This "open proposal" is based on the many upcoming "Fin de Siecle" or "New Millennium" projects that have been hyped by countless institutions, throughout the world. This is the international dateline where the fantastical meets the implicitly political.
It is also rooted in my personal interest in the way that the ever more present "Industry of Culture" tries to address the big audience regarding its activities and becomes itself a sort of limit in the way culture is displayed. It's almost utopian in its megalomaniac attitude towards the social aspects. In this sense there are many analogies with the big modernistic architectural projects (great "megaprojects" were being built everywhere in the 20s and 30s)1.
Considering the geographical position of the city of Brest as one of Europe's extremities, and, its unavoidable isolation, my project aims to transform the city and the area around it into the "real lieu-unique", a strategical point, a sort of cultural and physical way station.
The idea consists of building a bridge to America (New York). A real bridge 6000 kilometers long that crosses the ocean and leads to the opposite continent. The BREST NEW YORK BRIDGE would transform Brest into one of the biggest trading centres in the world, and of course an incredible important "cultural centre".
A seminar will be based around the development and the consequences of this idea. Everyone is welcome to bring material and new ideas about all the aspects of the proposal, from the technical possibilities to the conceptual and environmental impact, from the financial problems to the architectural solutions, etc.
Other similar projects:
1(1) Antonio Sant' Elia's Megaprojects: in the 20s and 30s the power of industry was unleashed on European countries which had remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Dams, bridges, aquaducts, powerplants, and other public projects were built on a very large scale. Thrilled to see such forces at work, and discouraged by the aquaducts cities that Santa' Elia considered obsolete, the architect proposed building cities a new. Begin again, and this time on the scale of the megaprojects that he believed were the future.
2 Rem Koolhaas's project for the new Schiphol airport, near Amsterdam (the new airport will be placed on an island that will be built in front of the Dutch coast...)
3 Norman Foster's project for the Millennium Tower, Tokyo (an 840 metre high skycraper in the form of a cone...)
4 Hugh Ferris's projects for bridge apartment-building as an answer to overpopulation (the bridge could be a platform for building, over the surface of the water. Ferris worked to diminish over crowding in the city with a clever design. He decided to combine the skyscraper with the toll bridge. The bridge could continue to generate toll revenues while the skyscraper, filled with apartments, could house the growing population of the city...).