PinkCloud.dk recently proposed a new urban strategy: a serie of vertical cities built within a larger city: Shanghai. These vertical cities are conceived as programmatic tower fragments flipped onto their side and stacked into a kind of architectural assemblage. In the Architects’ own words: “By expressing distinct functions for its citizens, FLIP/CITY relates strongly to the human scale while simultaneously increasing density and green space at the urban scale.”
The architects later said that they have proposed “a new urban typology that answers the needs of modern Shanghai, its economy, social structures and ecological plans for the future while embracing Shanghai’s rich history and its citizens.” How new? Well, maybe it’s a new sibling to older brothers like MVRDV’s Mirador project in Madrid, or REX’s Museum Plaza (especially apparent the 9th slide). So there must be something persistently interesting to this family of architects in lifting the streets off of the actual streets and recreating them through a new piece of architecture. Maybe it has more to do with scale: using patterns from the existing urban fabric as a way to generate novel spatial effects. Maybe it’s a problem of meaning: a project trying to simultaneously blend into the city by wearing urban-scaled camouflage but stand out from the city by wearing pink camouflage.