Would Concrete Desolation Row Fare Any Better in a Forest?

From Paleo-Future (link) are images of a failed futuristic housing project.

CanikPhotos has a great collection of photos from Taiwan of a housing development that was never completed. The set is called Desolation Row and has a companion set called Desolation Row Redux. Interestingly, a falling out between the business partners led to the development never being finalized.”

This interests me because the design is very tree house like (similar to the soviet era building mentioned here) in that there is a central concrete column with the housing pods attached radially like branches. It also seems to represent another attempt at the “build first and landscape later” approach to achieve a look of harmonious integration of home and nature.

I find it not-so-surprising that the development failed. Sometimes Will and Ego can drive the construction of what seems to be a good idea, but in isolation, these motivations often fail. Building a structure that dominates the area and then attempting to patch it up with landscaping after to make it all more friendly and livable doesn’t often work. Notice how barren the land is around these buildings. Its just an incongruent design for the space and intention.

Now, what if these pods were somehow lofted into the boughs of some large trees in an otherwise natural area? The same basic design would have had a completely different outcome because, in part, it would have been forced to accommodate the environment. Not to say that couldn’t fail, too, but at least it would have been less of a sterile blight on the landscape if it had.


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