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R O O M S + C I T I E S


First Published 2014 by the Print Unit at the University of Dundee, Perth Road, Dundee, Scotland, DD1 4HT Designed and typeset in Adobe Aparajita Printed and bound in Great Britain First Edition Š 2014 All rights reserved.


ROOMS + CITIES 2014-2015 ELEVEN CITY PLANS


CONTRIBUTORS

Amy Sleight Anastasija Lukjanenko Asya Ivanova Charli Thomson Georgette McKinlay James Basey Jessica Coxon John Melling Joseph Treherne Ross Aitken Stephanie Else


CONTENTS

Preface 8 Mapping the Cities 11 Rome 12 ‘La Pianta Grande di Roma’ 1748

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‘Campo Marzio’ plan of Rome 1762

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‘Roma Interotta’ 1978 28 Modernist 36 ‘Hochhausstadt’ 1924 38 ‘Ilot Insalubre no.6, Paris’1937

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‘STOP CITY’ 2007 54 Koolhaas 62 ‘Exodus or the voluntary prisoners of architecture’ 1972

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‘Berlin: A Green Archipelago’ 1977

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Abstract 80 ‘Plan of Ideal City of Sforzinda’ c1460 82 ‘Instant City’ 1969 90 ‘The Manhattan Transcripts’ 1977

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Acknowledgements 107 Bibliography 109


PREFACE

ROOMS + CITIES ELEVEN CANONICAL CITY PLANS AND A NOTE ON THE CONCEPTUAL PRACTICE OF ARCHITECTURE This publication compiles research into the following eleven canonical city plans: Filarete’s Ideal City of Sforzinda (c1460), Giambattista Nolli’s La Pianta Grande di Roma (1748), Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Campo Marzio (1762), Ludwig Hilberseimer’s Hochhausstadt (1924), Le Corbusier’s Ilot insalubre no. 6 (1937), Archigram’s Instant City (1969), Rem Koolhaas’ Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture (1972), Oswald Mathias Ungers’ (et al.) Berlin: A Green Archipelago (1977), Costantino Dardi’s panel for Roma Interrotta (1978), Bernard Tschumi’s Street in The Manhattan Transcripts (1978), and finally Pier Vittorio Aureli’s Stop City (2007). Just as the actuality of the city is the concrete embodiment – the collective historical sum – of manual and mental human labour, each of the selected city plans is the representation of its authors singular values, beliefs, and critical sensibility. Each plan, in different ways, analyses the city and sees something in it – features, qualities, forms, objects, events, geometries – that was not seen by others. Once seen, the particularities become the basis for project thinking and design. Most of the city plans are theoretical projects by architects motivated by the possibility of influencing the urban condition through architecture’s formal potential by means of framing and representing the space of confrontation and coexistence, which is the city; and who take the view that architecture is a conceptual practice and intellectual pursuit. The emphasis on architecture as a conceptual practice – as a theoretical project – is important because it is by being presented as theory – a category autonomous yet in dialogue with design – that architecture goes beyond the art, craft or pragmatic construction of building to propose an intellectual contribution that addresses the potential for an alternative future urban life.


The research began as a Summer project and was concluded within the opening weeks of term. Each member of the Rooms + Cities Unit was assigned a plan and required to produce a series of diagrams that describe the formal, conceptual and organisational principles of their plan, and to delineate a room within their city plan. Then a representative area of 500 metres square was redrawn at the scale of 1:500. Accompanying these drawings was a short explanatory text to historically situate the city plan. The purpose of this project can be summarised in the following three ways. First, the act of redrawing the city plan is itself a form of architectural inquiry by means of architecture’s quintessential critical tool: the drawing. For this reason the drawings produced should not be viewed as illustrations of a canonical plan (although they are that as well), but as critical examinations into the ideas that underline each city plan and therefore produce knowledge about architecture and the city. Second, by discussing the principles of each city plan a conceptual vocabulary was developed to help describe the relation between room and city. Theoretical categories particular to each plan were debated – including “cell,” “event,” “bigness,” “limit,” to name a few – as well as categories common to all plans, including “enclosure,” “context,” “type,” and “the other.” Third, the city plans act as critical reference points to be manipulated and transformed, and which can be used to generate architectural ideas and city forms for the studio projects that follow. Cameron McEwan Lorens Holm November 2014

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MAPPING THE CITIES

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ROME


‘La Pianta Grande di Roma’ Giambattista Nolli 1748

‘Campo Marzio’ plan of Rome Giovanni Battista Piranesi 1762 Parti Diagram

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‘Roma Interotta’ 1978

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‘La Pianta Grande di Roma’ Giambattista Nolli 1748 James Basey


The significance of the Nolli plan for architects is that it gives a unique view of Rome’s “innate character”. It reveals the topographic and spatial structure of the city, countering a tendency in contemporary architectural history and criticism to examine objects as isolated monuments outside the very context that give them life and meaning. Plan vs Pictorial Representation The Nolli map, as an iconographic plan, presents the city with an exactitude that allows one to immediately compare size, position and shape. This is to be contrasted with a pictorial representation that because of perspective diminution of objects of the same size, convergence of lines, and overlapping shapes necessarily distorts the image in order to stimulate a perceptual point of view. Undeniably this way of seeing yields an intuitive ‘feel’. The Nolli method, like any scaled plan of presentation, has distinct advantages. It provides a conceptual view that enables a consistent frame of reference based on exact and comparable information and avoids the perspective distortion of a singular point of view. Solid/Void The Nolli map provides an immediate and intuitive understanding of the city’s urban form through the simple yet effective graphic method of rendering solids as dark grey and rendering voids as white. The city, thus conceived as an enormous mass that has been ‘carved’ away to create ‘outdoor’ rooms is rendered intelligible and vivid through simple graphic convention. Topography/ Space Nolli’s map conveys an understanding of the city’s topographic and geo-spatial structure, the patterns of private and public buildings, and their relationship to the entire urban ensemble. This encourages an understanding of the building, not as isolated event, but one that is deeply and intrinsically embedded in the fabric of the city.

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Figure/Ground The idea of solid/void is closely related to the idea of figure/ground. The dark and light patterns of the city reveal the manner in which public space in the city is conceived no less carefully than building. In Rome, public or semi-public space possesses a distinct and identifiable character whether it is a church interior, palace courtyard or public urban space. The Piazza Navona is easily identified as a ‘figural’ element in the city, with surrounding buildings acting as a back up field or ‘ground’ into which the element has been placed, or rather, carved away. In contrast, the Modern city reserves this conceptual reading so that building is always seen as active figural object while space is imagined (if at all) as a kind of recessive, formless ether or receptacle that provides the setting for the object. In Rome, solid and void readings have the capacity to be interpreted as either figure or ground. Urban Dialectics The Nolli map demonstrates the principal of contextual design evident throughout the city of Rome at the scale of the building and the scale of the city as a whole. The relationship between ‘outside and inside’ and building and place are distinctive features that Norberg-Schulz has called the ‘genius loci’ of Rome. The detailed rendering of streets, piazza and buildings in relationship to one another underscores how profoundly Nolli understood this quality. The context conditions the building and the building in turn exerts an outward pressure on the city fabric. The dialectical relationship between buildings and their context- a two way street- suggests a dynamic interplay between solid and void, figure and ground and the new and the old. The evolution of the city and its formal and spatial structure, therefore, is seen, not as a static proposition, but rather as a dynamic, highly charged and even volatile discourse of competing pressures, issues, needs and desires- both in urban and human terms.


typologies of enclosure

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500 x 500 plan location

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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground * blank square indicates N/A

Leonardo Bufalini’s Plan of Rome 1551

2 Italy

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3 The Ocean’s last thin sheet of water gliding landwards and seawards.


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‘Campo Marzio’ plan of Rome Giovanni Battista Piranesi 1762 Jessica Coxon

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The Campo Marzio Plan of Rome is Piranesi’s attempt to re-imagine contemporary Rome. Following centuries of social and economic decline, by the 18th century Rome had finally stabilised and it became possible to implement urban strategies that better managed and governed the city. The Nolli Plan reflected this clear vision of an urban order. Piranesi’s Campo Marzio Plan on the other hand rejected this conventional urban order and imagined a Rome consisting almost entirely of ancient monuments ‘emerging from an amorphous ground and freed from the economy of the orders.’ Piranesi envisaged a new city emerging out of the embedded history of Ancient Rome. In the Campo Marzio, Piranesi relocated and further developed the ancient buildings, long since ruins, from Imperial Rome, placed them in the Campo Marzio area and by using these fragments from a glorious history, he envisaged a new city. Campo Marzio was largely imagined; it is a ‘free composition of masses’ pushed closely together. The buildings are mostly, if not all, public buildings, enforcing the idea of social wealth and political power. He was very specific in selecting the buildings, choosing only what he saw as functional and satisfying social needs, both cultural and spiritual. The temples, tombs, aqueducts, amphitheatres and sporting circuses, all suggest a city of powerful architecture. It is through the selection of buildings and through an ambiguity of scale that Piranesi was able to express the grandness of his intended Rome. There is no obvious evidence of infrastructure such as roads, piazzas or housing. The monumental architecture is the infrastructure. Piranesi believed the contrasting forms did not require an urban order to be comprehended. There is a tension between form and space, ‘the city appears not as ordered streets and squares, but as an open field punctuated by the gigantic and contrasting forms.’ Piranesi blurs the lines between interior and exterior, public and private, by drawing everything at street level. There is no clear spatial organisation or hierarchy, however, there is a hierarchy of objects comprising large complexes of ancient structures that seem to share a common plane and orientation, with smaller buildings packed into the gaps. Piranesi’s Campo Marzio replaces urban order with fragments of history and in doing so he creates a different way of recording the city; by layering history he attempts to tell the story of when Rome was capital of the ancient World and it is this ideological view of Rome that inspired Piranesi’s imagination to re-think contemporary Rome.

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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

* blank square indicates N/A

Giambattista Nolli’s Plan of Rome, 1748

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2 3 Rome, 1748 (plan byLigorio, Giambattisia Nolli) Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Second Frontispiece, fromItaly Il Campo Pirro “Antiquae urbis imago”, 1561 Marzio dell’Antica Roma 1762 ‘Ligorio’s reconstruction of ancient Rome is the most direct precedent for Piranesi’s Campo Marzio.’


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Nolli

4 Centres and Edges

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5 Geometry

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7 Figure Ground

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‘Roma Interotta’ 1978 Amy Sleight


Roma Interotta was an experiment into a new way of designing cities, using the city of Rome as a template for investigations into memory, imagination and urban planning. The competition was introduced by the Mayor of Rome, who himself speaks of the problems of planning in Rome, being a city of the past it has become an interrupted city through poorly planned projects, a misunderstanding of the relationship between Rome and the countryside that surrounds it, and the lack of preservation of Rome’s history. Roma Interotta gave 12 Architects the opportunity to take Nolli’s plan of Rome from 1748, and re-imagine a Rome in their own individual way before it deformed into the Rome of the 20th Century. Through looking at each different Architect’s interpretation I selected the sector re-imagined by Constantino Dardi, which contains the integral form of the Tridente leading up to the Piazza del Popolo. The selection of this segment was partly due to the importance of the Tridente in the urban form of Rome, but also for the way Dardi superimposed a series of structures onto the landscape that are social tools for interaction between city and countryside.

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Through the construction of ‘gazebos’ down the hills of the Pincio to the Tridente, Dardi looks to both create new passageways from rural to urban, but to also create new social spaces that will encourage a connection between the city and the relative wasteland of the ‘exedra’ left by the Tridente. Through this superimposition they look to enhance the historical importance of the Tridente and ‘find links and breaks within the historical space, and incorporates them in the project’. At the time of this experimentation the balance of Modernist architecture was merging into Postmodernism, and it represented an integral time in transition between the two styles. Rossi’s own depiction of his Analogical City was an interesting comparison in this form of urban thinking and a contemporary of Dardi. While Dardi superimposes on an iconic city plan of Rome, Rossi’s experiment is based on constructing a city of parts, through placing monuments and historical elements placed on a base of an ‘anonymous city’. Through his drawing he looks at the relationship between memory and the city, as well as the relationship between reality and imagination. Rather than using an iconic plan, he chooses to place these objects on an unknown plan to emphasise this dialogue between the journey of memory and urban structure in cities.


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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

Giambattista Nolli’s plan of Rome

2 The interpretive drawings that surround the whole 12 panels of plan from Roma Interotta

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3 A drawing from Dardi’s exhibition in the 1985 Venice Biennale for a bridge proposal in Venice


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MODERNIST


‘Hochhausstadt’ Ludwig Hilberseimer 1924

‘Ilot Insalubre no. 6, Paris’ Le Corbusier 1937

‘STOP CITY’ Pier Vittorio Aureli 2007

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‘Hochhausstadt’ Ludwig Hilberseimer 1924 Stephanie Else


Ludwig Hilberseimer’s 1924 plan for a vertical – High-Rise – city showcased the planning principles and urban elements essential to the contemporary metropolis. It was developed as a counter project to Corbusier’s 1922 project for a Contemporary City for Three Million, and like Corbusier’s proposal, its site is essentially featureless. The core issue of the city is the relation of individual room to block to infrastructure. Metropolisarchitecture is considerably dependant on solving two factors: the individual cell of the room and the collective urban organism. The solution will be determined by the manner in which the room is manifested as an element of buildings linked together in one street block, thus becoming a designing factor of the city. Hilberseimer. The ‘Ideal’ City: a layered metropolis The original 1924 project is presented, unusually, as a sectional plan, the purpose of which soon becomes evident. The complexity of the city unfolds in the vertical dimension. The basis for the city of one million inhabitants is a simple longitudinal block, 100 metres deep and 600 metres long [the longer side orientated north-south]. At its base the first 5 stories serve commercial and industrial purposes and contain eight transverse wings which create an internalised courtyard arrangement. The upper 15 stories are residential: the first level of which is set back from the elevated, 10m wide, pedestrian thoroughfare to permit access to commercial areas and apartments. Beneath the pedestrian infrastructure, the primary 60m wide vehicular network services the lower ‘commercial city’, beneath which lies the inner-city subway system. A long distance train line exists at a further sub-level with routes along the primary east-west and north-south axes.

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Le Corbusier v Hilberseimer While Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine has geometric similarities to Hilberseimer’s High-Rise city, and indeed seems to share his contemporary’s machine aesthetic - the city is a ‘machine for living in’ - these two theoretical metropolises are crucially different. While Corbusier’s plan appears to be vertical with its commercial centre of cruciform buildings, it is in fact still largely horizontal in its zoning: the commercial district is centralised, while the residential perimeter blocks form the outer ring of the city. Hilberseimer’s idea of locating the residential accommodation above the commercial city eliminates commuter traffic completely. Where these two cities differ most is in their approach to ‘green space’: evidently at the forefront of Le Corbusier’s proposal and absent entirely from Hilberseimer’s, to which the latter argues that the ‘spatial concentration of [his] city enables one to reach the countryside quickly with the help of a corresponding well-developed rail system.’ Hilberseimer, L. (2013) Metropolis Architecture and Selected Essays. New York: GSAPP Books


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60m

+5: pedestrian level

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-1: subway 60m

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-2: long distance train

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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

Le Corbusier: Ville Contemporaine

2 Berlin, Germany

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3 Green Space - this is absent entirely from Hilberseimer’s proposal


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‘Ilot Insalubre no. 6, Paris’ Le Corbusier 1937 Asya Ivanova


In 1937 Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret made a proposal for the development of a dilapidated part of east central Paris, under the Ilot Insalubre program in which 16 ‘insalubrious islands’ were identified by local authorities for improvement and development. Their project for Ilot Insalubre no. 6 was a pretext for implementing their theses about the city as well as an approach to slum clearance. It exemplified Le Corbusier’s ‘five points of a new architecture’: the 20-storey zigzag apartment buildings on pillars freed the ground for the pedestrian. The plan included a solution for traffic by eliminating the old street system (except for two main roads) and proposing a number of multi-storey car parks connected to the apartment buildings. The project consisted of free standing building groups with large wings at angles to meet the demands for light and views. Open spaces would be used for landscaping, cinemas, nurseries and sports. With only twelve per cent of the plot covered, he transformed the flat roofs into playgrounds. The individual dwellings would be of various sizes, as most would be based on the duplex house typology with an internal stairway. Le Corbusier’s ideas stemmed from the principle that all people are equal, in the process of realising a ‘horizontal’ society.

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Urbanism And actually millions and millions of men, women and children of the world, each day are making a mad rush, which is a terrific waste of modern life. Le Corbusier In his urban proposals Le Corbusier aimed to draw attention to the planning problems of Paris. He made the following axioms: a) town centres must be made less congested; b) town centres must be more densely built up; c) means of transport must be increased; d) there must be an increase in open spaces. Le Corbusier wanted to recuperate, in his plans, what he called ‘the soul of the city’ – a certain poetry which despite mechanisation is the source of feelings, emotions, and sentiment. The City of Towers was placed amidst gardens, with traffic deployed along arteries graded into ‘easy, rapid or very rapid circulation’. It aims to eliminate disorder and lead to harmony. Politics The invention of a new form of city has always been a major objective for those in power in every era, an aspiration whose achievement would provide permanent evidence of the culture of the time. Carlo Cresti Ilot Insalubre no. 6 was never built. Throughout his career Le Corbusier made a consistent attempt to win the support of the authorities for his architectural and town-planning projects. More often than not his contacts with the world of politics came to grief. The novelty of his ideas, the ambitious scope of his projects and the often dogmatic thrust of his rhetoric scared authorities, who were unreceptive to the problems that modern architecture addressed. Nor was he a master of diplomacy. Conservatives regarded him as a communist, socialists as a fascist. The wide range of his contacts suggests that he entertained no constant political biases in his approaches to authorities. His desire was simply to build and equip cities. When he wrote the La Ville Radieuse in 1935 he dedicated it ‘To Authority’, and later mailed it personally to Stalin, Mussolini, Petain and Nehru.


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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

Le Corbusier’s proposal for central Paris

2 16 Ilots Insalubre, Paris

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3 Crucifix tower plan


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‘STOP CITY’ Pier Vittorio Aureli 2007 Jospeh Treherne


STOP CITY, 1 project in a publication of 11, titled DOGMA, presents a new way of structuring the city in our current context of ever sprawling cities and mundane developments. Aureli calls this continuous homogeneous development without form ‘urbanisation’ to distinguish from 19th century city-building, which still had a clear radial structure, even if it no longer had a wall. The project was complete in 2007 and was led by the Brussels based architect Pier Vittorio Aureli. The project comprises 8 generic blocks, each measuring 500x500x25m, evenly arranged around a 3.5km square, containing forest/wilderness within and agricultural land without. The blocks are void of intended character and are drawn as such, they comprise of 125 levels of concrete slabs supported on columns - one can recognise Le Corbusier’s domino in the free plan - any random assortment of dwellings or accommodations can be constructed and placed on these slabs – turning each block into its own city, or a ‘city within a city’ as Aureli puts it. The nature of these blocks allow for any number of permutations as to what goes next to what and what may be. As Aureli writes about STOP CITY he is explicit in having the project understood as using a ‘non-specific’, ‘non-figurative language’, other choice words are: ‘ubiquitous’, ‘genericness’ and ‘uprootedness’. Regarding form, Aureli very much wanted to get away from form making in the city, and therefore adopted the simplest of shapes – the square.

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‘All of our projects start from the figure of a square. For us it is dogma in the sense that we do not even discuss the why. We simply use it and thereby skip the humiliating moment for architects when they have to desperately search for some interesting form.’ (Aureli, 2013) STOP CITY can be seen as making poignant that which Archizoom had tried to before with NO-STOP CITY. As Aureli states: ‘Stop City polemically appropriates Archizoom’s model of homogeneous urbanisation – No-Stop City (1968-72) – at precisely the moment when the premise of their project no longer [seemed] a utopian vision but rather an acute and sarcastic analysis of the reality in which we live now’. (ibid) That which makes STOP CITY and not NO-STOP CITY of greater poignancy for the city now is that STOP CITY ‘separates urbanisation from void space, [positioning] itself as an absolute limit.’ (ibid) Aureli, P, V., 2013. Dogma; 11 Projects. London: AA Publications.


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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

Aureli - theoretical project ‘A SIMPLE HEART’ located in Düsseldorf

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3 Archizoom - theoretical project ‘No-Stop City’


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KOOLHAAS


‘Exodus or the voluntary prisoners of architecture’ Rem Koolhaas 1972

‘Berlin: A Green Archipelago’ O.M. Ungers, Rem Koolhaas et al 1977

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‘Exodus or the voluntary prisoners of architecture’ Rem Koolhaas 1972 Georgette McKinlay


1972: Rem Koolhaas, and Elia Zenghelis, with Madelon Vriesendorp, and Zoe Zenghelis Once, a city was divided in two parts. One part became the Good Half, the other part the Bad Half. The inhabitants of the Bad Half began to flock to the good part of the divided city, rapidly swelling into an urban exodus. Koolhaas Exodus was conceived as Koolhaas’ 5th year thesis at the Architecture Association in London and later developed with his tutor Elia Zenghelis and illustrators Zoe Zhenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp, the four of whom soon after founded OMA. In the summer before his final year Koolhaas travelled to Berlin to document the Wall and was entranced by its ‘heartbreakingly beautiful’ nature: a psychological and symbolical masterpiece, which despite its absence of programme had provoked a continuous narrative of events, behaviours and effects. The concept of exodus alludes to Cold War West Berlin, in which people voluntarily sought refuge in a restricted enclave surrounded by a forbidding wall: a metropolis-scaled prison. Exodus can be read either as a real or fictional scenario for the contemporary metropolis. Imposing an idea inspired in part by the Berlin Wall, onto the urban fabric of London, Exodus, as a linear walled city is driven by the themes of – a new urban culture of architectural innovation, social organisation and political rebellion. The resulting void of exodus can be seen as a place latent with programmatic potential; a domain of unlimited opportunity. As Koolhaas states, ‘Where there is nothing, everything is possible, where there is architecture, nothing (else) is possible’. Absence is stronger than presence.

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Enclosed within the wall is a highly compartmentalised series of scenarios; autonomous squares suggesting inversions of typological city situations, a narrative reel of urban confinement. These scenes portray a mirror-image of contemporary architecture, described by Koolhaas as ‘a force as intense and devastating but in the service of positive intentions.’ Within Koolhaas’ plan is a double logic of utopian dreams and a critique on the many shortcomings of the contemporary metropolis. Individuals become guardians of their own imprisonment in a series of compounds where perfection would be assured. This project is filled with oxymorons such as hospitals that do not cure, private areas under surveillance, nocturnal suns and object-less museums. It questions: through what system of exclusion, by eliminating whom, by creating what division, through what game of negation and rejection, can a society begin to function? Koolhaas, R. and Mau, B. (1995) SMLXL. New York: Monacelli Press


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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

1 The idea of Exodus alludes to Cold War West Berlin.

2 Exodus is an island situated in the sea that is London’s built fabric.

3 Inmates, conscious of their confinement, flee to this artificial paradise from their private urban realm.


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‘Berlin: A Green Archipelago’ O. M. Ungers, Rem Koolhaas et al. 1977

John Melling


In September 1977, when Berlin - A Green Archipelago was published, large areas of post-war Berlin were still in ruins. The Green Archipelago imagines a Berlin of concentrated ‘islands’ of development within a sea of parkland and forest. It remains a reference point for managing cities whose populations are shrinking. Having spent his childhood in Indonesia, Koolhaas drew comparisons between the archipelago of Indonesia and the multitude of isolated communities within the city of Berlin. Berlin’s identity and urban quality lay in its differences and the variety that manifests in its historic quarters. A Green Archipelago aims to define Berlin’s urban make-up less through the standardisation or monopoly of ideas, than through formulating growth based on connections of existing fragments, and an understanding that variety was necessary to densify & invigorate the city from its post-war slumber.

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The 1970’s witnessed the publication of a large body of manifesto-like theoretical texts on cities, including Learning from Las Vegas (1972), Chicago a la Carte: The City as an Energy System (1970), and Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), each of which was based on the study of a significant city. Berlin – A Green Archipelago was first presented by Rem Koolhaas, in the summer of 1977, to his former tutor Matthias Oswald Ungers. Alongside Koolhaas, Peter Riemann, Hans Kollhoff & Arthur Ovaska are credited with contributing to the manifesto, which Sebastien Marot deems comparable to, if less well known than, the seminal texts Collage City (1978) and Delirious New York (1978). The French architect Le Corbusier was a visual influence on the project. His redrawing of Ligorio’s Antiquae Urbis Imago displayed Rome as a series of simplified geometric forms. Likewise, A Green Archipelago proposed to complete the urban fabric by developing discrete enclaves or islands.


Leonidov’s Magnitogorsk Housing Proposal

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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

COLLAGE CITY

Rem Koolhaas

Delirious New York

Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter

1 Comparable Texts

2 Ligorio’s “Antique Urbis Romae” & Le Corbusier’s Re-drawing

3 Indonesia


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ABSTRACT


Plan of Ideal City of Sforzinda Antonio Averlino c1460

‘Instant City’ Archigram 1969

‘The Manhattan Transcripts’ Bernard Tschumi1977

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Plan of Ideal City of Sforzinda Antonio Averlino [Filarete] c1460 Ross Aitken


Filarete’s Sforzinda, although unbuilt, was a vision of a utopian city and an evolution of the traditional medieval city, in which zoning and architecture reflected a clear social and political hierarchy. The ideas were developed from Vitruvius’ Town Plan, in which he uses an octagonal shape with roads radiating out from the centre. Sforzinda was designed at a time when there was a perceived need for a central power, but also when there was fear that Rome, rather than individual rulers (such as the Sforza family), would become the ruling power in Italy. The plan for Sforzinda is created by the layering of two squares, one orientated 45 degrees to the other, to form an eight pointed star. This idea reflected the Pythagoreans theories that true realities lie in the geometrical shapes such as, squares, circles and triangles. Using a circular moat around the walls and a circular road internally enhances the geometrical forms, while the combination of squares and radiating roads creates a series of triangles within the plan. Every second road would have canals running alongside them, as the idea of the city was trade, and this allowed the movement of goods from the outside to the central district. The inner parts of the star shape is where the access to the city is, with eight gates leading directly to the heart of the plan.

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The plan emulates the Platonic idea that suggests there are three aspects of society that need to work harmoniously together for the city to work: the authority that creates the rules and laws, the soldiers that enforce them and the producers who provide goods for the city. If we break Filarete’s plan into sections, we can see that this idea has been implemented in the overall scheme. The centre of the plan is where the seats of power are located, the outer walls are for the protection of the city, and everything else is for the production of goods. Working from descriptions of the centre we can also see this Platonic view in the arrangement of the three interconnecting piazzas. The central piazza (authority) contains the two main powers, the Ducal Palace and the Cathedral. To the north of this piazza is the merchant’s piazza (soldier), containing buildings such as the town hall, law courts and prison. To the south of the main piazza is the market piazza (producers), in this area are buildings such as the inns, taverns and public baths.


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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

Vitruvius’s Town Plan

2 Filarete’s location plan drawing

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3 Italy confined by the walls with Rome at the centre


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‘Instant City’ Archigram 1969 Anastasija Lukjanenko


“The city is nomadic, the city is image, the city is event. With its mobile cranes, robots and airships it becomes a global network of immediate and ephemeral information: in an instant city, new spaces of interaction and communications slot into the existing city and transform it.� Instant City (IC) was designed by Peter Cook and the avant-garde architecture group Archigram. The Twentieth century was a time of rapid urbanisation, and IC was proposed as a response to the nature of the metropolis. Drawing on contemporary magazines, ephemera, science fiction and comics, Archigram brought the aesthetic of advertising and pop culture to architecture and urban thinking. People living in suburbs or bedroom towns tended to be isolated from the metropolis. The main idea driving IC was to offer inhabitants a taste of a city life. IC was to bring the entertainment, cultural and educational resources of the metropolis to the suburbs, which could be operated under any weather conditions. Using vehicles including airships and balloons, the temporary elements could be installed anywhere. The likely components were audio-visual display and projection systems, television, trailered units, pneumatic and lightweight structures and entertainments facilities, exhibits, gantries and electric lights. Instant City was designed to respond to the changing needs and desires of individuals. IC proposed a radical architecture whose program always changed, comprising temporary structures and industrial forms that could be rapidly erected on a site according to local characteristics. Not all the components were to be used in all cities, therefore a group of researchers was engaged to investigate the needs of inhabitants prior to the IC visit.

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There are two types of IC: 1. The IC which comes to the bedroom town and revives it, using the existing buildings. Some of the components are provided by the town, some are transported into it; 2. The IC which can be installed in a field for a short period of time using only the IC components. The intention was that Instant City would move from town to town, leaving in its wake an IT and entertainment network that, after a number of years, would link all the cities and towns of the UK. This futuristic idea was proposed in 1969, some 30 years before this network would become a technological reality. It anticipated related ideas in game theory, cybernetics, and education. Game theory, cybernetics and education on the move Instant City is related to projects like The Fun Palace and the Potteries Thinkbelt by Cedric Price. The Fun Palace was designed using the sciences of cybernetics, information technology and game theory. The Fun Palace was to be “the university of the streets�, where people could learn languages, use computers, cook, watch movies, or observe passers-by. Like IC, the Fun Palace had to be adaptable to a fluid program. The Potteries Thinkbelt design involved mobile educational studios on the disused Midlands railway lines. In contrast to modern architecture with its strict planning, both Price and Cook offer the concept of non-plan. The projects imply that cultural values are not inherent in a place, such as a building, a museum or an archive. Because culture is inconstant and values change, the surroundings should be amenable to modifications.


INSTANT CITY

RM A

INF HERE

T ION

C

M US I

IC IS NOW

ME DO

typologies of enclosure

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SCHOOL UNIT

SCHOOL UNIT ROBOT

SE QU EN CE

LIGHTNET PLAYGROUND DANCING ETC

DI NF O

ELECTRONIC CABARET SEMINAR TENT

RESTAURANT

RM AT IO N SCHOOL UNIT

ROBOT OPEN EXHIBITION AREAS

HOLOGRAPHIC CONTROL

MAINTENANCE

STUDY/THINK/INFO PLAY CENTRE

AUTO SHOP ROBOTPIT

NIGHTCLUB PROGRAM MESH

SERV EATING

NIGHT SOUND RESPONSE TENT

SHOWSTAGE

INSTANT CITY PROMENADE

SHOW CAPSULE

HL SCREEN

NIGHT LEVEL SCREEN

BALOON TOWER

SHOWRING

ELECTRICAL SIGN TAIL

TAILORED OFFICE/HOUSE

PREVAILING WIND

CAR PARKING


500 x 500 plan location

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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground * blank square indicates N/A

Cedric Price: Pottery Thinkbelt

2 Global

1

3 Typical sleeping town


4

5

6

7

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‘The Manhattan Transcripts’ Bernard Tschumi 1977 Charli Thomson


The name, Manhattan Transcripts is indicative of Bernard Tschumi’s speculative investigation of Manhattan, illustrating ideas concerning dialogue and narrative development. In this theatrical narrative, Tschumi portrays a sequence of frames which combine the object, the event and human movement to complete the architectural experience of the city. Tschumi suggests that this experience is located at the intersection of logic and pain, rationality and anguish, and concept and pleasure; he presents a matrix of movement through the city, challenging typical boundaries of architectural depiction. He suggests that spaces and forms are carved from movement in a frame by frame sequence that is analogous to the grid structure of Manhattan – as if architecture were a malleable substance formed by dancing, skating, acrobatics etc. Tschumi captures these movements shot by shot and allows the final meaning of such shots to be determined by its context where the blocks of Manhattan project a frame by frame series. Tschumi also portrays the way that pleasure is captured from architecture: spatial and conceptual paradoxes combine in a delight that breaks down the conventional architectural language of form and representation. By avoiding typical architectural representation - plan, section and axonometric – the Manhattan Transcripts attempt to rearrange the segments of perceived reality into the three concepts of the object, the event and the movement. They are analogous to the actors, stage set, and choreography of a theatre production, which foretell the life and vibrant activity of the city.

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Tschumi juxtaposes the three elements in specific narrative depictions; with the intent of signifying a disjunction between use, form and social value within man’s everyday activity. Human movement is the connecting factor between components of the matrix. This interpretation of the modern city addresses unexpected ‘confrontations’ of human existence; for example, the documentation of a murder and the aftermath of tracking down the murderer. Within his breakdown of ‘the street’ sequence, a route through 42nd Street is illustrated where an individual embarks on a route through each block - each block offering its own internal world becoming part of ‘the street’ – projecting a connection between the movement, the visualised space and turning points of the route. This depiction of the city is analogous to film production where the buildings constitute the ‘image track’ whilst the pedestrian routes are reminiscent of the production’s ‘soundtrack.’ His work emphasises disjunction between elements of the matrix, allowing one to interpret movement through Manhattan, with the rigid system of blocks acting as a series of dramatic frames. I have selected to represent the intersection of West 42nd Street and Broadway which is also representative of the border or shift between north and south sectors of New York. This crossing point between West 41st and 42nd St portrays a differentiation between crime ridden and prosperous segments of the city where Tschumi represents a spatial sequence through the blocks; exploring, probing and carving out the inner hidden surfaces and secret spaces of this rational gridded outer world, often approaching the darker side of human movement – the prison and the dark alley of the more informal separation of the city.


typologies of enclosure

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4 2 ND S T R E E T


500 x 500 plan location

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DIAGRAMS 1. dialogue 2. context 3. the other 4. centres + edges 5. geometry 6. infrastructure 7. figure ground

Narrative: Rem Koolhaas Delirious New York 1978.

2 Manhattan, New York

1

3 The figure represents the various adaptations of human movement carving space from the city block, creating a series of narratives/ movements which are suggested to be the basis of an architectural experience.


4

5

6

7

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks are due to the Guildry Geddes Institute for Urban Research who have consistently recognised the work undertaken by students at the University of Dundee and who have also facilitated the publication of this research. We must further note our appreciation to Dr Lorens Holm and Dr Cameron McEwan, whose guidance throughout this process has been invaluable. Finally, we would like to recognise the Print Unit at the University of Dundee for the final publication of this document.

Rooms + Cities Student Members Dundee, November 2014

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Aureli, P.V. (2011) The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture Boesiger, W. (1967) Le Corbusier 1910-65 Boyer, M.C. (2010) Le Corbusier, Homme de Lettres. Edition. Princeton Architectural Press. Cohen J-L. (2013) Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes. First Edition. Thames & Hudson Ltd. Cook, P, (1991) Archigram, Birkhauser Verlag, 144 p.. Centre Georges Pompidou, Archigram, Paris : Centre Georges Pompidou, 1994, 223 p.. Dardi, C. et al. (1978) Roma Interotta: 12 interventi sulla pianta del Nolli, Controspazio, Volume 10, Issue 4 Gozak A. (1988) Ivan Leonidov: The Complete Works. First Edition. Wiley-Academy. Hart, V. Hicks, P. (1998) Paper Palaces: The rise of the renaissance architectural treatise. Yale University Press Hertwick, F. (2013) The City in the City: Berlin: A Green Archipelago. Blg Cri Edition. Lars Muller. Hilberseimer, L.(2013) Metropolis Architecture and Selected Essays. New York: GSAPP Books Jenger, J.(1996) Le Corbusier Kafescioglu, C. (2009) Constantinopolis/Istambul: Cultural encounter, imperial vision and the construction of the ottoman capital. Pennsylvania State University Press Kieren M. (1994) Oswald Mathias Ungers (Studio Paperback). Bilingual: English/German Edition. Artemis Verlag. Koolhaas R. (1997) S M L XL. Second Edition. Monacelli Press. Koolhaas R. (1997) Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. First Edition. The Monacelli Press. Kostof, S (1991) The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. London: Thames and Hudson Le Corbusier (2014). Towards a New Architecture. Edition. Martino Fine Books. Le Corbusier (1923) Towards a new architecture Le Corbusier, 1887-1965. Le Corbusier & P. Jeanneret :1945 Mácel, O. and van Shaik, M (2005) Exit Utopia: architectural provocations 1956-76. Munich: Prestel Mateer, D. (2000) Courts, Patron, Poets. Yale University Press Mathews, S. (2006) The Fun Palace as Virtual Architecture. Cedric Price and the Practices of Indeterminacy., Journal of Architectural Education, ACSA, pp. 39–48 Moos S. (2002) Le Corbusier Before le Corbusier: Architectural Studies, Interiors, Painting and Photography, 1907-1922. First Edition. Yale University Press. Pavia, R. (1994) The ideas of the city: Urban theories of the traditional city. Franco Angeli Pommer, R. et al. (1988) In the Shadow of Mies. New York: The Art Institute of Chicago Pundt, H.G. (1972) Schinkel’s Berlin: A Study in Environmental Planning. Illustrated edition Edition. Harvard University Press. Rosenau, H. (1983) The Ideal City: Its Architectural Evolution in Europe. New York: Oxon. Rossi A, (1984) The Architecture of the City, MIT Press New Edition. Savi V, Stewart D, Conception and Reality of Aldo Rossi, Architecture and Urbanism, Issue 65, Pages 55-120, 1976 Serenyi, P. (1975) Le Corbusier in Perspective Tschumi, B (1977) The ManhattanTranscripts. New York: St Martin’s Press 108|109

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Analysis and documentation of eleven canonical city plans - including Piranesi's Campo Marzio, Koolhaas' Exodus, and Ungers' Archipelago Cit...

Rooms + Cities: Eleven Canonical City Plans  

Analysis and documentation of eleven canonical city plans - including Piranesi's Campo Marzio, Koolhaas' Exodus, and Ungers' Archipelago Cit...

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