CAR and SHELL or Marinetti’s Monster, recently awarded second place in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, asks pertinent questions about an "insatiable" desire for growth in urban centres. Based on the premise that we "can no longer stand idly by and watch our cities consume themselves with an anxious need for expansion", Daniel Markiewicz and Mark Talbot's proposal seeks to demonstrate what a "city in the sky" could look like in suburban Detroit. The project is conceived as a vertical neighbourhood, or "a rich vertical urban fabric." Three main grids (streets, pedestrian pathways, and structure) are intertwined to create a box-shaped wireframe to which traditional/contemporary houses and other diverse programs (such as recreational and commercial areas) can be plugged in.
The architects' standpoint is clear:
"My partner and I have been awake all morning, our faces aglow in front of brightly burning screens, our fingers feverishly clicking to keep pace with our racing thoughts. Franticly driven by decades of fear, themselves perpetuated by an avalanche of numbers and an onslaught of 'better world' fantasies born of an endless stream of technological innovation, our mission is clear: rescue Detroit from being rescued. In a world whose only acceptable path is the immediate betterment of our own existence, my partner and I demand the discipline to let it die and live another day. Sweating and panting with the knowledge that our current society’s insatiable and nearsighted appetite for growth, innovation and development is strangling the whispers of life out of the very future it hopes to serve, my partner and I can no longer stand idly by and watch our cities consume themselves with an anxious need for expansion. Our society has been poisoned by the belief that a city in decline is a city in need of resurrection."
The designers' manifesto:
- Revolt! Let us use the efficient machines inefficiently, for pleasure and not production. Loops where once there were straight lines. Deadends where before there were connections.
- Why not revel in the punishment of a relentless technology? Like a fighter leaning into an opponent’s blow, Let us incite, provoke and encourage our own urban desertion. From rust to silicon. From silicon to...
- We shall weep for the dark ages in the presence of the gleaming Renaissance Tower before us. Our royal Detroit we shall serve the rightful King. Long live the king. The king is dead. Long live the King.
- Throw off the shackles of the endless sprawl ever encroaching on the lakes, streams and fields of this country! Revive the American landscape of boundless freedom and the pleasures of the open road!
- Commute has become a dirty word. Why? I say commute your decaying suburb for a city in the sky!
This competition, established by eVolo Magazine in 2006, aims to recognise innovative proposals for vertical living. After reviewing nearly 600 projects from 43 different countries, the jury has selected three winners and 20 honorable mentions. See the competition's winning scheme, Vernacular Versatility, along with the honourable mentions here.
The jury comprised of:
- Wiel Arets, Principal Wiel Arets Architects, Dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture
- John Beckmann, Principal Axis Mundi
- Michael Hensel, Principal AKNW + NAL, professor at Oslo School of Architecture
- Lisa Iwamoto, Principal IwamotoScott Architecture, professor at University of California Berkeley
- Kas Oosterhuis, Principal Oosterhuis-Lénárd, professor at Delft University of Technology
- Derek Pirozzi, Architectural designer Oppenheim Architecture + Design, first place 2013 eVolo Skyscraper Competition
- Tom Price, Principal Tom Price
- Fernando Romero, Principal FR-EE
- Craig Scott, Principal IwamotoScott Architecture, professor at California College of the Arts
- Carol Willis, Director Skyscraper Museum, professor at Columbia University
- Dan Wood, Principal WORK Architecture Company, professor at Yale University
LocationDetroit, MI, United States