Megaform as Urban Landscape
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Frampton, K. . (2021). Megaform as Urban Landscape. Journal of Delta Urbanism, (2), 12–23.


Kenneth Frampton closed the honorable Raoul Wallenberg Memoria lecture in 1999 with an address by Vittorio Gregotti in 1983 wherein he asserted that, "The origin of architecture is not the primitive hut, but the marking of ground, to establish a cosmic order around the surrounding chaos of nature." Frampton stated that the technological urbanised region is the new chaos but as architects and urbanists we still have the same task, bringing harmony between the chaos of the technological urbanised space and the chaos of nature. The lecture by Frampton is extremely relevant today. The megaform is an urban landscape, which could be an answer to reverse the altered and controlled nature, or the environmental crisis, towards a new harmony. This is especially urgent in delta regions, which have 12 times the global mean of 47 people per sq km, resulting in a population density of 580 people per sq km. Especially here the inclusion of delta dynamics and at the same time as Frampton proposes: “sustaining a sense of place but also of serving as an effective catalyst for the further development of the region” could offer purpose for the megastructure as human response to the longue durée of the natural system. Frampton mentions in his lecture two deltaic megaforms created by Kenzo Tange in Tokyo and Jaap Bakema the Plan Pampus in Amsterdam. These examples are contextualized and visualized in the section Project by sharing the project Mammoth of Jaap Bakema more in depth that is a megastructure response to the soft and wet soil conditions in the Netherlands: thick water.

This reprint of the Raoul Wallenberg Memoria lecture by Kenneth Frampton (1999) is done with permission of the The University of Michigan A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning and Kenneth Frampton, New York.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Kenneth Frampton


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