Stop City, 2007

The Stop City project (2007) can be viewed as a theoretical proposal for an urban project expressed through “abstract” architectural language. Forty years after Archizoom’s No-Stop-City project, in which they proposed a city without end, DOGMA proposes to invert their terms by inscribing the very definition of the city in its own limits. Imagined for 500,000 inhabitants, Stop City develops vertically in a group of high-density “islands.” This archipelago is made up of eight self-sufficient “city-buildings” without specific characteristics, each with façades measuring 500 x 500 meters. Spread along a square perimeter measuring 3 by 3 kilometers, these immense monoliths delimit a central inhabited space, covered by an impenetrable forest. Thus, Stop City, an “absolute limit”, occupies the interstice separating the urbanized space from the empty space. These enormous “city-buildings,” represented in collages by monolithic white figures with almost mystical qualities, are an “absolute limit” to the city. Here, the city’s scope is contained within its limits and the architecture of Stop City becomes the “quality free” framework for development into unpredictable forms. The project’s overall strictness is counterbalanced by the humor of the drawings and canonical references. Thus, Archizoom or Malevich’s suprematist White Squares become essential milestones on the path to a critical rethinking of space.

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