Archive for the ‘15 housing projects from hell’ Category
__SPACER__ For all its pretense at modernism, the fact that the Pruitt Igoe was built in two complexes, one for white people and one for black, speaks volumes of its primitive ideology.<p /><p />When the Pruitt Igoe was demolished, Charles Jencks declared it as the death of modernism. The demolition sequence itself features in the movie, Koyaanisqatsi.
__SPACER__ The word suburb, ‘banlieue’, conjures up something very different in France to the US. Burning cars and desolate tower blocks, rather than SUVs and low-rise strip malls. These superficially rather interesting looking towers are visible from Paris’ financial district, La Defense, and are a reminder of what lies outside of the Peripherique.
__SPACER__ The architect of this housing scheme, Erno Goldfinger, is one of Britain’s most celebrated modernists and the model for James a Bond villain, having live opposite Ian Flemming, who hated him. His buildings are undoubtedly dramatic and sculptural, but when Architects brag about how many people want to live in the iconic Trellic Tower, this has more to do with the proximity of Notting Hill than an affection for bush-hammered concrete.
__SPACER__ The origins of modernism were a reaction by the elite that the masses could afford decorative styles. The Barcelona Pavilion was built with expensive Onyx, Travertine and Stainless Steel. Modernism for the masses had neither the luxury of decoration or materials. This unbelievably badly built student housing block in Poland demonstrates the point perfectly.
__SPACER__ The tenements of Glasgow epitomized urban squalor and modernism was a chance to scrub the dirt of Glasgow clean. With broken elevators and desolate stairways, the view over teh nearby Scottish countryside is as cruel as Marin from Alcatraz. Nothing quite shows the insanity of this scheme than the green surrounding it.