I noticed these images by Lebbeus Woods of his proposed High Houses popping up in a couple places on the interwebs yesterday and figured ‘why not on AMNP, too’. I realize many of you are probably familiar with the project – but I thought some eye candy would hold the site down for the day until I could get some new posts up. Enjoy.
The High Houses are proposed as part of the reconstruction of Sarajevo after the siege of the city that lasted from 1992 though late 1995. Their site is the badly damaged â€œold tobacco factoryâ€ in theÂ Marijn dvor section near the city center.
The concept of the project is simple. The houses rise up high into the airspace once occupied by falling mortar and artillery shells fired by the cityâ€™s besiegers in the surrounding mountains. By occupying the airspace, the High Houses reclaim it for the people of the city. Balancing on scavenged steel beams welded end-to-end, they are spaces of a new beginning for Sarajevo, one that challengesâ€”in physical termsâ€”the cityâ€™s past and present, aiming at a future uniquely Sarajevan. Stabilized by steel cables anchored to the site, the houses, poised like catapults, fulfill the paradoxical desire to fly and at the same time be rooted in their place of origin.
These houses are not for everyone. Indeed, probably only a few could master their challenges. Yet each mastery would manifest a spirit of courage and inventive skill in the name of all who must reinvent a city transformed by destruction.
I was simply going to link to this post over at Lebbeus Woods’ blog, UNDERGROUND BERLIN: the film?treatment, in the sidebar – but I was worried that people might not follow the link without seeing some of his sketches. That, and I really couldn’t help but put some of them up here on AMNP – I mean, they’re pretty dope.
Moving along – Woods recently posted a ‘treatment’ he wrote for a film that would be heavily influenced by architecture, with accompanying sketches. Here is the beginning of his explanation of the project:
UNDERGROUND BERLIN: the film treatment
What follows is a treatment (Hollywood slang for story synopsis) with sketches that I made for a projected film in which new forms of architecture – and the way of living they enable – would play a central role. This followed hard on the heels of my experience as a “conceptual architect” for the big-budget movie Alien3. Working on that project, I realized that set designers have no power over how their designs are used, and certainly no influence on the story or its social or ethical implications. So, I decided to write a screenplay that – contained in a melodrama – would project architecture as a vital instrument of social change.
These are just a few of the images Woods provides, and the others are worth checking out. That, and the bits of story he provides are also quite interesting – describing an architect disillusioned with ‘crass buildings for the corporate state’, a long lost brother and neo-nazi father, and a top-secret laboratory beneath the center of Berlin. Sounds pretty interesting to me…