Building Megalopolis

Advanced Architecture Studio 4

Spring 2013

Kazys Varnelis, critic, with Leigha Dennis

Building Megalopolis is part of the Extreme Cities collaboration between the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Audi AG.

We hypothesized that cities will intensify considerably during the next fifty years. Instead of the usual mindset seeing the growth of global cities as an overwhelming set of seemingly unmanageable problems, we set out to take the process of intensification itself to an extreme. The BOSWASH megalopolis was our physical site, our temporal site being both the past and the future. For the first half of studio, each student examined one urban quality and one work of architecture or planning that embodied it in the fifteen years subsequent to Jean Gottmann’s seminal 1961 analysis, Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States. For the second half of the semester, we looked fifty years into the future, to a time when current GSAPP students will be in their eighties. Students produced one project embodying their quality for the future. These were meant to unsettle our conceptions about architecture and cities present and future and to allow us to think beyond the atemporality of contemporary culture.

Ruth Wang A
Tiffany Rattray B/C/D