“To tell the truth, we have been trying lately to be as primitive as possible; in an era where the hunger for novelty is threatening architecture to become immediately obsolete, we are looking for timelessness.”
Initially known as Dériville (from “ville dérivée”, literally, “drift city”), New Babylon is a utopian anti-capitalist city designed by artist-architect Constant Nieuwenhuys from 1959-74. The goal was the creating of alternative life experiences, called ‘situations’.
Sarah Williams Goldhagen, explained:
"New Babylon was to be a series of linked transformable structures, some of which were themselves the size of a small city—what architects call a megastructure. Perched above ground, Constant’s megastructures would literally leave the bourgeois metropolis below and would be populated by homo ludens—man at play. (Homo Ludens is the title of a book by the great Dutch historian Johan Huizinga.) In the New Babylon, the bourgeois shackles of work, family life, and civic responsibility would be discarded. The post-revolutionary individual would wander from one leisure environment to another in search of new sensations. Beholden to no one, he would sleep, eat, recreate, and procreate where and when he wanted. Self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction were Constant’s social goals. Deductive reasoning, goal-oriented production, the construction and betterment of a political community—all these were eschewed."
Constant Nieuwenhuys himself wrote: "It is obvious that a person free to use his time for the whole of his life, free to go where he wants, when he wants, cannot make the greatest use of his freedom in a world ruled by the clock and the imperative of a fixed abode. As a way of life Homo Ludens will demand, firstly, that he responds to his need for playing, for adventure, for mobility, as well as all the conditions that facilitate the free creation of his own life. Until then, the principle activity of man had been the exploration of his natural surroundings. Homo Ludens himself will seek to transform, to recreate, those surroundings, that world, according to his new needs. The exploration and creation of the environment will them happen to coincide because, in creating his domain to explore, Homo Ludens will apply himself to exploring his own creation. Thus we will be present at an uninterrupted process of creation and re-creation, sustained by a generalized creativity that is manifested in all domains of activity"
Tottenham Hotspur’s full back Kyle Naughton tattooed a depiction of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate on his body. This listed council housing estate developed a rather bad reputation over the years, but Naughton apparently has fond memories of it. Park Hill is currently being partly privatised and ‘regenerated’ by the redevelopers at Urban Splash.