Thursday, August 31, 2006

Modernism's Revenge: Creating Sustainable Architecture And Urban Civilization Under Conditions Of Managed-Capitalist 'Creative Destruction'

"The giant disused brick and concrete building, some 220 metres long and almost 24 metres high, on the eastern edge of Frankfurt could make an outlandish set for an action film. Instead, the former Grossmarkthalle, or fruit and vegetable wholesale market [a 1926-28 modernist architectural masterpiece by Martin von Elsässer], is the site of a new headquarters building for the European Central Bank.

Agreement is expected with the city’s planning department in the next few weeks on a design intended to achieve two goals. The first is to rehouse a young monetary authority that has outgrown its current headquarters and, in so doing, create a landmark for the European Union – which, unlike its member countries [and the EU's eastern, non-EU European neighbours], is not rich in architectural highlights." ...

Ralph Atkins and Mark Schieritz "An extravagant home for cautious souls" Financial Times August 31, 2006


European Central Bank press release on the architectural competition for the redesign of its New Headquarters Building.


design:e2 (the economies of being environmentally conscious) is an original six-part television series that explores the vitality of the environment through eco-friendly architecture. Narrated by Brad Pitt and masterfully shot in high-definition, the series introduces us to the inventive leaders and technologies driving sustainable practices worldwide in the design of buildings where we live, work, and play.

The first episode, "The Green Apple," demonstrates how the ubiquitous skyscraper can surprisingly be a model of environmental responsibility. In the second episode, architect and activist Sergio Palleroni continues his mission to provide design solutions to humanitarian crisis regions. The third episode, “The Green Machine” follows Mayor Richard M. Daley as he strives to make Chicago “the greenest city in America.”...

Three lives of Frankfurt, Germany, Europe's Grossmarkthalle.

Photo credits:;; and With thanks.


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