Another good ideas competition, Pruitt Igoe Now the infamous St. Louis housing complex that was demolished in 1972 and considered one of the touchstones in the ‘death’ of modernism. The site is typical of the towers in the park ideal most notably ascribed to public housing and derived from version of Le Corbusier’s Radiant City designs. In this case, bars of housing were interwoven with roads, parking, and open space within immense superblocks as seen in the aerial and plan of the original development.
From the site: “Pruitt Igoe Now seeks the ideas of the creative community worldwide: we invite individuals and teams of professional, academic, and student architects, landscape architects, designers, writers and artists of every discipline to re-imagine the 57 acres on which the Pruitt-Igoe housing project was once located.” What could the site be today?
Part of the site has been rebuilt as a school, but a large portion is still undeveloped, and has developed its own feral ecology, as shown in these before and after shots of the demolition of building C-15 in 1972 and the same site in 2010.
Even if you aren’t interested in the competition, a quick tour around the site gives a really fascinating look at some of the history of this contentious site. Also, check out the new documentary ‘The Pruitt-Igoe Myth‘ for some more background… here’s the trailer.