Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Glasgow. The City Of Towers.
I assured him they would.
He assured me they would not.
' You're an obsessional nutter that sees the world differently from most other people.' He insisted. 'Not everyone shares your vision of what's around you, you know. Your barking mad ,but in a good way.'
After I'd shot two of his toes off for daring to criticise the Great and Powerful 'Me' I came to the startling conclusion he might well be right.
For years I've been toying with the idea of the ultimate photographic 'grand homage' to Glasgow's ring of mighty towers that dominate almost every view of Glasgow. No other city in the UK has embraced the concept of towers in the sky so fully.
All The photographs on this Post should be clicked full size to get a true appreciation of scale.
Where did this begin I hear you ask?
Stay with me and I will tell you I reply.
The Great Father of Modernism, as all my readers will undoubtedly already know, my limping, eight toed, little friend, was Le Corbusier who envisaged a future metropolis of towers rising into the air.
A vast interconnected machine where citizens would live, work, play, fight, and die together in a high rise environment which would provide everything for them, like cogs in a vast, smoothly operating, machine. Homes would be mere slots on the side of a giant building, stretching towards the sun, as prophesized in his visionary 1933 book 'The Radiant city.'
Sure other cities have hi rise towers, but most are concentrated inside the city centre itself not in a large outer ring scattered around the suburbs with green spaces between them exactly as he described them in that ground breaking tome..http://www.modernism101.com/corbusier_radiant_city.php
Maybe he himself was inspired by the 1927 Fritz Lang classic Metropolis. Or just maybe, being Swiss then adopting France as his home, it was the shining towers of free standing winter ice he undoubtedly would have seen on his travels that left an impression on him.
What do you mean Dorothy's city was full of primary colours and hidden dangers: A land of good and evil characters and mysterious realms visited? Box Ticked. Munchkinlanders. Actually the Firhill Polis.
What's that two toes? She left her own world behind her and entered a new one through a worm hole?
Easy. How's that?
There.Satisfied now. Box ticked!
'Christ on a crutch! Dorothy had a four legged window polisher, a timid scarecrow, a leaky tin arsehole and a cowardly lion for her friends and they weren't as troublesome put together as you are now you crabbit faced hop along. What do you mean you want sometime stronger than paracetamol?'
Everywhere you look in Glasgow Le Corbusier's dream/nightmare of brutal modernism is alive and well. Only when the last one of these great leviathans topples into the streets below will we be free of this influential architects vision. One which transformed the modern world we see around us today.
Call us legion, for we are many....We live in the Emerald City of Glasgow.
The Great and Powerful City of Towers.
Talking of free standing towers of winter ice this is a short but stunning film of just that. It should be watched full screen. A dazzling city of melting ice with tiny figures in the middle of it.
Breathtakingly beautiful. Did this inspire le Corbusier perhaps? Watched in HD this is amazing.
Just found a video that is a perfect explanation of the thinking behind the multi story approach. Its 18 minutes long but worth every second as it shows you a fantastic archive of Glasgow and its people and the construction of its districts after the second world war. If you live in Glasgow, East Kilbride or Cumbernauld or have done in the past you wont want to miss this. Five star film of a bygone era of optimism. Typical 'old style' commentary but it gets better with each minute passed. Wish I'd found it earlier.