Project Heracles #2 - Architecture - Domus
Project Heracles #2
 

Project Heracles #2

Geoff Manaugh initiates a series of guest-curated proposals for Project Heracles, selecting the most intriguing projects among the hundreds received.

 

Architecture / Geoff Manaugh

In May, inspired by an email exchange between philosophers Lieven De Cauter and Dieter Lesage, Domus invited readers to send in their ideas for possible ways to connect the European and African continents across the Strait of Gibraltar. The results range in scale—and feasibility—from a simple cablecar to a giant floating Mediterranean city, frequently questioning the troubled history of the relationship between the two continents. Lieven and Dieter's selections appeared in Domus 949; now Geoff Manaugh is the first of our guest curators to select his favorite entries out of the hundreds Domus received.

How to connect entire continents, when there is no political plan in place, no social foresight, no local economy on the rise? Architecture here—engineering, imagination, design—is forced to fill the breach, stepping in where other attempts at dialogue (and deliberate isolation) have failed.

Postcard #1. [top image] The idea that a future crossing between continents might consist of nothing but the discarded hulls of old supertankers is perhaps unnecessarily cynical, unless we consider that we could all be tourists—or is it spelunkers?—of the boundary line, walking the ruins of dead ships, misaligned with the horizon, its own nation-state of the abandoned, housing those who have been abandoned by nation-states. Perhaps the wreckage of this world will be the very thing that connects us in the next.

Top image: 12.572.  Archisbang (Claudio Sframeli, Matteo Rossi, Alberto Perino, Isabella Rombi, Silvia Minutolo), Torino (italy)
Above: An ultra long suspension bridge proposal. Marco Peroni, Faenza (Italy).

Top image: 12.572. Archisbang (Claudio Sframeli, Matteo Rossi, Alberto Perino, Isabella Rombi, Silvia Minutolo), Torino (italy) Above: An ultra long suspension bridge proposal. Marco Peroni, Faenza (Italy).

Postcard #10.[above] Or why not go with pure and simple engineering? The perfect suspension bridge sprays out across the sea, spiraling with tension and redundancy, cross-strung like a lyre—like smoke rings—straightforward, complex, and majestic.

Walking alone through the precarious geopolitical space between Europa and Africa. Gabriele Garavaglia (Italy).

Walking alone through the precarious geopolitical space between Europa and Africa. Gabriele Garavaglia (Italy).

Postcard #16. Here, movement between worlds becomes as unstable as it is sublime. Precarious and lonely, this is the most emotionally accurate proposal of them all: isolated and beyond the help of others, yet confident in the onward insistence of a journey from one state to the next, this single walker advances step by step, free to fall, unwitnessed, pursuing a final survival that only comes through exposure to extreme risk.

 
Architecture here—engineering, imagination, design—is forced to fill the breach, stepping in where other attempts at dialogue (and deliberate isolation) have failed.
 
Ephemeral, unreal, illusory. Alberto Bottero (Italy).

Ephemeral, unreal, illusory. Alberto Bottero (Italy).

Postcard #118. This is the border as international airlift: an endless string of balloons re-launched one after the other into a constellation in the sky. But this connection sinks—it will always deflate—it must be established again and again, endlessly refreshed, spectacular yet Sisyphean, an improvised performance that mocks the very geographies it tries to unite.

Pedro Ceñal Murga, Mexico DF (Mexico).

Pedro Ceñal Murga, Mexico DF (Mexico).

Postcard #177. The divide between north and south can also be crossed by camouflage, whole nations blurred together in an indistinct zone of noise, pixilation, and artifice. The landscape here seems to make most sense from above—the only angle that matters these days—as satellites and high-altitude air passengers gaze down in feigned states of political disinterest. This is an anonymous earth, its edges marked by interference, terrestrially conjoined and unrecognizable.

Project Heracles: A Eurafrican bridge
 

Project Heracles: A Eurafrican bridge

In an epistolary exchange, two European philosophers discuss an imaginary but possible infrastructure—a bridge linking Gibraltar and Ceuta that would eliminate the huge political, economic and geographical gap between Africa and Europe.

 

Architecture / Dieter Lesage,Lieven De Cauter

The NEMO Project
 

The NEMO Project

Reviving a typology with a dark past, two architects propose a subversive new endeavour to address, and critique, the European immigration controversy.

 

Architecture / Alan Rapp

An open letter to the President of the European Council

After surveying proposals for a Eurafrican bridge, a plea to marshal the Heraclean effort to complete the last great juncture between earth's landmasses.

 

Op-ed / Joseph Grima

Project Heracles. 200 postcards from the Straits
 

Project Heracles. 200 postcards from the Straits

200 ideas, designs and proposals received following Project Heracles, Domus's call for ideas for an imaginary infrastructure connecting Africa and Europe.

 

News

Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO
 

Project Heracles: where the EURO meets the AFRO

Bjarke Ingels/BIG contributes designs for new EU and African currencies for an exhibition of proposals for a Eurafrican Bridge at London's The Gopher Hole.

 

News

Project Heracles #3
 

Project Heracles #3

Continuing the series of guest-curated selections from Project Heracles, Saskia Sassen comments on her favorites among the hundreds that Domus received.

 

Architecture / Saskia Sassen

Project Heracles #4
 

Project Heracles #4

In the ongoing series of guest-curated entries from Project Heracles, Bruce Sterling selects his favorites.

 

Architecture / Bruce Sterling

Project Heracles #5
 

Project Heracles #5

In the ongoing series of guest-curated entries from Project Heracles, Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt detail their submission, which creates a radical new spur off London's tube network.

 

Architecture / Asif Khan + Pernilla Ohrstedt

Geologic City at Studio-X New York
 

Geologic City at Studio-X New York

A renewed programming schedule under the direction of Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley launches with a book event and exhibition on the geologic forces of New York City.

 

News

Project Heracles #6
 

Project Heracles #6

Our series of curated sets of the submissions continues with guest-editor Elisa Poli.

 

Architecture / Elisa Poli

Project Heracles #7
 

Project Heracles #7

The Mediterranean Sea represents an ocean of differences for the people who overlook it. For the next installment of Heracles, Carson Chan reads and responds to the postcard entries.

 

Architecture / Carson Chan

Project Heracles #11
 

Project Heracles #11

The Roman curator selected nine proposals that represent the journey of exchange with images that are unrealistic, poetic, or ironic.

 

Architecture / Emilia Giorgi