04 September 2008

sustainable destruction?

This has been out there on the internets for a while now, but it's still quite compelling. Apparently a demolition company in Japan is pioneering a way to demolish a building from the bottom up. Check out the video:

The process (called "daruma-otoshi") is like construction in reverse, literally. Much cleaner, safer, more efficient. Pretty cool.

A thought: what if Pruitt Igoe had been demolished in this manner? It certainly would have made for a much less dramatic event, and perhaps Charles Jencks would not have been prompted to proclaim the death of architectural modernism. Imagine an alternate future: a gentle demolition of a modern icon prevents postmodernism from ever happening. The horror!

Unrelated: Still reeling from Sarah Palin's acceptance speech tonight (and the other assorted exercises in poor taste proffered by tonight's roster at the Republican National Convention), I sincerely hope that this will be the moment to which, 9 short weeks from now, we will all look at back and say, "That was the beginning of the end." Here's to hope.

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