by RUF project as Architects - Mon, 2 April 2012
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the georgia grind*/ tangential babel *a fantastical infrastructure for Vancouver 1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children built. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. –Genesis 11:1-9 KJV Those who can, build….Those who can’t, criticize. –Robert Moses As Vancouver expands eastward, facing established neighbourhoods such as Strathcona, Chinatown and Gastown, will it continue it’s pattern of erasing and replacing, or is it possible to consider the existing fabric as something to be built within, around and on top of? Tangential Babel is an argument for a dialog between what was and will be; for an architectural memory that reaches deeper than the notional. It is an earnest folly - a fantastical infrastructure - dubbed fondly as the Georgia Grind, with all the challenge, rivalry and dating potential of the original, conveniently located within the City of Vancouver. Unhindered by the usual restraints of time, the Georgia Grind will be a unique infrastructure, ever expanding and spiralling upward into and above the skyline of Vancouver. Created upon the ruins of a failed express way, it will be a symbol of achievement and hope for Vancouver, a man-made mountainous pathway for all to exercise or drive upward together while enjoying the majestic view of the north shore and the natural landscape beyond.
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