What was visionary a decade ago is commonplace today. What we now think of a visionary is, more often than we know, not potentially but immediately feasible. Structures of in describable complexity exist at Cape Kennedy, as fantastic as the rocket and satellite devices they serve. Industrial cities hover above water in search of oil and sulphur, harboring in addition to equipment, shelter and recreationfor the people who man them. Capsules sustain life, couple in space, land on the moon.
It must have seemed to Boullee, Ledoux, and Lequeu that centuries might pass before what they dreamed became reality. And innovative though their structures may have been, the form they took often reflected familiar architectural themes: Egyptian pyramids, for instance, or classical columns. And these architects were, in the main, concerned with individual buildings.
What is extraordinary in the visionary architecture you are about to see is its almost complete independence of the past. Its allusion is to a super technology of the “instant” present and future. It recognizesand reflects the newest of materials- ultralight, ultra- strong; computer techniques; thermo nuclear power; control of weather, of genetics, of fertility; the mining of the ocean and the de-salinisation of its water; a limitless use of technology.
The designs seem a denial of form as we have known it. These modern visionaries, however, are working with a new kind of form: the functional logic of the printed circuit or the rocket-launching device. Lines structures, pathways, utilities – go where they have to
go, exposed and direct. The concern is not with the
“aesthetically correct” but with what works best.
The concern, too, is geographic in scope. It is almost as if these architects were saying: “How can we spend time on single buildings when whole cities need our help?”
New communities are envisioned within dependent motor systems like “the walking city”, for previously unusable ground, or on top of existing cities. Today, man’s vision can no longer be determined by what is probable or possible;as the accompanying pictures show, the visions now are of what is necessary and desirable. The problems of a population explosion, impending world war, and decreasing food supplies all find expression in the visions of these architects, visions not for structures but for megastructures.
Experts from The New Visionaries by Arthur Osenblatt