Colin Rowe & Fred Koetter Collage City (1973-78).
Napoleon I entertained the project of turning Paris into a species of museum. The city was, to some degree, to become a sort of habitable exhibition, a collection of permanent reminders which were to edify both the resident and the visitor; and the substance of the instruction, one guesses right away, was to be some kind of historical panorama not only of the greatness and continuity of the French nation but, also, of the comparable (though surely slightly less) contributions of a mostly subservient Europe. . . So, intrinsically one recoils from the idea; but, if it must for the present day command something less than enthusiasm (one is apt to think of Albert Speer and his unfortunate sponsor), one is still with Napoleon's idea, presented with the fantasy of a great emancipator, still provided with the embryonic programme for what, in its day, could be regarded as a genuinely radical gesture. For this is perhaps one of the first appearances of what was to be a recurrent, and maybe not a repressive, nineteenth century theme: the city as museum.
Colin Rowe & Fred Koetter
When the authors of Collage City refer to the "city as museum," the assumption is that they mean the city as a museum of architecture. The city/museum celebrated here advocates an urban design based on the assembly of diverse architectural fragments, a compositional paradigm that relies on a preexisting set of buildings typologies and, furthermore, intentionally combines various architectural styles. Such a city would undoubtedly offer a wide range of "virtual places," metropolitan settings evocative of another place, and perhaps even another time. The citizens would inhabit and move through engrafted "virtual realities," while at the same time being exposed to interpretations and facsimiles of the world's great architecture, thus fortuitously receiving lessons in architectural history along the way.
As it happens, Collage City "collages" all the precedents for a virtual museum of architecture thus far.
seeking precedents... ...finding inspiration
[new] Not There [city]
The virtual construction site of Quondam.
A real Collage City.
the new Not There
The opening theme for the revised Not There begins with the "new ideal city," "analagous buildings" and the Capriccio, the kit of parts, and ultimately Not There, the site.
Ideal City Reenactment 14051601
Analogous Building 14042702