The Urban Borders Competition I was evoking in my last post, is indeed one of the rare competitions that rewards the most interesting projects. Here is the second prize, Bauci Outlet Mall City designed by Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi and that stands almost more in its very evocative text than its small amount of pictorial documents. This Italian architect proposes in fact a narrative in which Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis’ Exodus has been indeed built in London and so has been Superstudio’s Continuous Monument in New York. His project is a reinterpretation of this megastructure in order to allow a Venice rebirth as a second level of Manhattan and to name it Bauci as an homage to Calvino’s Invisible Cities (which are all a poetical vision of Venice).
This idea recalls a bit a project I have been publishing a long time ago, the beautiful Manhattan Oneicritica by Frederic Hellberg.
The following text is a fictitious New York Times’ article from 2035 written by Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi:
The New York Times, Tuesday February 8, 2035 «2035…finally our Generation lost. Sustainability was considered a joke and now we have no more opportunities to live as our Fathers did. No more Fresh air, no more sane food….Cities sunk and the Solar light has become dangerous instead than helpful. Traditionalism, the loss of trust on progress, finally has become the most powerful Religion in XXI Century Architecture, a dangerous religion for our souls which have turned our contemporary cities in a old William Blake tale. Thus in Berlin the Smithsons Hauptstadt has been totally destroyed, in London the built Exodus of R. Koolhaas has become a platform for single houses farms, Tange Tokyo Bay and Kurokawa Helix City have been transformed in small Italian style towns,….
Finally Architects focused their attention on Manhattan, New York. It was decided to demolish the Continuous Monument designed by Superstudio Group in 1969 and to reuse a part of its Superstructure in order to build a second level city, more traditionalist, more liveable, to be designed in the right human scale. No ideas came out from the most important architecture firms, no ones. In a NY municipality reunion, out of the blue, an Outlet contractor who worked in Disney raised his hand: ” Why don”t we build again Venice as they already did more than 100 years ago in Coney Island? The real Venice is already sunk….we may all live in the Doge city, which was my wife dream, and get all millions of tourists who usually visited it.” Already other cities attempted to use Venice image, but only New York now has the copyrights. Indeed a new Venice is now over our heads, with the same size of the old one. Its new name is Bauci as one of the Invisible Cities narrated by the Italian writer Italo Calvino. Should our future be safe now with a new Invisible City?….»