigation are the City Hall, St Paul’s Kirk and Alexander & Brown’s Seed Merchant Warehouse on Methven Street, these form a demonstrative part of a potential network of sites within the wider city.

Each community structure serves a

specific locality, an island within the city archipelago, a term similar to the Smithsons’ Cluster; “to do with rightful spheres of influence,

space for each to be its own thing ... ultimately the sense of territory, respect for another’s sense of territory, which is not only the ground but also spatial”123 The public structures explored by this thesis form three examples of the potential for a re-imagined concept of public space and are intended to be representative of a much larger network of similar structures operating independently, and in accordance with the desires of their cooperative communities, but also as interdependent nodes in a network which knits disparate urban communities into a more cohesive and democratic social cohabitation and identity.

Peter Smithson acknowledges the potential

for a synergically linked network of architectural events;

“In calling

our collective works ‘The Charged Void’ we are thinking of architecture’s capacity to charge the space around it with an energy which can join up with other energies, influence the nature of things that might come, anticipate happenings ... a capacity we can feel and act upon but not necessarily describe or record.”124 The semi programmed nature of the new public structures, producing commodities such as beer and bread, create the organisational structure to appropriate redundant spaces and gap sites within their urban environment and turn these over to the newly productive communities for the establishment of ‘Urban Agriculture’, allotments and crofting strips. 123 124

Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Architecture. pg 453 Chung, C. J. (ed) The Charged Void: Urbanism. pg 13

49


Public spaces as community run, productive structures reestablishes the symbiotic relationship between the city’s urban centre and its rural hinterland, reconnecting what Geddes recognised as the essential link between Place, Work and Folk.


Each visualised structure represents a different scale of association within the urban network, the primary structure serving ‘city’, a secondary structure serving ‘district’ and a third representing ‘street’, or urban block.


01- City Hall; Suprematist Basilica. “We do not practice democracy nor do we live in an open society ... We hold these up as ideals to be revered, while going about the sordid business of getting and spending.”125 The proposal by Perth and Kinross Council for the demolition of City Hall and create an open public square is the primary inspiration for this subversive structure. The Council’s ‘piazza’ represents the commercially driven, recreational, pseudo public space criticised in this thesis and demonstrates the influence of the economic regime over the urban planning decisions of our representatives.

The demolition of City Hall

is a throwback to the tabula rasa town planning of the 60s and 70s, the atmosphere in the resulting space will read as an absence, a space out of proportion to its surroundings and its city.

More importantly it

will read as an absence in a civic, political sense, a square for the passive consumer, scheduled commercial events continuing to marginalise participatory democratic space. The Subversive Structure envisioned for City Hall forms the central node in the wider urban network, a place for the produce, ideas, beliefs and concerns of each locality’s community structure to be exchanged, debated and disseminated. The structure represents Price’s “planned obsolescence”126 or, as Aureli suggests, a Kazimir Millevich suprematist Architecton “an

architecture without programme “to be conquered programmatically”127. This unprogrammed place of exchange also references Palladio’s Vicenza Basilica, capable of housing the functions of local democracy, public political meetings, legal disputes and assemblies, trade, exchange and negotiation within the new public space. 125

Woods, S. The Man in the Street. pg 11

127

Aureli, P. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture, pg 220

126

Price, C. The Square Book pg 56

52


53


02- St Paul’s; Territorial Social Condenser. “the concept of society towards which we strive” is “that of a completely open, non-hierarchical cooperative, in which we all share on a basis of total participation and complete confidence”128 St Paul’s Kirk represents a latent monument with the potential to reestablish its role in the local community.

As a prominent marker

it could provide a strong sense of identity to an urban Cluster, a strategy advanced by the Smithsons and De Carlo.

Programmatically this

public nodal event space explores Tschumi’s idea of “disjunction, the

intentional or accidental appropriation of a space for a use for which it was not intended.”129

An unprogrammed, semi-enclosed public space is

established at ground level which is confronted with an ad-hoc, organic, programmed structure above. This is architecture as political structure, intended to bring about “indifference, reciprocity, or conflict”130 but ultimately to “stimulate social behaviours”131 in a new formal expression of the public realm. The programme developed for this social condenser is a cooperative Microbrewery, making reference to Perth’s brewing tradition and the current increased interest in Microbreweries and craft beer.

As a small

community run production, the local cooperative Microbrewery offers the ideal programme for social engagement and the development of new bonds of community.

The brewing process provides the opportunity for the

introduction of a Geddesian connection between Place, Work and Folk, with the introduction of small urban barley and wheat allotments on the North and South Inches in addition to those on Friarton Island.

128

Woods, S. Environment: the Search for System. pg 151

130

Tschumi, B. Event-Cities 2. pg 16

129 131

Tschumi, B. Index Architecture pg 105-106 McKean, J. Giancarlo De Carlo. pg 170

54


55


03- Seed Merchant Warehouse; Urban Métayage.

“Thus this means of production, produced as such, cannot be separated either from the productive forces,... or from the social divisions of labour which shapes it”132 The derelict former Seed Merchant’s Warehouse is illustrative of a more domestic scale neighbourhood space which, through its productive programme, becomes the centre for interaction, cooperation and communication within an urban block or street.

Establishing a community collective programme

is intended to visualise “the overriding importance that unitary urbanism

attaches to social space, ... the role of frequent personal contacts which it considers vital for culture.”133

This structure establishes a

Community Cooperative Bakery which further develops the Geddesian Valley Section reference, requiring a network of growers to provide wheat with which to mill flour.

The programme also communicates the link between

Social Space and production made by Lefebvre; “Social space” ... “is also

a means of production; networks of exchange and flows of raw materials”134 Community bakeries linked to the establishment of a system of Urban Agriculture develops brownfield, gap sites and pseudo-nature recreational spaces such as Perth’s North and South Inch. The division of these spaces into Crofting Strips offered to the Citizens through a system of Urban Métayage creates communities invested in their urban place, interacting with their environment and, through their production, participating in the creation of a new, democratic, postmaterialist society; “here we

see the polyvalence of social space, its ‘reality’ at once formal and material.”

132

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 85

134

Lefebvre, H. The Production of Space. pg 85

133

Wigely, M. Constant’s New Babylon. pg 134

56


57


Appendix: Project Development & Research

“The form of social space is encounter, assembly, simultaneity�

City Hall

58


City Square plan from 1823. City Hall site occupied by market area and various structures. King Edward Street has not been created at this time.

City Square plan from 1860. Shows the completed Old City Hall adjoining the market square.

Old City Hall.

The memorial stone was laid by Lord Provost Cuthbert in 1909. 59


Architects H. E. Clifford and Thomas Lunan’s original drawing for the new City Hall.

60


Perth City Hall is a prominently-sited civic building beside the A-listed St John’s Kirk, and within Perth’s former market place. It was listed category B in 1977 and is within the Perth Central Conservation Area. It has been redundant since 2005.

61


Commercial reuse proposals submitted to the Council as an alternative to demolition.

62


The demolition of City Hall is controversial in itself, however the council’s plan to replace it with a ‘piazza’ representative of the pseudo public space, increasingly common in our cities, is arguably more questionable.

The council reference George

Square in Glasgow as a model for the events based, stage managed, public square they wish to create.

Of course these events

will be commercial in nature and represent an expansion of the shopping mall approach to the city, with activities deemed to be detrimental to the ‘Clean and Safe’ commercial environment excluded from this definition of ‘public’.

As can be seen from

the promotional material, the developers present an idealised, sterile and generic representation of what this space will be like completely alien to the character and scale of Perth.

63


“reinventing the city by strategically highlighting some of its existing but latent monuments.” Pier Vittorio Aureli

St Paul’s Kirk

64


’s wn To de La High St

Kevin Lynch, in ‘Image of the City’, outlines a methodology for

a district, over which their influence radiates and of which they

elements which together define an environment.

cores, suggest that the interaction of programme is essential in

assessing urban framework predicated on recognising the constituent Recognising these

five key elements; Paths, Edges, Districts, Nodes and Landmarks allows the architect to respond to and engage with the existing city.

This engagement should operate on numerous levels, the

elements set out by Lynch identify key design considerations.

Paths suggest access points on predominant routes, Edges and

Districts refer to scale, massing and character of urban form, Nodes and Landmarks begin to invoke programmatic considerations

that can inform how a proposal will be used. Elaborating on his definition of a ‘Node’, Lynch describes an intersection of paths or a strategic place “which gain their importance from

being the condensation of some use or physical character”1

he

continues “these concentration nodes are the focus and epitome of 1

Lynch, K. The Image of the City. pg 47

stand as a symbol.

They may be called cores.”

2

These nodes, or

characterising urban space.

St Paul’s acts as such a landmark or node for a locality within Perth city centre. and

defining

its

It’s role as a community building, organising

congregation

gives

it

reinforced by its location and design.

a

sphere

of

influence

Constructed as a stop

vista looking west along High Street at a time when the city was expanding beyond its medieval boundaries it also marks the point

where the Lade passes beneath Methven Street and can be seen as a setting out point of the grid pattern of the new town developments to the North and South of the medieval centre. 2

ibid. pg 48

65


St Paul’s Kirk acting as a marker and focal point for the end of Perth’s High Street.

This position of prominence increases the

Kirk buildings significance as an organising device for its local

community as well as allowing it to make connections to other parts of the centre.

Correspondence relating to the raising of funds and the Kirk’s construction along with plans and sections of council repairs and heating installation are kept at the City Archive in Perth’s AK Bell Library.

Information relating to the Kirk’s congregation

and social history are shared between the Perth City Archive and the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

In addition to its visual significance the Kirk’s role as a building

at the heart of a local religious congregation made it a place where people would meet their neighbours, discus local issuwwes and foster a sense of community.

The latent monument of the Kirk

building provides an opportunity to organise a new focal point for the locality and its inhabitants.

66


67


Chronology of the Kirk’s decline. 1 February 1973: Press reports note that the church is threatened with closure, with its congregation moving to nearby St Mark’s, unless funds can be raised for essential repairs. £10,000 is needed for interior repairs, with £15,000 for external repairs. The church is suffering from dry rot. 8 October 1988: The Dundee Courier reports that the church has been cordoned off following fears of a roof collapse during high winds. 11 October 1988: The Perthshire Advertiser reports on the dissatisfaction of local shopkeepers who are keen to see the church demolished. 8 February 1989: The Dundee Courier reports that Kirkcaldy based Dean Entertainments has dropped plans to convert the church into a licensed bar. 31 March 1989: The Perthshire Advertiser reports that permission has been granted to remove the church’s organ. A local Councillor is now calling for demolition. October 1989: The church is bought by Cleddans Estates Investments Ltd, Blanefield, who plan to convert it into a planetarium. However, lack of agreement with the Tayside Regional Council’s Roads Department leads to the plans being abandoned. 7 September 1991: The Dundee Courier reports that plans include a domed projection room with seating for 175. Local planners are supporting the scheme. Historic Scotland would prefer to see the present interior retained, although it accepts that sustained new uses will inevitably mean a loss of some original character. Councillors are now to debate serving a Repairs Notice. April 1995: A Repairs Notice is served.

16 June 1995: The Perthshire Advertiser reports that the Scottish Urban Archaeological Trust now plans to convert the church into the Perth Octagon Heritage Centre. It is hoped to conduct a feasibility study and purchase the church from Cleddans. The church would hold interpretation exhibitions, a camera obscura, café, shop, and outreach facilities. £10,000 has been received from Scottish Enterprise Tayside to contribute towards the feasibility study, with match funding from the Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust. 21 November 1997: The Perthshire Advertiser reports on plans by Icefuse to convert the church into a bar/restaurant. 18 September 1998: The Perth Advertiser reports that plans by the St Paul’s Church Preservation Society to turn the building into a cultural centre have won the approval of Councillors. A shop and restaurant would be created, along with offices and meeting rooms for archaeology, arts, and heritage organisations. October 1998: The Scottish Office Inquiry Reporter notes that thieves have removed the pulpit, gallery balustrades, font, and wall monuments. December 2000: The Architectural Heritage Fund offers £4,375 to the St Paul’s Preservation Trust to fund a feasibility study into uses for the building. The study concludes that the church could accommodate a farmers’ market. 27 May 2003: The Dundee Courier reports on continued plans by SPPT to convert the church into community halls housing farmers’ and craft markets. December 2003: Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust reports that SPPT has now been wound up, and conversion plans have collapsed. The owners are likely to apply for demolition consent. March 2004: Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust reports that SPPT has disbanded. The owner is to sell the church to developers at the end of the month, who are confident that permission to demolish will be granted. 27 July 2005: The Aberdeen Press and Journal reports that Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust now has a 2 year option to buy the church, but must first demonstrate a viable end use. Perth and Kinross Council has granted £48,000 towards repairs. February 2008: Courier and Advertiser reports that one of the massive windows appears to have blown in during the recent storms. The article goes on to report that Perth and Kinross Council have recently launched a bid to recoup nearly £100,000 on money previously spent making the church safe. New plans are reported to be in progress by JD Wetherspoon submitted a planning application to convert the site into a pub. 68


April 2008: Perthshire Advertiser reports planning consent has

been given to JD Wetherspoon for the development of the church into a public house/ restaurant.

August 2008: The Perthshire Advertiser reports that the owners of the church have pulled out of the redevelopment of the building.

Local campaigners are reported as aiming to take on ownership of the church.

September 2008: Perthshire Advertiser reports on proposals by an

action group to turn the church into a community centre; plans to be unveiled at a public meeting.

January 2009: The Press and Journal reports that a former member of the St Paul‘s preservation trust has expressed concern for the condition of the building and suggested it be consolidated as a ruin for use as a focal point and for its townscape value.

March 2009: Perthshire Advertiser reports on a rescue plan through the establishment of an Indian restaurant. The local authority are noted to be keen to work towards resolution of the issue of the former church.

August 2009: External inspection finds damp patches and bushes growing down the down pipes, suggesting that they have failed. There are slipped slates causing concern over leaks in the roof. One large window on the west elevation is leaning inwards. Pigeons are flying in and out of the structure. February

2010:

Perthshire

Advertiser

reports

on

plans

under

discussion between the new owners of the building, Khushi‘s and Historic Scotland on ways to successfully convert the church into a restaurant.

April 2011: Local planners advise that the new owners remain committed to the project. It is hoped that the relevant permissions will be lodged with the local authority in the near future.

69


The current economic situation is leading to an expansion of community ownership projects and crowd funding opportunities. This movement it utilising new social media outlets to organise its efforts, looking to pair investors and communities with projects in much the same way as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Landshare scheme does for community food growing. Local and National government is also involved in the facilitating of community based projects.

DTA Scotland is set up as a Company Ltd by Guarantee and a Scottish registered Charity. It is a member-led organisation with a board of directors elected from its membership and a small staff team based in 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh. Although the size of the core staff team has increased slightly since 2003, in organisational terms DTA Scotland is committed to remaining small at the centre, and instead utilising the strengths and skills of the members to help deliver the development work of the organisation. This includes the innovative approach of commissioning member trusts to deliver outreach work in the remoter parts of Scotland. Funding Currently, the two core funders of the organisation are the Scottish Government’s Third Sector Division and the BIG Lottery, through their Inclusive and Dynamic Communities programme. As part of a sustainability strategy, DTA Scotland is committed to expanding its earned income, and the Pool, DTA Scotland’s consultancy service, was established in 2009, within this context. Key Partners DTA Scotland has a close working relationship with our sister organisation Locality (was DTA) in England and together with DTA Wales and the newly formed DT Northern Ireland there is now a UK wide network with over 450 members. DTA Scotland is a key member of the Scottish Community Alliance and we work closely with a number of other community networks. Aims DTA Scotland’s vision is to have a successful development trust in every community that wants one.

70


Community Empowerment Action Plan The Community Empowerment Action Plan published jointly by the Scottish Government and COSLA in March 2009 established community ownership as key to their commitment to Community Empowerment. Following the success of the initial 2 year Promoting Asset Transfer programme, the Scottish Government in 2011, is standing by it’s recognition of asset ownership being key to community empowerment, by continuing to fund DTAS’ role in advancing this important agenda. Through our team of advisers the Community Ownership Support Service can offer Scotland-wide support and advice.

The Place Station introduces owners of land and buildings across the UK to social and community entrepreneurs with ideas for transforming their local area. The Asset Transfer Unit helps to empower local people and organisations to transform land and buildings into vibrant community spaces whilst supporting the development of a thriving third sector. The Place Station is the leading provider of expert advice, guidance and support concerning the transfer of under-used land and buildings from the public sector to community ownership and management - helping organisations to develop those assets and deliver long-term social, economic and environmental benefits.

Talla a’ Bhaile Eilean Eisdeal

Taigh-Tasgaidh Eilean Eisdeal

Reviving the Community Hall The Eilean Eisdeal local hall is very important to community life. It was originally built as a drill hall and is a listedbuilding. It has had many uses over the years, including time as a fish processing plant, but was in serious need of repair. The Community Fund were awarded £667,000 to buy and refurbish it - the Eisdeal Island Community Hall opened in 2003.

The Unit is led and managed by Locality - the UK’s leading network for community-led organisations - in association with Community Matters and the Local Government Association. It is funded by Communities and Local Government.

71


Tower Brewery, Burton on Trent, England.

Castle Rock microbrewery, Nottingham, England.

Inveralmond Brewery just outside Perth city centre.

Black Isle Brewery and organic farm.

Community Microbrewery Perth has a rich variety of traditional independent pubs all serving Real Ale from the local Inveralmond Brewery which keeps the local beer making tradition alive. Perthshire is the ideal location for making beer and whisky, with its rolling hills providing farmland to grow the grain and hops and some of the best mineral springs in the country providing the perfect water. Inveralmond describes water as the key ingredient of good beer and it makes up 90% of the finished product. The best water for brewing beer and the most prized is from natural sources which contain elements not found in other water sources. Two of the major elements are calcium and magnesium: they are crucial when it comes to making a fine beer. Not only do they add a desirable mouth feel of their own, but they also aid many of the biochemical processes taking place during brewing.

The Campaign for Real Ale ‘CAMRA’ has led to an increased interest in Craft Beer and a more diverse range of locally produced beers. The increase in Microbreweries around the country has mirrored this demand. Firms like Black Isle organic have been expanding at a rate of 50% a year. These small independent operations have the potential to engage with communities, with firms like Brewdog offering shares to individuals since its inception. However engagement could be more direct as these businesses are the ideal scale to benefit a community through community ownership. Operating a Microbrewery as a local cooperative, owned and run by the community offers the ideal programme for social engagement and the development of new bonds of community. Alongside the production side of the project the establishment of a brew pub on site, serving the produce of the community brewery would allow a social space for community engagement and the democratic public sphere no longer adequately provided by commercial public space. 72


The current planning application which aims to convert the former Kirk into an Indian Restaurant diminishes the role this building played in establishing a place specific community identity. It continues the long standing trend of relying of private individuals to develop and maintain places of cultural and historic significance which could be better used in the service of their communities.

In its present condition the former Kirk building, with its semi ruinous castellated form is reminiscent of the folly tower on Kinnoull Hill. Its retention as a pocket park in the form of a relic or artefact of Perth’s cultural and historic narrative allows it to continue in its role as a landmark and public events space. The original Gàidhlig name for Perth is Peairt, meaning ‘copse’ or ‘wooded place’, reclaiming latent monuments in this way can reconnect the residents of Perth with the town’s own heritage.

Given the current condition of the Kirk the most simple and cost effective public use of the building would be to retain the exterior walls and spire as a relic or folly de-marking an unprogrammed meeting and events space. An unprogrammed public space at ground level, with a programmed volume inserted to give identity to the structure as an event space. A community run microbrewery and bar would provide a focus for public events involving local people in a self-regulated way.

73


Seed Merchant Warehouse

74


Site of the former Seed Merchant Warehouse around 1900, the Warehouse taking up a central position in the urban block fronted by the formal South Methven Street facade.

75


The main premises lying vacant and a general drop in quality of streetscape on South Methven Street

Various local businesses share the premises with Alexander & Brown Seed Merchants.

76


The Warehouse served as a base from which to operate the mobile Camera Obscura pinhole projector. This device allowed for direct engagement with local people, providing a Geddesian instrument with which the citizens of Perth could interact with, and record their city. The Warehouse also provided a location to exhibit work in progress and responses to the site specific studies.

77


AAAatelier d’architecture autogeree Passage 56 gap site project in Paris.

The redundant Warehouse provided a location to test schemes of direct action and occupation of urban space and its temporary transfer into the public realm. It first served as a location for a nomadic urban allotment constructed from found material appropriated from the urban environment.

Urban Allotments occupying a gap site on Rustenburgerstraat, Amsterdam.

78


79


Bibliography: Aureli, Pier Vittorio, 2011. The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Meller, Helen, 1990. Patrick Geddes: Social Evolutionist and City Planner. London. Routledge. Geddes, Patrick, 1949. Cities in Evolution. London. William & Norgate. New and revised edition. Arendt, Hannah, Kohn, J. ed. 2005. The Promise of Politics. New York. Random House. Cerdà, Ildefons. The five bases of the General Theory of Urbanisation. 2000. Electa Espana. Aristotle. Politics: A Treatise on Government. 2009. Project Gutenberg EBook Wigely, Mark. 1998. Constant’s New Babylon: The Hyper-architecture of Desire. Rotterdam. 010 Uitgeverij. Berger, John, 1980. About Looking. London. Writers’ & Readers’ Publishing Co-op. Berger, John, 1972. Ways of Seeing. London. Penguin Books Ltd. & BBC. Minton, Anna, 2009. Ground Control: Fear and happiness in the twenty-first-century city. London. Penguin Books Ltd. Lefebvre, Henri, 1991. (1974) The Production of Space, trans. Oxford. Blackwell Publishers. Kofman, E., Lebas, E., eds, 1996. Writings on Cities: Henri Lefebvre. Oxford. Blackwell Publishers. Smithson, Alison. (ed) 1968. Team 10 Primer. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Chung, Chuihua J. (ed) 2005. The Charged Void: Urbanism Alison and Peter Smithson. New York. The Monacelli Press. Chung, Chuihua J. (ed) 2001. The Charged Void: Architecture Alison and Peter Smithson. New York. The Monacelli Press. McKean, John. 2004. Giancarlo De Carlo: Layered Places. London and Stuttgart. Axel Menges. Donat, John. (ed). 1964. World Architecture 1.(Woods, Shadrach. Environment: the Search for System.) Studio. London. Woods, Shadrach. 1972. The Man in the Street. Penguin. Harmondsworth. Rowe, Colin. 1978. Collage City. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Price, Cedric. 2003.[C.1984] The Square Book. Chichester, Wiley-Academy. Obrist, Hans Ulrich. 2003. Re:CP by Cedric Price. Basel. Birkhauser. Thornley, Andy, 1991. Urban Planning Under Thatcherism: The Challenge of the Market. London. Routledge. Otto, Frei, 2009. Occupying and Connecting: Thoughts on Territories and Spheres of Influence with Particular Reference to Human Settlement. Stuttgart/London. Edition Axel Menges. Morgan, Kenneth O., 1981. Rebirth of a Nation: Wales, 1880-1980. New York and Oxford. Oxford University Press. Andreotti, Libero., Costa, Xavier. (eds.) 1996. Theory of the Derive and other situationist writings on the city. [texts by I. Chetglov, Constant, Asger Jorn] Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Barcelona. Ungers, Oswald Matheis, 1976. Planning Criteria. Lotus 11. Editoriale Lotus. Milan. Habraken, N. John, 1972 (trans.) Supports: an alternative to mass housing. London. The Architectural Press. Tafuri, Manfredo, 1976. Architecture and Utopia: Design and Capitalist Development. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press.

Martin K Baillie

060003353

80


Norberg-Schulz, Christian, 1965. Intentions in Architecture. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Norberg-Schulz, Christian, 1980. Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. London. Academy Editions. Glendinning, Miles. Page, David, 1999. Clone City: Crisis and Renewal in Contemporary Scottish Architecture. Edinburgh. Polygon. Jenkins, Paul. Forsyth, Leslie. (ed) 2010 Architecture, Participation and Society. New York. Routledge. Mörtenböck, Peter (ed) Mooshammer, Helge (ed), 2008. Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space. Rotterdam. NAi Publishers. Mikellides, Byron (ed), 1980. Architecture for People. London. Studio Vista. Sanoff, Henry, 2000. Community Participation Methods in Design and Planning. Chichester, Wiley-Academy. Gilbert, Bentley B. 1973. The Evolution of National Insurance in Great Britain: the Origins of the Welfare State. London. Michael Joseph. Rossi, Aldo, 1931. The Architecture of the City, 1982. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Lynch, Kevin, 1960. The Image of the City. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Lynch, Kevin, 1981. A Theory of Good City Form. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Caruso, Adam, 2008. The Feeling of Things. Barcelona, Ediciones Poligrafa. Koolhaas, Rem, 1994. Delirious New York. New York, The Monacelli Press. Lehnerer, Alex, 2009. Grand Urban Rules. Rotterdam, 010 Publishers. Koolhaas, Rem, Mau, Bruce, 1995. S,M,L,XL. New York, The Monacelli Press. Tschumi, Bernard, 2003. INDEX Architecture. Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Tschumi, Bernard, 1978. The Pleasure of Architecture. Hill, Jonathan, 2003. Actions of Architecture: Architects and Creative Users. London, Routledge. Tschumi, Bernard, 1994. Event-Cities (Praxis). Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press. Tschumi, Bernard, 2000. Event-Cities 2. Cambridge, Mass and London. MIT Press. Tschumi, Bernard, 1997. Architecture in/of Motion. Rotterdam. NAI. Jencks, Charles, 1997. Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture. Chichester, Wiley-Academy. St John, Peter, 2008. If I was designing London. London. Development Agency Framework Panel. Clark, Andrew, Holland, Caroline, Katz, Jeanne, Peace. Sheila M., 2007. Social Interactions in Urban Public Places, Open University, published for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation by Policy Press. Douglas Keay, Woman’s Own Sep 23 1987. Available at: <http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689> [Accessed 21 November 2011] Cacciottolo, Mario. BBC News, Occupy London: What did the St Paul’s protest achieve? Feb 28 2012. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17188327> [Accessed 28 February 2012] BBC News, St Paul’s protest ‘can stay until new year’ Nov 03 2011. Available at: <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15568253> [Accessed 03 November 2011] Marx, K. 1845. Theses on Feuerbach. Available at: <http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/index.htm> [Accessed 09 March 2012]

Martin K Baillie

060003353

81

Public Space in the post capitalist city  

Martin K Baillie - Architecture Thesis