do 26.11 | Re-visioning the Modern City

Re-visioning the Modern City. Doxiadis, Islamabad and the making of a ‘City of the Future’ 1959-63
Lezing Ahmed Zaib K. Mahsud
16h Auditorium L

In het kader van het vak Theorie van de Stedenbouw nodigt professor Pieter Uyttenhove Ahmed Zaib K. Mahsud van het Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) uit voor een lezing over de specifieke stadsplanning van Islamabad door de Griekse architect/stedenbouwkundige C.A. Doxiadis. Bijzondere nadruk zal gelegd worden op de notie van monumentaliteit als staatsrepresentatie en de integratie van stad en natuur als dubbelschalige ontwikkeling voor de verbetering van het gevoel van welzijn onder de bevolking. De lezing staat open naar alle studenten, docenten en andere geïnteresseerden.

Islamabad is one of the largest planned capital city projects of 20th century, yet a little known and understudied episode in the history of modern architecture and urbanism. Making of its plan represents an ambitious illustration of the Greek architect/urbanist C.A. Doxiadis ‘City of the Future’ for unfolding a metropolis of 3 million inhabitants. Embedded in the plan’s spatial articulation is a unique metropolitan structure-achieved through a reconfiguration of modernist vocabulary with a specific idea of urbanity-that propounds the transformation of modernist ideas about the city. Such a transformation is the focus of the talk, which will be argued as a reinvention/reformulation of modern urbanism, while substantiating it through presenting the analysis of the making of Doxiadis’ plan. Moreover, analyzing the plan together with its conception in a specific context of post world war-II urbanism- shaped by cold-war politics and international development and its role in the evolution of Doxiadis’ general theory of urbanism (Ekistics), a case will be made of an alternative re-visioning of the modern city.

Followed by a brief introduction to the context, making of the plan will be presented for its idea of urbanity with the lens of nature-state- citizen relationship by illustrating two key themes: the specific notion of monumentality as state representation, and nature-city integration as double scale development for enhancing the citizen?s sense of well-being. Drawing on the analysis of the architectural value of the plan, its re-reading will be presented through key elements marking its departure from mainstream modernism.

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