Delirious New York A Retroactive Manifesto for Man hattan

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New edition published in the United States of America in 1994 by. The Monacelli Press Inc,10 East 92nd Street New York New York 10128. Copyright 1994 Rem Koolhaas and The Monacelli Press Inc. All rights reserved, under International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form. or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying. recording or by any information storage retrieval system without. permission in writing from the publisher, Inquiries should be sent to The Monacelli Press Inc. Library of Congress Card Catalog Number 94 076577,ISBN 1 885254 00 8. Printed and bound in Italy,Definitive Instability,The Downtown Athletic Club.
We in New York celebrate the black mass of Materialism. We are concrete,We have a body,We have sex,We are male to the core. We divinize matter energy motion change,Benjamin de Casseres Mirrors of New York. APOTHEOSIS, The Downtown Athletic Club stands on the bank of the Hudson River. near Battery Park the southern tip of Manhattan It occupies a lot varying. from 77 feet wide on Washington Street to 78 feet 8 inches wide on West. Street with a depth of 179 feet 1 4 inches between streets 51. Built in 1931 its 38 stories reach a height of 534 feet Large abstract. patterns of glass and brick make its exterior inscrutable and almost indis. tinguishable from the conventional Skyscrapers around it. This serenity hides the apotheosis of the Skyscraper as instrument of the. Culture of Congestion, The Club represents the complete conquest floor by floor of the Sky. scraper by social activity with the Downtown Athletic Club the American. way of life know how and initiative definitively overtake the theoretical. lifestyle modifications that the various 20th century European avant. gardes have been insistently proposing without ever managing to. impose them, In the Downtown Athletic Club the Skyscraper is used as a Constructivist.
Social Condenser a machine to generate and intensify desirabl forms. of human intercourse,TERRITORIES, In only 22 years the speculations of the 1909 theorem have become. reality in the Downtown Athletic Club it is a series of 38 superimposed. platforms that each repeat more or less the original area of the site. connected by a battery of 13 elevators that forms the north wall of the. To the financial jungle of Wall Street the Club opposes a complementary. program of hyper refined civilization in which a full spectrum of facili. ties all ostensibly connected with athletics restores the human body. Downtown Athletic Club 1931 Starrett Van,Vleck architect Duncan Hunter associate. architect Successful lobotomy made this,apotheosis of the Skyscraper as instrument of. revolutionary metropolitan culture almost,indistinguishable from surrounding Towers. Downtown Athletic Club site plan a small,rectangle repeated 38 times.
tM JI u u J,L7 9 FLOOJL tY rg 0,I Ire JI n,k y n Downtown Athletic Club plan of ninth floor. eating oysters with boxing gloves naked on,the nth floor. n IT rTTTnIT n,1 IT IT IT n nr L i,r I n n nn,Downtown Athletic Club section. eC TII Illf L 1llI1 1I, The lowest floors are equipped for relatively conventional athletic pursuits. squash and handball courts poolrooms etc all sandwiched between. locker rooms But then ascent through the upper layers of the structure. with its implied approximation of a theoretical peak condition leads. through territories never before tread upon by man. Emerging from the elevator on the ninth floor the visitor finds himself. in a dark vestibule that leads directly into a locker room that occupies. the center of the platform where there is no daylight There he undresses. puts on boxing gloves and enters an adjoining space equipped with a. multitude of punching bags occasionally he may even confront a human. On the southern side the same locker room is also serviced by an oyster. bar with a view over the Hudson River, Eating oysters with boxing gloves naked on the nth floor such is the I.
plot of the ninth story or the 20th century in action. In a further escalation the tenth floor is devoted to preventive medicine. On one side of a lavish dressing lounge an array of body manipulation I. facilities is arranged around a Turkish bath sections for massage and. rubbing an eight bed station for artificial sunbathing a ten bed resting. area On the south face six barbers are concerned with the mysteries. of masculine beauty and how to bring it out, But the southwest corner of the floor is the most explicitly medical a. special facility that can treat five patients at the same time A doctor. here is in charge of the process of Colonic Irrigation the insertion mto. the human intestines of synthetic bacterial cultures that rejuvenate. man by improving his metabolism, This final step brings the sequence of mechanical interference with. human nature initiated by such apparently innocent attractions as Coney. Island s Barrels of Love to a drastic conclusion, On the 12th floor a swimming pool occupies the full rectangle the ele. vators lead almost directly into the water At night the pool is illuminated. only by its underwater lighting system so that the entire slab of water. with its frenetic swimmers appears to float in space suspended between. the electric scintillation of the Wall Street towers and the stars reflected. in the Hudson, Of all the floors the interior golf course on the seventh is the most. extreme undertaking the transplantation of an English landscape. of hills and valleys a narrow river that curls across the rectangle green. grass trees a bridge all real but taxidermized in the literal realization. of the meadows aloft announced by the 1909 theorem The interior. Downtown Athletic Club 12th floor sWimming,pool at night.
Il FLIlIl t,Downtown Athletic Club plan of tenth floor. Downtown Athletic Club seventh floor interior,golf course. Downtown Athletic Club plan of 17th floor,interior roof garden with metropolitan verandas. golf course is at the same time obliteration and preservation having. been extirpated by the Metropolis nature is now resurrected inside the. Skyscraper as merely one of its infinite layers a technical service that. sustains and refreshes the Metropolitanites in their exhausting existence. The Skyscraper has transformed Nature into Super Nature. From the first to the twelfth floors ascent inside the Downtown Athletic. Club has corresponded to increased subtlety and unconventionality of the. programs offered on each platform The next five floors are devoted to. eating resting and socializing they contain dining rooms with a variety. of privacies kitchens lounges even a library After their stringent work. outs on the lower floors the athletes puritanical hedonists to a man. are finally in condition to confront the opposite sex women on a small. rectangular dance floor on the 17th story roof garden. From the 20th to the 35th floors the Club contains only bedrooms. The plan is of primary importance because on the floor are performed. all the activities of the human occupants that is how Raymond Hood. the most theoretical of New York s architects has defined Manhattan s. version of functionalism distorted by the demands and opportunities. of density and congestion 1111 II, In the Downtown Athletic Club each plan is an abstract composition. of activities that describes on each of the synthetic platforms a differ. ent performance that is only a fragment of the larger spectacle of. the Metropolis, In an abstract choreography the building s athletes shuttle up and down.
between its 38 plots in a sequence as random as only an elevator. man can make it each equipped with techno psychic apparatus for the. men s own redesign, Such an architecture is an aleatory form of planning life itself In the. fantastic juxtaposition of its activities each of the Club s floors is a. separate installment of an infinitely unpredictable intrigue that extols the. complete surrender to the definitive instability of life in the Metropolis. With its first 12 floors accessible only to men the Downtown Athletic. Club appears to be a locker room the size of a Skyscraper definitive. manifestation of those metaphysics at once spiritual and carnal that. protect the American male against the corrosion of adulthood But in. fact the Club has reached the point where the notion of a peak. condition transcends the physical realm to become cerebral. It is not a locker room but an incubator for adults an instrument that. permits the members too impatient to await the outcome of evolution. to reach new strata of maturity by transforming themselves into new. beings this time according to their individual designs. Bastions of the anti natural Skyscrapers such as the Club announce the. imminent segregation of mankind into two tribes one of Metropolitanites. literally self made who used the full potential of the apparatus of. Modernity to reach unique levels of perfection the second simply the. remainder of the traditional human race, The only price its 10ckeHoom graduates have to pay for their collective. narcissism is that of sterility Their self induced mutations are not repro. ducible in future generations, The bewitchment of the Metropolis stops at the genes they remain the. final stronghold of Nature, When the Club s management advertises the fact that with its delightful. sea breezes and commanding view the 20 floors devoted to living. quarters for members make the Downtown Club an ideal home for men. who are free of family cares and in a position to enjoy the last word. in luxurious living they suggest openly that for the true Metropolitan. bachelorhood is the only desirable status, The Downtown Athletic Club is a machine for metropolitan bachelors.
whose ultimate peak condition has lifted them beyond the reach of. fertile brides, In their frenzied self regeneration the men are on a collective flight. We in New York celebrate the black mass of Materialism We are concrete We have a body We have sex We are male to the core We divinize matter energy motion change Benjamin de Casseres Mirrors of New York APOTHEOSIS The Downtown Athletic Club stands on the bank of the Hudson River near Battery Park the southern tip of Manhattan It

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