Thursday, 1 March 2018


Available as both a podcast and in transcript form, Miss Cellania directs our attention to two episodes of 99% Invisible (Part 1, Part 2) dedicated to the utopian architectural congress held in Athens in 1933, attended by Modernists luminaries Ernő Goldfinger, Le Corbusier and many other icons that led to the collaborative feat of in civil engineering outside of Amsterdam that would become the summit’s blue-print and model for urban-planning going forward.
Dubbed Bijlmer for short, the community was to be comprised of concrete towers arranged on a honeycomb grid—as too allow all units their share of sunshine to the exclusion of none—had big balconies and a big common area in each building’s ground floor for artistic endeavours.  Tubal walkways connected the ensemble of buildings as well as elevated, double-carriage streets for pedestrians and automobiles with large green spaces in between.  As with many social housing projects that are attended by both the air of prestige for the architects involved and the force of best-intentions, the neighbourhood underwent a period of decay and blight, which culminated dramatically with the tragic crash of an Israeli flagged aircraft crashing into two apartment blocs--giving the community the chance to reorganise as it rebuilt and recovered.