BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE 4 – THE THRILL OF IT ALL

TO SELL THE BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE REQUIRED PERFECTING MY LIMITED DRAWING SKILLS. I THOUGH THAT WHEN INTELLIGENTLY PRESENTED WITH FUNCTIONS AND WOW VISUALS, THE BB WOULD BE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED. TALK ABOUT NAIVE, BUT IF I HAD NOT BEEN, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE. THANK THE STARS I WAS INNOCENT. IT HELPS IN A TOUGH WORLD OF REALITY, WHEN PRESENTING IDEALISM.

A CROSS SECTION – ELEVATION OF THE BB 1972 THE MATURE STRUCTURE STRUCTURE REACHING 5,000 FT. T0 8000 FT. CREATING A VARIETY OF CLIMATES FROM TROPICAL AT THE BASE AND ALPINE AT THE TOP. SWIMMING TO SKING, MANGOES TO PINE NUTS. SOME DAYS, CLOUDS ON THE OUTSIDE HANGING IN AT 2,000 FT AND THE STRUCTURE BREAKING THROUGH TO THE SUN ABOVE. LIKE CUTTING THROUGH THE CLOUDS IN A PLANE AND FLOATING IN SUN . THE RUN OFF EXCESS WATER CREATING SMALL LAKES IN THE RESTORED LANDSCAPE. THE LOS ANGELES BASIN BEING LUSH WITH PLANTS AND ABUNDANT ANIMALS, WHEN THE SPANISH FIRST ARRIVED. THE GROUND PLANE RUNNING UNDERNEATH THE STRUCTURE RECEIVING PARTIAL SUN.

WANTING TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY BY DESCRIBING ALL THE PARTS. 1977

THE BASIC STRUCTURE NOW EMBELLISHED WITH THE FUNCTIONS, DEPICTED IN LIVING COLOR AS FOLLOWS:

VIEW OF THE HOLLOW CORE OF THE HORIZONTAL COMPRESSION MEMBER. ALL PLUG ON AND REMOVABLE. A BIT OF A HANGING GARDEN ON THE UPPER LEFT. 1972
I DRAW LIKE SOME KIDS BOOK ABOUT A COUNTRY VILLAGE: THE GOCERY STORE, HARDWARE STORE, BIKE SHOP, BAKERY ETC. BY THAT I MEAN, YOU CAN ZERO IN ON ANY PART OF THIS DRAWING AND SEE LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS HAPPENING. NOT THE MILK MAN DELIVERING MILK IN GLASS BOTTLES, BUT MOVEMENT SPHERES SIPHONED IN A PARK AREAS ETC.

ON THE INTERIOR COMPRESSION MEMBER IN THE PUBLIC AREAS WITH CASCADING WATER DRIPPING FROM ABOVE TO THE RESERVOIR BELOW. 1972 HOPEFULLY AN ENLIGHTENED SOCIETY THAT DOES NOT RELY ON IMPERIALISM TO SURVIVE. BUT A WORLD RECOGNIZING THE VALUE OF LIFE AND THE RIGHT TO: SHELTER, FOOD, EDUCATION, JUSTICE AND FREEDOM. THE SHARING OF GOODIES AND THE REALIZATION OF EVERY HUMAN BEING PRECIOUS.

THE SKIN BEING A TENSILE WEAVE OF HORIZONTAL WALKWAYS FOR RESIDENTIAL CLIP ON HOUSES. STAGGERED TO ALLOW SUN PENETRATION. THE SKIN ITSELF CLEAR AND PROVIDING ABUNDANT NATURAL LIGHT TO THE INTERIOR. ALL SORTS OF INVENTIONS FOR TRANSPARENT BARRIERS IN RECENT TIMES OF VARIOUS FUNCTIONS: FROM INSULATION, SUN SHADING, SOLAR COLLECTION ETC.
THERE ARE SUBSTANTIAL NERDS THAT LOVE TO INVENT GREAT STUFF. THE BB OFFERING POSITIVE NEEDS.

00295_s_11aggf5anz0295_2_2

THE TYPICAL RESIDENTIAL STREET. THE TENSILE SKIN PEDESTRIAN WALKWAYS WITH TRANSPORTATION MODULARS ON THE UNDERSIDE. 1971
I WAS RAISED IN SUBURBIA ON THE WEST SIDE OF LA, 2337 VETERAN AVE. BETWEEN OLYMPIC AND PICO. THERE WAS AN OPEN LOT AT PICO, WHERE WE PLAYED BASEBALL, GARAGE DOOR FOR BASKETBALL , AND A FRONT YARD GRASS AREA OF 80′ WHERE WE PLAYED FOOTBALL. ON A STREET, WHERE WE PLAYED MORE FOOTBALL. ALL THE GAMES OF HIDE AND SEEK AND HOP SCOTCH ETC. RODE OUR BICYCLES ALL OVER AND HOPPED A BUS TO GO TO THE BEACH. REPAIRED THE CAR IN THE DRIVEWAY. SAT IN THE FRONT PATIO AND HAD BIRTHDAY PARTIES WITH FANCY CAKES, HOT DOGS AND HAMBURGERS. RUNNING TO THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE AT NIGHT WHEN THE JAPS WERE BOMBING LONG BEACH AND MY PARENTS WERE AT THE MOVIES. I LOVED SUBURBIA. SO WHEN I CONTEMPLATED WHAT WOULD EVER GET SOMEBODY AWAY FROM SUBURBIA ? IT HAD TO BE BETTER. THAT WAS MY AIM, ALL THE AMENITIES OF SUBURBIA, BUT BETTER.

I AM ALL FOR CLIMBING TREES AND FALLING OUT OF THEM. THE LESSONS OF LIFE. THE PROTECTIVE HYGINE WORLD THAT WE EXIST IN SUES WITH LAWYERS IS A FARCE, AND SAYS A LOT ABOUT THE VALUES AND REMOVAL OF DIRECT PHYSICAL INVOLVEMENT. A CLIENT OF MINE NOT OPTING FOR FRUIT TREES BECAUSE SOMEBODY MIGHT SLIP ON THE SIDEWALK, AND SUE. HOW ABOUT PICKING UP THE FRUIT AND SHARING THE FOOD, OR BETTER YET PICKING THE FRUIT OFF THE TREE. IS THAT TOO MUCH INTERACTION WITH NATURE?

THE VAST INTERIOR CANYON LIKE SPACE. 1972 A GIGANTIC GREENHOUSE THE CROSS SECTION OF THE WALKWAYS ON THE RIGHT. LOOKING DOWN ON THE HORIZONTAL COMPRESSION MEMBERS WITH CLIP ON COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES ON A CENTRAL THREE WAY NODE . LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU WILL SEE A TOUCH FOOTBALL GAME. TELESCOPIC CRANES LIFTING HOUSING UNITS INTO PLACE ON THE INTERIOR SKIN. A PEEK AT THE RESERVOIR ON THE LEFT. MUCH OF LOS ANGELES EXISTS IN A PARCHED SEMI DESERT, THAT COULD NEVER SUPPORT THE PRESENT POPULATION WITHOUT RAPING THE OWENS VALLEY, COLORADO RIVER AND THE SACRAMENTO RIVER.

A COMMON CRITICISM OF THE BIOMORPHIC BIOSPHERE IS THAT IT IS HOSTILE, BECAUSE IT IS OFF THE GROUND AWAY FROM NATURE AND BUILT WITH HIGH TECHNOLOGY. ALL TRUE, BUT TO DISPEL THE HARSHNESS CONCEPT I DEPICTED PEOPLE DANCING, DOGS BARKING AND KIDS PLAYING IN A LUSH GREEN LEVEL PARK WALKWAY WITH PRIVATE SCREENING OF FLEXIBLE SEATING . THE SOFT PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION AUTOMATIC PILOT MODULAR ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE WALKWAY, BEING FOR LOVERS TRAVEL AS WELL TRAVELING WITH KIDS. THE OVAL ENTRANCES TO LIVING UNITS BEACONING ONE INTO MODULAR RESIDENCES. IN THIS DRAWING I PROPOSED A TENSILE FLYING HOUSE AS WELL AS THE FLOWER FLYING HOUSE.

THE RENDERING CROSS SECTION DEPICTING THE PIPES AND CONDUITS IN THE WALKWAY FLOOR AND STRUCTURAL SUSPENSION MEMBERS WITH KIDS CLIMBING ALL OVER.

AS A KID I LOVED THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD AND LIVING IN A FOREST. THERE WAS A PARK OF SYCAMORE THREES THAT I VISTED ONCE ON A PINIC WHEN I WAS ABOUT TEN THAT I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN. I FOUND THE REAL SHERWOOD FOREST WHEN I MOVED TO OREGON THE NORTHERN JUNGLE. I AM CONVINCED PEOPLE NEED TO BE NEXT TO NATURE TO BE WELL. IT IS A BASIC ANIMAL THING. WE HAVE BEEN STERILIZED OUT OF THAT. THE GYM BEING WITH EAR PHONES AND I PADS TAKING OVER SWINGING THROUGH THE TREES. SAW A SUBSTANTIAL SIZE MONKEY IN THE WILD A FEW DAYS AGO SWINGING AROUND IN THE TOP OF THE FOREST. NOT A BAD WAY TO KEEP PHYSICALLY FIT . HAVE WE ADVANCED?

THE NEXT BLOG ON THE FLYING HOUSE.

GLEN

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7 comments

  1. Biosphere: Whose Utopia is This?

    Glen, just thinking

    The Biosphere is an infrastructure utopia, not a legal/religious book/law based utopia. Lets dismiss those based on some leader or ideology or religion.

    Yours is an architectural utopia. Not gadget or mechanical or vitural but nature based.

    The closest comparison I have come up with so far is William Morris agrarian utopia NEWS FROM NOWHERE, where it is always June and fruit from trees are always available for the pickin’. How DO people live there? Or is society so down-sized that nobody really works, there is no economy, lots of free time, ah nature provides.

    What do we do in this blessed biosphere? Lots of arts and crafts and lots of sex. Probably enough Reichian Orgone energy to power the biosphere. ANY Calcs to when the biosphere sex-topia will be overpopulated and taken over by infants, toddlers and pregnant teens making more infants?

    Or is there a slave class working the fields below to feed the elites above in the biosphere towers. Many of the pre-marxist utopias has a slave class to maintain the master utopians. About a five to one ratio. And where to they, the slaves, stay?

    Just thinking

  2. Does anyone want to discuss Utopias? Or is Biosphere confined to Architecture?

    As an Architecture framework or infrastructure Biosphere can be compared to other frameworks such as the YONA FREIDMAN open grid matrix hovering over Paris as outline in hisbook “Towards a Scientific Architecture”. Or as a closed system like Solari’s many Arcologies. Anyone up to discuss these and those?

    As a Utopian ideal idea I previously compared Biosphere to THE GARDEN OF EDEN. Eden is famous for the depictions of Adam and Eve and always has the symbolic tree of knowledge, a naked Eve, an apple and a snake.

    I alluded to the same ideal with Hieronymus Bosch GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS is for me more along the line of biosphere. Lots of people, orgies, alien fruit trees, water fountains. The colors are cool too. The Dutch were always so progressive.

    But the question is begged, again, how is the place run?/ Is this a democracy? Like ancient Greece THE AGE OF PERICLES? Remember Plato in his REPUBLIC banned artists (too independent as thinkers) . And Pericles democratic where everybody votes condemned Socrates to death. And they all voted for war against Sparta, and lost and fell into ruin.

    BTW Sparta survived. They were ancient communists, shared everything, no private property, ate and slept in communal halls. Communal day care and housekeeping for the women. Everyone in Sparta was equal and equally poor. Living the ‘Spartan life” means having no possessions. The Roman slave revolt was lead by a Spartacus. The 20thC Spartacus Movement stood for world revolution. The movie Spartacus ended with everyone declaring ‘ I am Spartacus, I am Spartacus! ‘

    I am having so much fun with this. More coffee please.

    eric

    • eric,

      all provocative questions. i bought a book on utopia communes etc. years ago, all doomed, but seeking the ideal.

      i will address your questions on the ideal society when i get to the script i wrote. people ramped up to build the bb and then lived in it. do you have a copy of the script? mine is buried in my garage in la, maybe on my trip to la in a week i will dig it out. it is dated by the political figures i mention etc. but seeks to answer the here and now of government, leisure and work time. in a different era this is what intellectuals liked to do, figure out a better way for society. now we threaten nations and think we have the answers.

      do you have a scenario for the ideal society?

      to make it work all the human traits need to be incorporated, like greed, lust, animal,
      physical, intellectual, cultural, religion, identity, racism etc.

      with 7 billion souls running around and in motion to add more, maybe we just ride the wave which is in motions. as charles moore said, ” the champagne is great”.

      kept commenting.

      glen

  3. Glen the list of failed Utopias is famous. But I for one strive towards that ideal. That makes me an idealist. I have ideals. The biosphere is an ideal. Despite the political or philosophical flaws. It is a Utopia of infrastructure. Open.

    Your premise is Nature and who can argue with that. The other options deny nature. And nature implies natural behavior. So within this natural biosphere infrastructure how does human nature express itself, collectively and individually?

    As architects, designers, visionaries…. we think, believe that our designs and plans can change behavior for better or for worse.

    If you change the way you look at things the way you look at things will change

    The Biosphere will change how we look at life. and Ourselves.

    So what hath the biosphere brought forth? The optimist says ‘a new garden of Eden’. The pessimist states ‘read The Lord of the Flies’.

    You and I, We are optimists.

  4. Soleri died. He and Glen Small had a lot in common and similar interests: Ecological design, megastructure and utopia.
    But the comparisons end there.

    I always felt that Soleri’s Arcosanti was too heavy, Romanesque if not Roman in technology. Soleri’s ecological designs seemed to me passive and old, Solar collectors looked out-of place in his aesthetic.

    Looking at the skyline elevation Arcosanti looks downright primitive , like something dug up from Assyria or someplace just as BC. I guess anything that looks ancient on purpose takes on a patina of respectability but then so does medieval or Victorian themed shopping malls.

    Soleri’s closed form Megastructure also seems old hat. Despite allusions to spaceships or floating cities his visual concepts look like scaled up handcrafted jewelery. A megascaled-up arts and crafts project disguised as a city. Wear it around your neck, Atlas.

    In contrast The biosphere, lightweight, tensile, with a much more sophisticated ecology both in concept and proposed execution. What does Soleri say? the bridge between matter and spirit is matter becoming spirit. This is metaphysics masking as architecture.

    While Glens social Utopia is comparable to an agricultural cooperative, Soleri’s is even more pre-industrial. While Glen’s biosphere is anarchist Soleri’s Arcology is unfortunately based on the leaders prescription in words and drawings. The closed form is easy prey to a leader cult, not unlike a theological based utopia. Will non-believers be allowed to stay. Arcosanti has all the properties of a monastic retreat, in the desert, now keeping the word of their master alive and guarded.

    • eric,

      thanks for your discerning comments.

      i have been writing a blog on soleri since his death. i too want to get into the differences and talk about the work. this is a time of reflection, but also a time of respect.

      soleri inspired many a person to seek a different path from the norm. he did me.
      he had his up and down sides, like all of us, but sought the ideal. he was an outlet to let people physically build. all the time discussing the eco city to save the earth, and telling his students they were helping to build that. he was sincere, but one has to question that rational train of thought.

      people do the best they can, that is all that is asked. soleri did his best. his work does not line up with my stars, yet we have been compared a lot. reyner banham in his megastructure book, saying something to the effect, that my biomorphic biosphere was larger and more ambitious than solerie’s, and also more worked out and detailed than other megastructures.

      it is a classification. ” the outsiders doing it their way,” rather than the tried and true way of the profession. but you are right. the similarities end there, just look at our work. what is sad is that most people can not judge architecture for what it is, they need others to tell them. that is the roll of the critic., so keep them informed and say more. you have so much to share.

      stay close,

      glen

  5. Glen, Another thought.
    Just started to read THE BROKEN BOUGH by Edward Keating. which is his Arboreal / Terrestrial Conflict Thesis, which is primate tree living vrs ground. Keating argues that man did not evolve into a land terrestrial creature but survived and adapted by means of culture, modifying the environment rather than man’s body. Man survives but pays a heavy price in body stress and time-anxiety.

    The biosphere can be seen as an arboreal environment. Life in the biosphere would be in synch with nature, and perhaps change basic human natures. Man Keating states, is an exile who cannot return to nature. The biosphere offers that.

    Keating discusses how an arboreal and harmonious environment would effect child rearing, sexual subordination of women, war, psychology, religion, economics. And with human nature now changed, an answer to this question – why does man kill his own kind?

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