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Off topic : Designing large cities...

 
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owenCollins



Joined: 30 Jul 2017
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:05 pm    Post subject: Off topic : Designing large cities... Reply with quote

Heard this podcast on the city of Bijlmer :

https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/bijlmer-city-future-part-1/

Seems like a very unsuccessful piece of architecture. It seems a lot of bad assumptions were made by the planners.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is an architectural expression of Fascism if ever there was one.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16383
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly didn't help that the project lacked adequate planning; there's no excuse for opening buildings for use when access to the site, and essential
services, have not yet arrived.

In the meantime, this sentence caught my eye: "The hexagonal grid would allow each apartment to get some sunlight every day." How would this be
accomplished, short of the buildings rotating mechanically ? For buildings to be equally exposed to sunlight they would necessarily have to be oriented
identically, not at three different angles in plan. The sentence is the kind of statement that sounds good on its face but turns out to be nonsense.

In fact, the hexagonal layout means instead that the informed prospective tenant could preselect the sort of sunlight he or she preferred -- morning sun,
afternoon sun, or in some cases perhaps very little penetrating sunlight at all -- by choosing the right apartment.

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apartment? Or cell? If a sign were posted at the entrance, with a fence and gate topped with concertina wire, it could pass for a penitentiary.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16383
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buildings like these usually look ominous and inhospitable from the air, or from the ground for that matter. While that aspect can't be ignored, the more important condition is at the granular level, I think: How do the
apartments relate to each other, and to the out-of-doors ? What is the apartment layout like ?

A six by thirty-six foot terrace isn't to be sneezed at, for starters . . . ! (You could sneeze once you're out there, of course, but that's a different matter.)

Designers today are better at breaking up the visual mass of large structures; they are more than willing to throw "architectural honesty" out the window in favor of a hoped-for relatable scale, by masking identical (or
comparable) units behind facades that change material, color, and detail at (ir)regular intervals across the face of a block structure.

You wouldn't have caught Mr Wright playing that game; even his largest structures maintain their integrity in that regard. He found other ways, I guess, to achieve desirable scale, perhaps in no more consistent a way
than by reducing unnecessary volume and height, creating intimacy -- again, at the granular level ?

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter how you cut it, it's still baloney. The template for this development, conscious or unconscious, is Pruitt-Igoe. A 120 bend here and there makes no difference. The granular units at P-I were nicely designed, as well, but it is the massive presence of the whole damn thing that is unsettling to those thus entombed.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16383
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right. And so -- what's the better alternative, assuming that X number of people are to live on Y acreage ? Where has it been done appreciably better ?

Or are the slums -- pardon me, "existing housing stock" -- a homier and more familiar environment for the masses . . .

Maybe we're really talking about land use policy ?

SDR
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