DAVID CHIPPERFIELD - PROTECT & DEVELOP

‘Does Architecture make a good city?’ Was the question David Chipperfield started his lecture with. The key to a good city is to find the balance between Architecture, Investment and Urbanism. However, which should come first and do they working together?

Does a city need good Architecture? We love what buildings stand for even when there’s a conflict in form and style. To what degree does the physical need to be there to make a good city. Chipperfield doesn’t believe that a city can’t be diverse. It can have different styles. A city doesn’t need to freeze.

What should a good city look like? We don’t imagine anymore what a city should look like. Opening a window and looking out of it at a beautiful view is everybody’s dream, but we’re not capable to build cities like that anymore.

Isn’t a city where people live in? the main substance of a city is domestic. Behind every window there’s life. Physical and social elements is what makes a city. The problem we’re currently dealing with is that we plan buildings but not the spaces between them anymore.

Housing estates do not work! What happened to housing? Why do we only build expensive housing? The big problem is that the private sectors became stronger and that there’s a growth in the investment sector. Because of the the post war anxiety, Le Corbusier introduced the idea of towers for social housing. The Barbican is one of the few Social housing projects in England that worked and were built with a vision. There was an idea of community behind and it was part of the city. It was motivated by vision, land investment, ideas. The perfect mix.

When did London stop Urban planning and started Master planning? Master planning in the meaning of planning without vision, so logistic planning. It’s like a farm divided up the land and try to put in as much as possible. The only comfort that master planning gives is the idea of planning something.

Does protection limit investment? Are the investors here in London because they think we’re a rack city? Everybody has a certain idea when they think about a city. If we keep knocking it down, we will lose the city and we’re going to have nothing left anymore. Are there methods to still keep the city as well as investors?

Why do we need tall and ‘fat’ buildings? “The tall buildings are like a rash you get when you’re ill and it’s visible now. ‘Fat buildings are just justified by investment, efficiency, and optimization’. It’s all about the money!