Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ludwig Hilberseimer. Vertical City - César Cruz Gómez


Vertical City  is Ludwig Hilberseimer’s response to Le Corbusier’s proposals for the cities of the twentieth century. It was published in 1927 in his book titled “Large-town Architecture”. The project is a theoretical attempt to simplify the transportation and sanitation problems of the modern city. It is also a critique to his time city of cities of his time like Chicago or New York, which he considered to be the product of property speculation.

His 'Vertical City' proposal was to be located in Berlin city center the centre of Berlin close to the Branderburg Gate. It is composed of 9 blocks of 600x100 meters and 60 meters wide streets oriented north-south. It consisted of a grid of nine blocks, three blocks square, each six hundred metres long and a hundred metres wide, orientated north to south and separated by 60 metre wide streets. (I've moved the sentence that was here.



Hilberseimer´s focus was to reduce the traffic in the city by getting rid of the need of transportation. This way, the journey from house to work is done by elevator. It was also an attempt to increase the population density of the European city.



The programme of this city is vertically zone, stacked according to their function; parking and the underground system below, road traffic, pedestrians, commercial and offices on 'ground' level, with pedestrians and residential above.

The city is split. The industry, shops and offices are located in the five first floors. Over them are situated the 15 floors dwellings, located surrounding a vast courtyard.

César C.


Vertical City  is Ludwig Hilberseimer’s response to Le Corbusier’s proposals for the cities of the twentieth century. It was published in 1927 in his book titled “Large-town Architecture”. The project is a theoretical attempt to simplify the transportation and sanitation problems of the modern city. It is also a critique to his time city of cities of his time like Chicago or New York, which he considered to be the product of property speculation.

It is located in Berlin city center, close to the Branderburg Gate and it is composed of 9 blocks of 600x100 meters and 60 meters wide streets oriented north-south. The program of this city is vertically zone, stacked according to their function (parking, underground, road traffic, pedestrians, commercial and offices, pedestrians and residential).

Hilberseimer´s focus is to reduce the traffic in the city getting rid of the need of transportation. This way, the journey from house to work is done by elevator. It is also an attempt to increase the european cities density.

The city is split. The industry, shops and offices are located in the five first floors. Over them are situated the 15 floors dwellings, located surrounding a vast courtyard.




1 comment:

  1. César, you've written an interesting article about something I knew nothing about. I certainly see the similarities to the projects of Corbusier and Mies for the total re-thinking of how we live in the modern city.

    I think it's also interesting how Hilberseimer has appropriated the language of 'capitalist' architecture into this design. Re-democratizing it in the process, successfully or not I'm not sure as the second image, which is quite familiar, has a nightmarish quality due to the scale, forced perspective and absence of human activity, other than the car.

    It's a short piece, it's clearly written, I think that you've used the language from the seminar very well and more importantly you give the reader a lot to think about.

    Well done, Martin

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