Cities Intruders - Building as a city, city as a building.

When you visit a lot of cities you start comparing and thinking about what is really not common on It. It is obviously not just about the Huge Structures, Bigness, Skyscrapers, Social Condensers, Hybrid buildings or Weird architectures, but each city has it own “Intruders”. In Europe spe- cially, the Intruders are the huge structures, which doesn’t below to the history and the culture of the City. This is why like in Paris or for most of the European cities, we categorize these kind of architectures, as “Strange” and most of time, they had been rejected firstly by the city o cials and then the citizens. It is generally rejected from the historical urban tissue and the centre of the cities. These architectures occur the peripheries and it becomes a sort of playground : to explore and welcome several archi- tectural identities.This is the case for Europe, whom old cities have their own history, urban tissue, traditions and culture. Cities are already trapped in their ideal impressive historical heritage rejecting all new suggestions and challenges. But what about the Asian cities ? The cities where radical transformations and change are part of their history. Is the Intruders still exist in cities where Hybrid structures, Hyper buildings, Social condensers, Skyscrapers and so one made the city itself ? Do the Intruders become the small pavilions and the unique buildings which belongs to the last coloni- al constructions ? Or are there no more Intruders ? Even more, maybe the city itself, the Metropolis becomes the Intruder in the country. This situa- tion corresponds to the majority of the new expanding cities in Asia like Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong and so one. The 21st century is well known as the “Urban Century” as well as the “Asian Century” but we can notice that the radical transformations don’t reside only in Asia. The Middle East registers an exponential number of the born of new Metro- politan cities with a very accelerated rhythm of growth and change. Like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras al Khaimah, those cities that alter in less than tree decades from small fishing village to a Bling Bling Urbanism, become an oasis of eccentric contemporary architectures and new technologies. But the game that the Gulf is playing doesn’t con- cern just Middle East desert lands, more then that, the transfiguration is contaminating the whole world. If Its Slogan were “Make yourself heard or perish” the Gulf succeed on it campaign. The Gulf’s entrepreneurs are reaching places that modernity has not reached before, like Morocco, and more precisely Casablanca where Sheikh Tarek Mohammed Bin Laden plan to construct the highest tower in Africa. Is this a good initiative to opens to this country new perspective to start a new process, in order to accelerate the development of Morocco ? Or is it a sort of Virus that will contaminate the existing urban tissue and colonized the vast virgin lands of Africa more largely ? What exactly the Gulf is looking for ? Is it looking for something special ? For something it doesn’t have? A history, a culture, a local popu- lation with its traditions? A territory without fakness, without Bling Bling, A territory where the game to reach new records of height had no place on it. A place without superlatives ? Maybe, it is hard to compete with the Met- ropolitan cities without having this kind of structures, so can we try to find “un juste milieu” where towers coexist in harmony with several architectural identities ? If someone Has asked me before this summer which city had this criteria, my answer Would have been : I don’t know. But Macau with its colonial history represents a city where you can found an authentic pieces of architectural ruins cohabiting in the same area with delirious towers. It is a hodgepodge of Portuguese buildings, Chinese architecture, and flashy casinos, making Macau unlike any other cities in the world. But as we Know Macau is Somehow a part of China. For how long then Macau will still have this architectural richness? or when the process of demolition and radical trans- formations will demise the city ? The harmony between several architectural languages is essential but what about the harmony between Architecture and Nature ? Neglected by the last generations, it is clear that this subject becomes the must important challenge of our century.The need for nature is mandatory. Which city then come up with a suggestion where nature is part of the Metropolitan city life ? A city where nature become an essential element in the functioning of the Metropolis ? Of course Manhattan. What’s really made the identity of Manhattan isn’t just its skyline combining a se- ries of Huge structures, but this city has something special, something that if we look simply at its plan, or otherwise at it’s grid, will be obviously the first thing that you will keep your full attention : The Void. Central Park, the non-urban section of Manhattan represent a promise of liberation from the formal coerciveness of architecture. In Manhattan, the boundaries between nature and the city were shot down. But the city is more powerful it used and abused the nature. And now all the Metropolitan cities su er from the same symptom, the same virus that is not just killing the Metropolis but the whole world. A disease created by these structures and by the ego of their creators. What exactly are the diseases harbored by today’s metropolis ? It’s obvious, Pollution is infecting our cities. Pollution, pollution and pol- lution. The smog, gives a city a sort of veil, a fog filter which allows a new perception of the City. Nothing is Clear with this blurring filter. The aim of this chapter is to detect the Intruders in some cities. Cities where I have been during the last four years : Paris, Shanghai, Dubai, Casablanca, Macau, Hong Kong, Manhattan and Beijing. Who are the Intruders then ? Are they material or ephemeral ? solid vs void ? What is the scale of the Intruders ? are we still talking about a Hybrid structure as Intruders ? Have the Intruders taken the silhouette of a tower or a ridiculous constructions ? Or maybe the scale changes totally ? That the scale become so enormous, that the Intruder turn into the shape of a city ? More than that maybe the Intruder escapes from everything, and it is now playing and defying the city, its nature, its voids, its ruins , its population and their wealth, What is the limit and the power of the Intruder if it’s challenging everything ?

" Qu’est-ce qui nous attire vers quelque chose ? (...) Pourquoi telle ville nous parle-t-elle plutôt qu’une autre ? " Libeskind Daniel

 

Shanghai
Shanghai

[Les hommes sont conduits plutôt par le désir aveugle que par la raison] Baruch Spinoza

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Paris
Paris

[Il y’a quelque chose de pire que d’avoir une mauvaise pensée. C’est d’avoir une pensée toute faite] Charles Peguy

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DUBAI I
DUBAI I

[What is contant in Dubai is Change] Amer A.Moustafa

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DUBAI II
DUBAI II

[In the contemporary situation, especially in places such as China and Dubai, with iconic building the norm, architecture presents one seamless spectacle] Lefebvre Henry

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Casablanca I
Casablanca I

[A true encounter, a genuine encounter, it’s all about destiny. A destiny the worldwide radiance of Morocco and Africa, that pay- ing tribute to all their people. A uniting impulse that meets essential needs, enhancing the future of exMorocco and a whole continent] Sheikh Tarek Mohammed Ben Laden

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Casablanca II
Casablanca II

[A true encounter, a genuine encounter, it’s all about destiny]. A Sheikh Tarek Mohammed Ben Laden

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MACAU
MACAU

[Architects should be composers and not designers. They should be composers of elements.] Louis Kahn

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HONGKONG
HONGKONG

[Architecture is by definition a chaotic adventure ] Koolhaas Rem

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Manhattan
Manhattan

[Opposition brings concord, out of discord comes the fairest harmony] Heraclitus

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BEIJING
BEIJING

[L’avenir n’est jamais que du présent à mettre en ordre; tu n’as pas à le prévoir, mais à le permettre] Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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