Constant and vision vs. reality

This one is more or less the sequel to the post I wrote about huge experimental or just practical dwelling projects: a tribute to the Utopian urban and architectural ideas and visions from the 60s and 70s and what happened to them from a contemporary point of view. I found this principle here:


and immediately thought of Constant and his New Babylon:


The so called Metastadt structure is a steel frame structure that can be assembled in many ways and built almost unlimited structures. The 70s-style round-edged frames can be filled with wall-pieces, windows, or nothing, thus being living space, storage, office, or balcony / terrace.


But what’s the Metastadt’s big difference to Constant’s vision? It became real!


There was a first test version in Munich, and after that, this structure has been built in Wulfen as well.

Unfortunately, it had to be demolished due to serious material and therefore structural damage and decay, already 15 years after it had been built.

Still though, I very interesting approach, and a shame that it got demolished, it would be interesting to find out how it worked or works from an architectural, social and urban point of view.

What other structures, visions and ideas of the 60s and 70s became – partially or completely – real and what happened to them?


~ by aboutarchitecture on August 22, 2007.

5 Responses to “Constant and vision vs. reality”

  1. habitat ’67 in montreal!

  2. Can you tell me the source for the New Babylon image? I would like to use it but give it credit. Many thanks!

  3. Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information. efafeekdddfd

  4. Lemoore Naval Air Base in California, designed by Richard Neutra- the school, all the housing, the pool, churches- everything. It was essentially a large modernist city in the desert. I grew up there, as a Navy brat in grade school in the 1960s. It has all been torn down except for the ring school, supposedly because of structural flaws due to the rapid Vietnam-era construction. It was also a bold plan concept, with 8 to 10 interconnected single-story units surrounding a culdesac, with bike paths on the interior of the superblock. Each street was named after a famous Navy plane. For example, I lived at 123 Corsair. But the concept was never reinforced through plantings, and there was too much asphalt. The replacement (from Google) looks like a typical heavily irrigated California settlement, with seperate houses and winding streets. I am now an architect in Brooklyn, NY, and still think about Lemoore. Nice blog!

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