Sunday, September 21, 2008
OMA's Melun Senart
When OMA first saw the site for Melun Senart, they instantly grew emotionally attached, "it was heartbreaking if not obscene, to imagine here, a city". The land was too beautiful architecture, too breathtaking to be interrupted. But, they had to surrender and build something despite these feelings...
The strategy for building Melun Senart was ruled not by asking "where to build", but "where not to build". In voiding out the most precious beautiful pieces of the land, turning them into "islands", that these "unbuilt" islands would be the most popular, ecological spaces in the city... and the rest of the constructed landscape can happen/develop/unfold as it may. The built/ designed is not the focus, the original pieces we find attractive, specifically voided, are.
The question becomes, what beauty is worth voiding in Streetsboro, Ohio?
In a hunt for potential "islands" to save in Streetsboro, I actually found deep behind freeway many pockets of mangled trees, tall whispy grass, willows, and jungle-like conditions. These un-seen pieces of Streetsboro (featured on the first board) ruled the application of urban planning.