Lesson 3 Architectural considerations and details

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Lesson 3 : Architectural Considerations

Architecture taking on the form of cities is quite a different thing from architecture one building at a time, being a magnitude or more complex. Looking at existing cities we can note that none are complete with all important functions, including ecological ones, and not contaminated by massive, distorting insertion of automobiles. Whole cities created as fantasy vision are both good exercises in the quest for better collective city design and can bring the parts and functions of the city together harmoniously. Since we do not yet see cities with the full range of features all present and well organized, nor even “fractals” – parts of cities that embody all basic functions – therefore clear visualizations in models, drawings and images constructed in words are very valuable. In a sense it is all we have for whole systems imagery of ecocities.


General slide sequence by topics:

  • Basic three-dimensional layout reviewed
  • The Arcosanti, Arizona model
  • Commentary from around the world from visionary to the absurd, even insane
  • Slums and nice places
  • Paolo Soleri and Richard’s history with him
  • Soleri’s models, drawings, wind bell manufacture (to pay for things)
  • Soleri’s influence
  • Arcosanti, Arizona through time and construction
  • Richard’s ideas for an Arcosanti more illustrative of ecocity ideas
  • Keyhole plaza drawings and model, one highly developed for Huaibei, China
  • Historic models from Native American, Italians, Chinese, Turks and Nepalese
  • Fantasy city from Star Wars and Lost Horizon
  • Fantastic real bridge and temple
  • The problem with super tall buildings: massively outsized use of space and materials for structural strength and elevators
  • Green medium tall-buildings of architect Ken Yeang
  • Chinese examples
  • The bridges and activities at Embarcadero Center, San Francisco
  • More elevators, bridges and keyhole plazas
  • Thomas Jefferson’s good ideas
  • Ecotown defense from fire
  • Integrative and solar and shade architecture, drawings for Berkeley; Copenhagen; Auroville, India; Panbang, Bhutan; Mills College, Oakland
  • More examples of bridges
  • Detailed “transect” ideas for city center to distant suburbs, city to village transformation
  • “Sky lobby” illustration for the book Vertical Cities – a Solution for Sustainable living
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