HOME                                               ARCHITECTURE                                                   PHOTOGRAPHY                                                 ART                                                     PEDAGOGY                                                       BLOG-BEDI

PORTFOLIO - Urban Design, Architecture.


Living in the City

MA Architecture

Thesis -1989

EXCERPT FROM THESIS :  The center of the American city is defined by clusters of the ubiquitous steel and glass skyscraper.  As symbols of economic wealth and corporate might they evoke images of life on the move, endless possibility and frenzied dynamism. 

This prodigy of the American city is however has been banned from the capital city. Instead of defining its center, the sky scraper marks the edge of the district of Columbia. 

They stand on the horizon of the capital city- giants in gleaming armor banished from the place of their birth.  The center of Washington is not a city of glass but a city of stone.

Washington DC does not speak of the transitory, of change or movement, but rather with that which is timeless, of permanence and stasis, Classical stone monuments crown the landscape as if they grew out of it, were always a part of it. "Nature becomes reason. reason becomes democracy" 

The city proclaims to the world the stability and immortality of Pax Americana. The city speaks of its longing to portray itself "immobile in its principles, timeless in its values and immortal in its strength".

The vast landscape of the american continent and its distance from the other centers of western civilization contribute to the fundamental polarity of the American experience; what Vincent Scully calls "at once a feeling of liberation and of loss".

For me the vastness of the American continent does inspire that sense of liberation, Chicago and New York give material expression to it and Washington DC by its self conscious classicism eulogizes America's profound sense of loss.

In the words of Manfredo Tafuri, “In washington DC is concentrated as nowhere else the anxiety of America's search for roots.”


Page One of Four