Friday, April 9, 2010

Free Beer Friday Guess the City

When at first perusal of today's pictures, you might feel compelled to ask, "why are they all on bikes, are they po'?" Or, "what are all those people from Jersey doing in that City? That doesn't look like Camden." Indeed. To which we might reply something like this.

Of course, that detour might have as much to do with this week's Guess the City as your average Family Guy skit. What does provide a clue however, is the origin of this post which began yesterday with the reading of Genius of the Beast and the author's suppositions regarding the evolutionary and biological repurposing that lifted Europe from the Dark Ages into the Renaissance.

This got me thinking about morphological impact and resultant city forms. We know what Medieval cities look like (see San Gimignano) and we know what Renaissance cities look like (see: Firenze - Italian spelling for extra dose of pretension), but what do cities defined entirely by both look like and how do the spaces between, the seams relate to each other?

Fortunately, I found the ideal city defined and built entirely in three eras: the middle ages, the Renaissance, and the modern era (which builds on the most land in the least amount of time). Not surprisingly for the latter two, but all three were eras defined by importance for this particular city. Or, in other words, it held purpose for the larger political entity to which it was subservient.

The City today, overlaid upon Dallas, is approximately populated by the capacity of soon to be demolished Texas Stadium added to the capacity of the new Cowboys Stadium.

We will start in the Medieval core where Maslow's hierarchy of needs would suggest that while hindered by lack of resources and abilities, city forms were largely necessitated by protection, from the elements and rampaging militant forces, as buildings huddled together like Penguins weathering a blizzard and utilizing a minimal amount of resources dedicated to transportation and its infrastructure.

Between that and geography, the result is intimate spaces and gently curving forms. Fortunately today, we can socialize in these spaces and celebrate them, rather than worrying about catching the plague from the worrisome coughy neighbor.

We've got to do something about these damned surface parking lots!!!!

What is that?

Yes. Yes it is. We are starting to see the rising role of mathematics and sciences of the day as conveyed through the architecture. The Renaissance:

That's a Renaissance era Palazzo if I've ever seen one.

And....Babies!!!!!! A sign of life and renewed vigor and spirit.

Let's move further outward...

And finally, to the modern era housing stock...

Guesses in the comments.