I just saw this at Tropolism, and was amazed: turning abandoned buildings – into sculptures.
Would you still be able to use those rooms?, I wonder. To work in them and go to sleep in them and take stairways up the legs between levels? All the while living inside this Empire Strikes Back/robotect sculpture?
The head, for instance, could be rented out as a two-bedroom flat…
“As each vacated building is subsequently recycled and transformed into a sculpture,” the architects write, “abandonment and demolition is no longer viewed as a negative process but becomes a celebration for cultural creation, urban revitalization, and identity building.”
What other sculptures of I-beams and rebarred floor plates exist within skyscrapers, from London to Chicago, LA to Beijing? A selective pruning of a high-rise’s insides, and a new skyline takes shape, pierced by breezes.
Which leads me to wonder if you could sandblast all the buildings of Manhattan into rounded landscape sculptures, rock, brick, glass, and steel ground down to geometric smoothness. Aerodynamic.
Like a rock-tumbler, turning backyard gravel into perfect spheres, eggs, and ovals, could you polish the city down to a gleaming rock park of half-abraded office towers, adjoined buildings sanded one into the another like the lips of wooden bowls – just throw the whole island into a rock-tumbler?
Sandblast new sculptures out of every brownstone.
Or could you declare war on a city not with bombs and missiles but with high-powered industrial abraders and sandblasting machines? Turn Manhattan into a smooth series of sandstone arches and contours, all of New York a hulking Utah-like world of “balanced rocks, fins and pinnacles… highlighted by a striking environment of contrasting colors, landforms and textures”?
It’s Arches National Park: Manhattan Branch. All that bedrock, geology and form released – by the geotechnical avant-garde. City sculptors. Sandblasting the torqued ruins of Manhattan; then moving back to re-colonize those polished canyons.