PASSAGES, STEPS, PLACES, SQUARES AND MONUMENTS OF THE IMAGINARY CITY
sidewalks of my childhood— those Portuguese black and white stone mosaic
pavements which I have sometimes stood up as walls, were the beginning
of my knowing how the city is to be transformed into a chain of delights.
I first returned to Lisbon from Africa, aged six, the stepped streets,
the lifts faked as horizontal trams and the noisy ringing real ones, the
terraces and halls of the cake shops and cafés, the busy Rossio
cluttered with fountains, with its huge me column, its adverts, its signs—(full
of pigeons', and the enormous and flat Terreiro do Paço
(immense after the narrow grid of Pombal's downtown), made me understand
and love that city and live in it as if it were my own house.
Wall of Glass Faces is a monument for Venice.
Venice is the place of reflections glass and mirrors. The Wall
of Glass Faces is a celebration of the flooded city. It is
a public seat, a children 's paddling pool, the name of a place
- The Square of Glass Faces - a sun clock, a light-fitting
for a people's place. Except for the little face in tears, the skull
and the cut-up face which will reveal themselves both ways, the
back will be a blank glass wall of squares of varied sizes. The
wall must be placed so that the faces look north for the sun to
strike them from behind and laterally. At night the wall will have
its own light.
Two Heads in Venice were sub-titled Two Representatives
of the People in Confrontation over Each
Other's Legitimacy. These two monumental heads represent
the essence of democracy. It is a monument to a longed-for, weak
and democratic government. It deals with matters of scale in quite
a different way from the wall of glass faces. It belongs at the
end of one of those narrow Venetian street corridors. It is to be
positioned where the street widens onto a small square or opens
onto a narrow canal and jumps over the water. I found such a place
for it in my very hypothetlcal sketches for the Molino Stucky.
man, 1,73m tall, who gives scale to the drawings, is the patient
lying down on all the beds in Corbusier's Hospital
design for Venice. He is well now and has come to take a look at
these goings on.
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, RSA.
It is not through
rules, dogmas, dialectic somersaults and murder that the city will be
returned to its citizens.
city shall be made habitable again, only by the power of the imagination.