(more fillerage – something I noted a while ago)

From episode 4 of Robert Hughes famous modern-art TV series the shock of the new. It’s about the architectural movement known as the international style.

“But the great image of the new architecture wasn’t the single building but the town plan. … and the planners viewed their city …[from] very high up, very abstract …

One motif recurs over and over. The tower blocks on a rectangular grid separated by patches of green space and joined by superhighways. It was a theme harped on by Frenchmen, Germans, Russians, Italians, but the lyric poet of this dreadful idea which has influenced cities for the worse from Los Angeles to Zagreb was a Swiss … known by his nickname as Le Corbusier. … His answer to the crowded towns of Europe – so unpredictable, so hard to control – was the tower block glittering above the greenery – decentralisation, brought about by the car.

The car would abolish the human street, possibly even the human foot. Everyone would have a car. Some people would have aeroplanes too. The one thing nobody would have would be a place to bump into others, chat, walk the dog strut or do any of the hundred other random things that one does on a street and which, being random, were loathed by Le Corbusier. “La ville radieuse” was a nightmare.”

Some randomly googled stuff about auto-utopias here.


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