Spaces of Absence in the European City: Stitching Urban Infrastructureto Contemporary Collective Life
This paper examines spaces in the European City that are often defined as peripheral, empty and absent. “Spaces of absence” – as Koolhaas defined them in an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist – can have a stronger presence as a consequence of their history and, like the Berlin wall, generate a unique condition. In an empty city center or on city outskirts they often evolve organically. Focusing on Madrid and Rome, this paper first, proposes to re-visit the significance of Stefano Boeri’s peripheral sites in L’anticitta (or The Anticity), “terrain vague” or waste ground (Ignasi de Solà-Morales) sites and Marc Augé’s Non-place(s). Second, it uses the visual essay to contemplate the critical role that these three types of spaces of absence can have in the European city and argues that the very attribute of absence that they contain can, conversely, create urban presence by stitching together urban infrastructure and everyday collective life.
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Citation : Martinez Perez, A, (2021) The absent spaces in the European city, as a stitching system of the urban infrastructure and the collective in the contemporary city. Architecture and Culture
Research Institute : Institute of Architecture
Peer Reviewed : Yes