Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929)

The Hugh Ferriss book The Metropolis of Tomorrow, originally published in 1929, is an amazing work broken up into three parts: Cities of Today, Projected Trends, and An Imaginary Metropolis. Needless to say, the last section is most intriguing for our purposes.

The image below is a radial design for a city that pops up many times in the succeeding years, notably in Walt Disney's original design for EPCOT.The first center to be seen is that structure, or complex of structures, in which the control of the business activities of the cities is housed. Here is located the seat of government of the city's practical affairs, including its three chief branches - legislative, judiciary and executive.

At this closer view we can distinguish in greater detail the characteristics of the tower-buildings. The tower itself rises directly over the intersection of two of the master highways to a height of 1200 feet. There are eight flanking towers, half this height, which, with their connecting wings, enclose four city blocks. The center extends, however, over eight adjoining blocks, where its supplementary parts rise to a height of twelve stories.

We see, upon examining the Avenue, that more than one level for traffic is provided. Local wheel traffic is on the ground level; express traffic is depressed; pedestrians pass on a separate plane above.

Beyond the center, the lower districts of the city are visible, together with the radial avenues which lead to the other tower-buildings of the Business district.

5 comments:

artbot said...

Now that the legislative & judiciary branches in the U.S. are useless, perhaps they could make these buildings smaller? :-P

Yuks aside, this is a classic tome that I unfortunately purchased a vintage Italian copy of through a book re-seller, only to have an english reprint come out a couple months later. D'oh!

secret man agent said...

Each city has it's own central government? Is this to assume that, by this time, each city would need so much localized attention on the population at hand, that the government would operate better as confederated city-states?

Lag said...

Talk about big government. Maybe the future is socialist and everyone works for the government.

Anonymous said...

I am quite sure that picture is NOT an original EPCOT design drawing, but one of the first sketches for Rockfeller Center in Manhattan...

Schizohedron said...

Throw in some sky-routes teeming with repulsorlift vehicles, and it's beautiful downtown Coruscant!