Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dead-Ass Proposal of the Week-- January 5th

City Tower

Reyburn Plaza

What in the fuck!!?!?!
                        Now don't lose your shit over this one. If it had been built, it would have been made out of concrete. It would be over 50 years old now and browned up as shit. This monstrosity comes from the acid-tripping intelligence of Louis Kahn, with influence from Anne Tyng and a little sprinkling of R. Fuckminster Fuller.
                       This beast was one of Kahn's many insane utopian civic dreams for Philadelphia, like multi-tiered elevated highways running all over Center City intersecting at a downtown Civic Forum that looked like Logan's Run.

Yeah, it looks cool in that picture but it would be browned-up concrete and have a labyrinth of underground tunnels with CHUDs in them and shit by now. Oh, and those cylindrical buildings are parking garages.
                        City Tower was Kahn's vision of a city government building for Philadelphia. His ideas about what Philadelphia should look like were so wild that he makes Edmund Bacon seem like a very sensible motherfucker. Kahn believed that the city should have gigantic monumental civic buildings placed far apart in pedestrian-only zones. He loved the idea of humongous signature government buildings but hated the one that already existed, Philadelphia City Hall.
                        When it came time for proposals for the development of Reyburn Plaza, (which ended up as the MSB) Kahn, with the help of Anne Tyng, imagined that a new monumental city government tower built on the Plaza would make City Hall obsolete enough that it would get knocked down. For this tower, Kahn wanted a tertrahedron-shaped footprint rising 6-700 feet in the air undulating back and forth, made of sidewalk.

Here's a cross-section for ya.
                     The windows would be constructed from a diagonal wiremesh screen that would conduct a shitload of heat from sunlight. Nice during the dead of winter I'm sure, but in the summer that would fuck some shit up. When he proposed the building, he made a bunch of bullshit up about it being wind resistant. Then he said that people would hate it but just get used to it until it became a landmark. It would be like if someone built a 5,000 foot tall model of a sphincter next to your house. You would hate it at first but a few years later you would just describe directions to your house as "next to the sphincter".
                     The scale model built for it is a great wonder of the proposed skyscraper model world. Usually, once a model of a proposed skyscraper is either built or becomes a dead proposal, it becomes extremely hard to find. Either it gets forgotten in storage somewhere, thrown in the trash, or set on fire and pissed on. The model for City Tower has managed to live on, due to the starchitect status of Louis Kahn and Anne Tyng. It was recently on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art:

Yes, the cylinders are parking garages... again. Pic by Jeffrey Bussman.
                       This thing almost makes me glad that the Municipal Services Building got built instead, and that's saying something. There's probably a shitload of Louis Kahn fans out there reading this and getting pissed off for me not kissing his ass... but this thing is just silly. I'd take a shit on Kahn Park in honor of this proposal but many a bum has already taken care of it.

1 comment:

  1. The MSB is an architectural Mount Olympus compared to that shitstorm. I will now gaze upon it with awe.