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March 01, 2007

Our Shared and Planned Future

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

If you want an EZ taste of what our betters have in store for us where architecture and urbanism are concerned, you could do worse than to read this Der Spiegel piece about HafenCity, a huge harborsite development currently under construction in Hamburg. Here's a photo tour of the place. Short MBlowhard verdict: It looks like a daffy, off-kilter, computer simulation of a neighborhood, or maybe a videogame version of a city.

Does it look like a place where you'd like to live?



UPDATE: Edward Glaeser argues that "Modernism has its place in the panoply of architectural styles, and it is particularly appropriate for large buildings in megacities. It is not well designed for building public buildings or monuments that speak to most people." (Link thanks to ALD.)

posted by Michael at March 1, 2007


The article mentioned that (shudder) famous architects will likely be doing the designing. On the other hand, the images are not credited with the names of the designers. Confusing. Are those images simply speculative or is what is shown be what will be there in 2020?

Either way, it'll probably be bad, bad, bad.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on March 1, 2007 3:26 PM

"Second Life", here we come.

Posted by: susan on March 1, 2007 3:41 PM

I always wish these CG renderings could get a little more cyberpunk and show us what these lovely buildings will look like if they wind up filled with Moroccan junkies and covered with neo-Nazi graffiti. Come on, guys, it's just a texture map.

Someday, perhaps when Hamburg is a free city again, there will be a movement to destroy every architectural trace of the disastrous and discredited 20th century. Including its pathetic last gasps in the early 21st. Architecture too, it seems, repeats itself as farce.

Posted by: Mencius on March 1, 2007 5:38 PM

But, but...what about global warming making the sea rise 50 feet? Aren't they going to be under water before they complete this project? I'm confused. Where is the Green Party?

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on March 2, 2007 9:25 AM

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