'A new social type was being created by the apartment building, a cool, unemotional personality impervious to the psychological pressures of high-rise life, with minimal needs for privacy, who thrived like an advanced species of machine in the neutral atmosphere.'
J.G. Ballard, High-Rise, 1975
A Future City From The Past
Ballard's novel paints a dark dystopian picture — the architecture of a single residential tower becomes the driving force for mysterious changes of the tenants behaviour.
Can the presence of a high-rise structure truly create such a threatening atmosphere and social tension, culminating in murder, decay, destruction and even anarchy?The series, “A Future City From The Past” is based on this mystifying vision of a radically aggressive urban dystopia — an uncompromising design in the brutalist dogma. All buildings and structures are homogenic. The differentiations of architectural styles and eras are eliminated and replaced by geometric structures, repetition and absolute materiality. Gigantic “Wohnmaschinen” encompassed by endless motorway networks, making way for the “Super-Brutalist” megacity.
The thrill of this project lies in exploring the aftermath.
It is fascinating to imagine how a prefabricated, futuristic metropolis would age, and what atmosphere an endless manmade landscape, constructed of only concrete and asphalt, would generate. What impact would such a massive concentration of sculptural architecture have on mankind? Could such a city succeed in producing a functional society, or would it automatically plunge into menacing social dysfunction?