Saturday, February 9, 2013
Modern apartment tower cluster in London
After developments like the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis failed in such a spectacular fashion, a myth grew up around vertical neighbourhoods. In the States the failed clusters became known as the projects and the most infamous have now either been demolished or soon will be: Pruitt-Igoe is demolished; Cabrini-Green in Chicago is gone; Brewster-Douglass in Detroit is slated for removal this year.
There are those who believe the death of the American projects sounded the death knell for modern architecture as it applied to housing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, despite the myth, all three of the developments mentioned were good places to live in the early years.
The developments in London are not unique. All over the world highrise neighbourhoods have succeeded. Still, I look at these buildings, so alike, huddled so tightly together, and I cannot help but think -- surely this could have been done so much better.