Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Utopian Place

Steven Holl is the architect who came up with this new build in Beijing. It consists of 8 x 22 storey towers which are linked together by several air bridges. His vision is to create a 'city within a city'. This linked Hybrid is his idea of an ideal environment to live. In China mass living is usually repetitive as well as cramped, Holl aspires to improve this by creating a selection of apartment layouts which offer spacious, diverse living. The linking bridges on the 20th floor house several public amenities including a swimming pool and an auditorium, there are also shops, cafes and a cinema. The towers sit amongst 5 garden mounts which contain recreational facilities. In one breath Holl is expressing this as open public space then, in another statement, that the facilities are controlled by residents' cards, which immediately poses the question within me whether this is not some kind of enclosure of false space, ie. a space which will only exist for its residents as a controlled utopia. Reading into the 2 quotes below which
I have taken from Dec 2008 issue of Icon journal by Justin Mcguirk I also question whether it is not a dystopian space of the future.
" Its a language we can trace back to Fritz Langs Metropolis "

"Looks like the perfect setting for JG Ballard's novel in which the social utopia becomes tainted by primitive heirarchies "

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