Mistakes in architecture of modernism Part 2

Residential complex “Prut-Ago” got its name in honor of the hero of the Second world war, pilot Oliver Perrotta and a member of Congress, Missouri William Ago. As a designer was selected as a young and ambitious architectural office of Minoru Yamasaki. City officials hoped that construction of the complex will help to clear poor the Central districts and provide socially unprotected layers of the population a decent and quality housing. However, a few years after the settlement of a new neighborhood turned into a dysfunctional and dreary exclusion zone. There remained to live only the most marginal families. Tenants were unable to pay for utilities, and soon urban services ceased to serve the complex. The garbage was not taken out, the elevators were broken, no police came to the challenges. In Pratt-Ago moved 75% of all drug trafficking in St. Louis. In the evening it was impossible to leave not only the yard — it was dangerous to appear on the landing.

Image result for The residential district of Bijlmer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Examining the roots of the myth of the death of Pruitt-IGO, architectural historian Katherine Bristol was trying to prove that the tragedy was caused not so much by architecture as by the circumstances of the construction of this residential district. The budget for the project is constantly decreasing. Originally, Yamasaki planned a combination of high-rise and low-rise buildings. But to increase the number of apartments, the decision was made to construct 33 same 11-story building. Rents in the complex were large enough to contain a multistory building was expensive. Separation of white people and African Americans — it was originally planned that the complex will be divided into two parts, — was abolished, but this only resulted in more segregation: a majority of white tenants moved to other quarters. Part of the planned green areas and playgrounds were never built. In order to save the architects suggested to use the elevators stopping at every floor, residents were forced to descend and ascend in long glass passages, to walk to the apartment or public business units (shared basement, storage room for bicycles, Laundry). The constant attacks and looting occurred here. As a result, Pruitt-IGO was settled, and all the houses were blown up.

The residential district of Bijlmer, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1966-1972)

Join Amsterdam new territory and to build a new residential area, the Bijlmer decided in the 1960s. to get the support of local residents, the mayor wrote an open letter in which he commented on the state of Metropolitan housing: “have you ever Thought sometime about the problems of the 25,000 families who, even by the most conservative estimates, live in unacceptable conditions because their home is, in fact, the slums? <…> Did you know that in the older parts of Amsterdam, about 9,000 homes in which there is only one room where your countrymen live often with his entire family? Did you know that 38 000 inhabitants of Amsterdam live in houses with only two rooms?”

The Gilmer was conceived as a city of the future: spacious, bright, friendly and comfortable, no fumes and soot. Quarters with up to 110 thousand inhabitants, shaped like honeycombs. Between the residential units, there were broad green spaces; sidewalks and roads were designed separately. The apartments in buildings connected long corridors: that was supposed to unite neighbors.

The first inhabitants of the house of Bijlmer seemed real places with spacious apartments (compared to their old housing in the center), Central heating, private bathrooms. But very quickly from the buildings of the future, which were forbidden to settle families with Pets, the Bijlmer became an area with a bad reputation.

The expectation that people will self-organize joint activities in many public areas, has not met expectations. Long unguarded corridors and isolated footpaths created conditions not for companionship, but for the increasing crime. The situation worsened in parallel with the change in the national composition of the inhabitants of the Bijlmer. In the years of reconstruction, the Dutch government invited workers from Turkey, Morocco, and after the Dutch colonies in Indonesia, Surinam and Aruba gained independence, the influx of immigrants increased even more.

Image result for The residential district of Bijlmer, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The area was isolated from the rest of the city did not have schools and shops in the center were only two buses. The population was much less than expected by developers the average age much higher level of welfare below. Public areas were extensive, however, in the standardized model apartments, residents still lacked personal space. In new giant buildings were destroyed the classical scheme of the neighborhood community and traditional households.

On 4 October 1992, the Bijlmer was wrecked cargo plane “the Boeing‑747” at home decided not to rebuild and carry, shortly thereafter, began a large-scale reconstruction of the area.

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