I once wrote briefly about how I’d love to see a movie that shows us what happens immediately after the people of Earth successfully thwart an alien invasion. Independence Day 2, if you will. Does the world come together in a new age of peace or do we battle for the rights of the crashed starships? And what of these starships? Their massive scale would intimidate even the most hardened shipbreaker, but we can’t just leave them where they crashed can we? Maybe. Maybe we salvage what technology we can and use the wreckage as an armature for a a new building a even an entirely new city. Post-invasion becomes the new Postmodernism.
Manhattan Guardian and Seven Soldiers are two new comic books from Scottish writer Grant Morrison. The New York Times reports that the comics are noteworthy not only for the gritty realism and compelling ideas that Morrison always brings to the table, but also for their representation of a Manhattan that could have been. A veritable feast for conceptual design buffs, Morrison’s New York is filled with unbuilt proposals from some of histories most noteworthy architects. Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt Ellis Island Key project, for instance – shown here in the comic and in FLW’s original drawing (click for larger images). If you look close enough, the fictional Manhattan skyline also includes an unbuilt office tower by Hans Hollein, an elevated highway long supported by uber-planner Rober Moses, and a hotel proposed by Antonio Gaudi – a tower that some wanted to be built on the WTC site.
The article reminded me of Wim Wenders’ ficitonal Paris in his phenomenal 1991 film Until the End of The World This epic adventure takes place in a not too distant future that includes as part of the Parisian skyline, Jean Nouvel’s unbuilt ‘La Tour Sans Fin.’ Planned for La Defense, Nouvel’s tower was an elegant spire whose transparency increased as it rose, until it appeared to dissolve into the sky. I seem to remember reading in a Nouvel monograph that the contextual presentation rendering was so realistic, some people believed it already existed.
So Where is Gotham City?
In an article on the chromatically agressive msnbc.com, ( I think I’m allergic to that blue!) Leigh Newman considers Spain’s embrace of contemporary architecture as a means for the country to reinvent itself. Recently, the Spanish government has been “pouring money into cutting-edge museums, performing-arts spaces, and convention centers.” As a result, once neglected areas of smaller cities are now booming, and more importantly, “hip.” Gehry and Bilbao get the obligatory mention, but the article focuses more on the recent developments in Barcelona and other smaller cities throughout the country. It’s great to see modern architecture not only attract tourists, but also inspire locals. Architects of note currently building in Spain include Herzog & de Meuron, Peter Eisenman, Jean Nouvel and architect du jour Santiago Calatrava. The article goes into a lot more detail concerning the projects by these guys, so just go read it.
*Included is a “rip-and-go guide” on “how to do the new Spain,” and convienently “including affordable hotels” step 1: get her drunk on sangria…
sometimes the (bad) jokes write themselves.