2010 Skyscraper Competition
Anton Markus Pasing
“The sky switches on daylight for us – or the shower. We are small gods, mere gods of the machine which is our highest. Our universe is a huge motor, and yet we are dying of boredom. In the midst of fullness, there is an insidious dragon gnawing at our hearts.” — D.H. Lawrence
The basic idea of Natwalk 2.0 is based on the assumption that as highly developed descendents of our species, machines will more readily understand the significance of an ecological renewal than we human beings. Moreover, they act with an ethical and social conscience. The origin of the machines is knowingly left in the dark.
In contrast to conventional approaches to typical architectural concepts, the idea of the Natwalk is described with a brief, romantic-naïve story reminiscent of a fairy tale in order to activate the readers’ traditional patterns of experience and to provide space for their own ideas between the architectural drawing and the romantic narration.
On the one hand, Natwalk reintroduces the recurrent idea of the layered city, on the other hand a paradox also emerges.
Of all things, it is huge, (purportedly) soulless machines that transport natural artefacts back into the city on their backs and in their bellies in order to make a point and to challenge once more the parameters of human action.
The aspect of conquest paraphrases our deepest human methods.
Once upon a time, there was a picnic.
I clearly remember every detail of when we first saw one of them.
Nothing was as it had been before. All broadcasting stations were blocked. They beamed strange, seemingly organic sounds into the ether. Some of them had bells on their huge feet.
When they reached the city, they held out their arms to us and lifted us up. Each one of them carried another world on his shoulders.
Every day their numbers increased, and the chaos in the city intensified. Soon they covered the dark streets of our city – as if with a green puzzle …
Countless different plants grew on them. Some carried small lakes and others forests on their backs. Others resembled verdant meadows in spring.
Their bellies contained the most diverse biotopes and species from all the world and the air inside them was clear and full of oxygen…
It even seemed – impossible as it may sound – as if they were changing the air in the city with every day.
They showed us things which I no longer believed really existed because I had only seen them on television.
When they came to a standstill somewhere – anywhere – nobody could remove them any more. To this day, nobody knows where they came from, but everybody somehow grasped what they had to say to us.
I remember it as if it was yesterday: our first picnic was unforgettable. The people laughed for joy, and the leaves rustled in the wind.
I asked myself: will they stay or are they only saying goodbye.
I was just biting into a big apple when the traffic passing underneath me broke down completely…
Forget Central Park, forget Copenhagen!