City of the Future

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What do you think your favorite city will look like in one hundred years?

Architect Rem Koolhaas has completed a “vertical city” complex in Rotterdam, bringing a new style of multi-purpose skyscrapers to the city skyline. Bennett Stein wrote about the new buildings for KCRW’s Design & Architecture blog, calling the creator “the Godzilla of architecture.”

Here’s an excerpt from Stein’s essay:

 It’s a diva of biomimetics–you swear it’s a living, sentient thing that watches you as you watch it. And it loves itself so much it’s looking in the mirror all the time—wait a minute, it is a mirror. The building has a reflective shiny exterior of glass and steel which is repeated on the interior in planes of reflective glass and steel.

On a page celebrating the completion of the massive complex, the architecture firm described the new design (pictured above):

The three stacked and interconnecting towers of De Rotterdam rise 44 floors to a height of 150 meters and span a width of over 100 meters … Office employees, residents and hotel guests are brought together in conference, sport and restaurant facilities. The building’s shared plinth is the location of the lobbies to each of the towers, creating a pedestrianized public hub by means of a common hall.

Stein compared the building to the work of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The 20th Century architect imagined rebuilding Paris with “tall, concrete cruciform towers set in green, wooded parks.”  

In a famous essay about the future of the city, Le Corbusier wrote:

We must create a mass-production state of mind:
A state of mind for building mass-production housing.
A state of mind for living in mass-production housing.
A state of mind for conceiving mass-production housing.

Could you live in this kind of city? Or do you hope for a different kind?

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