Back to the Future: New Metabolisms for Declining Urban Towers
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As the number of residential towers increases with the growth of modern cities, we are faced with the question of how to handle the older towers that, little by little, no longer attract renters for their apartments. Is their decline unavoidable, or like many other building types, do they have the capacity for a second life? In this project, I look at the history of residential towers, how they go from exemplifying an ideal urban lifestyle to becoming obsolete urban ruins. Looking at Halifax’s Fenwick Place in particular, I examine how a building that was designed to express an idealistic future through its brutalist idiom is now widely considered an architectural crime against humanity. To address this question, I draw upon ideas from the Metabolist movement, adapting concepts such as groupform, linkage, and megaform to twenty-fi rst-century conditions, and propose that new urban futures currently lie fallow in our recent past.