Tales of Future Past v2

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Richard Neutra

Future City > Tomorrow's Skyline

Richard Neutra (1892-1970) helped to introduce the Internationalist style of architecture to America, which puts him right up there with the chaps who brought over smallpox, fire water, and really tight Italian shoes.

His vision of a future city is that of Le Corbusier's. Given that modern architects had thrown out just about everything developed over 6000 years, there wasn't that much left to disagree about unless you wanted an empty lot for your money. Hence an "International" style in the sense that a menu is international if you strip it down to nothing but tea and buns.

In Neutra's "Rush City Reformed" (1928) we see all the familiar marks of the moderns: straight lines, huge concrete slabs holding thousands of resentful working class tenants, and spaces that were as open as they were pointless. But Neutra did Le Corbusier one better by ensuring that no one had any view except that of the flat opposite.

Nothing instils community spirit like catching the involuntary sight of your neighbour's naked backside first thing in the morning.

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