Too Much Architectural BS

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    Publicscapes | The Suburban Parking Lot

    By BuildingSatire
    Oct 19, '12 6:52 AM EST

    I wake up at 6 AM. I shower, eat a college breakfast (use your imagination), and head to Copenhagen Central Station.
    There I meet my friend, we board a train, and half an hour later we’re in Sweden. Lund, Sweden, to be exact—we’re going for a lecture, and surprise, Peter Cook’s speaking?! Needless to say, we’re entranced for a few hours.

    Later that day we arrive in Malmo, Sweden. We must have missed a memo—the country is desolate. Compared to busy, bike-filled Copenhagen, Malmo’s a freakin’ zombie wasteland. (As dusk falls, the feeling grows…)

    We walk around—lost, backtracking, wind-whipped, and completely content. As architecture students, we’re attracted like moths to a flame to the strange, the bizarre, the sites that can only be described as unheimlich. We stumble upon an abandoned navy dry dock, warehouses, construction sites. We’re walking toward Calatrava’s Turning Torso (regretfully refusing it as a destination), and stumble upon an extra-large puddle in a parking lot.

    A plywood sheet wavers on the periphery; a Swedish seagull lands placidly on a half-submerged wood pallet. Dimensionally the lot is comparable to its typical American counterpart, the first of its size I’ve seen since coming to Copenhagen.

    Upward of 30% of the land at most American suburban strip malls is devoted to parking spaces. In light of the fact that 35-40% of America is vulnerable to sinkholes, what can the public make of parking-lot puddles, or lakes? Could they become new watering holes, gathering areas, playplaces? Could America become another canal city, a new Venice? Could the Great Lakes be succeeded by Lake Walmart, Lake Costco, Lake CVS, Lake Safeway? (Lake Walgreens has a nice ring…)

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BuildingSatire is a blog consisting of architectural satire, cynicism, and humor to alleviate the tension and pretension in professional architecture. we also have a twitter. whatup.

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