Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Ces images ont été réalisées par Léopold Lambert, architecte et bloggeur prolixe et talentueux avec son site de boîteaoutils. C'était sa proposition pour le concours eVolo sur les grattes-ciel du futur (voir ).

Je trouve ces images fantastiques et formidablement porteuses d'autres d'imaginaires urbains que ce que l'on essaie de nous fourguer un peu partout (genre, ).

Mais ces images prennent encore plus de sens et de force avec les explications de Léopold Lambert sur son projet. Elles sont à lire ci-dessous.

"During XIIth century, rich merchant families from San Gimignano were exhibiting their wealth by building towers which were visible by any of the town’s inhabitant. From middle age Tuscanny to recent Emirates, by XIVth century Flanders and current United States, skyscrapers stay a symbol of captalist power.

Dubai is the new Babylon and represents a benchmark for emerging countries such as China and India. Developpers’ projects grow in every cities of these countries, in order to provide for the middle and upper social classes, a confortable and secure world inside quoting Robert Silverberg’s 1971 novel. The dream of a socialy unified autarkic world, we can observe with gated communities, could become even more extreme thanks to towers in these countries which own huge social discrepancies.

Infact, rural depopulation and demography growth already brought one billion human being to live in slums and the estimated figure for 2030 is reaching the amount of two billions. This kind of unsanitary districts has been well known through history. Charles Dickens, Emile Zola or Max Gorky describe in their novels these western shanty towns developped by XIXth century’s industrial revolution. However, nowadays’ world situation implies much many people and we can now oberve a poverty globalization in new South American, African and Asian.

This new amount of slums’ population reaches inexorably to an increase of density and, therefore, to vertical constructions. We can thus imagine an aggregate of habitations, one upon another, developping an unstable vertical favela. When developpers promote highest levels as the climax of ivory towers, the vertical favela, being technicly limitated in its circulation, brings more value to the ground as a connexion with the world.

In conclusion, Robert Silverberg and James Graham Ballard were too naive for imagining high rises where every social classes would live. Capitalism, rather than placing the poors as the system’s basis, prefers to see growing autarkic vertical favelas from Rio de Janeiro to Nairobi, from Gaza to Mumbai. Result is an ambiguous beauty, both fascinating and terrifying.

Cela fait du bien d'entendre une voix juste un peu dissonante sur notre futur qui - il faut malheureusement le craindre - ne sera pas forcément tout rose dans de nombreuses zones de la planète.