Superstudio, 12 Città Ideali, 1971 – Cities with splendid houses.

“The city has no connection with the countryside because it contains in itself everything that please its inhabitants. It is certainly the most beautiful city in the world, because all its inhabitants, at every moment of their existence, move towards the single goal of possessing the most beautiful house.

The city gives all its citizens the same starting points, that is, it grants every family nucleus the same amount  of space for building a house. In fact, the city consists of a network of parallel roads 10m. wide, which form 6 sqm blocks, each of these 36 sqm blocks is occupied by a single family house.

Every house in the city consists of one single room, 5x5rn, 5rn high, with walls of reinforced concrete 50cm thick. The roof is of glass, with a ceiling lamp in the middle for lighting. The floor is in padded plastic with a heating plaque at the centre; the walls of the room are painted greenish. A curtain of the same colour, in plastic, hides the service area at the right of the entrance; to the left of the door, a green-painted metal cupboard with a security lock contains clothing, but there are no other objects in the room.” Superstudio, Twelve Cautionary Tales for Christmas, 1971

“Our proposal is a dwelling meant to host a dweller for a limited length of time. We imagine this new type as an alternative to the nuclear family apartment, which dominates the housing market both in London and elsewhere and that is both unaffordable and undesirable for singles and short-term tenants. 

For these reasons we propose a living space that requires no commitments in terms of investment and maintenance. The type can be applied on sites of different size and configurations as it’s based on an adaptable, modular skeleton, filled with single-occupants units. 

The unit is a two-storey prefabricated core, which contains bathroom, storage, a small kitchen surface at the lower level, and a generous sleeping alcove for up to two persons above it. Although it is affordable for a single dweller, the latter can invite his/her partner into his/her individual space.

This individual space can be seen as a self sufficient interior, as the access to the upper level is contained within the core itself, behind a door that can be closed to isolate the user from the noise and activity of the surroundings. 

In this way, the bathroom can be accessed directly from the upper level which is imagined as an intimate, quiet space, – soft platform to sleep, read, watch videos; a large round window gives the upper level air, light and view. 

Form and dimensions of these cores are obtained by revisiting current experiments in affordable housing with concrete skeletons and prefabricated kitchens and bathroom units. The module of core and the skeleton is defined, but can be multiplied in different horizontal and vertical configurations to fit different sites. 

We believe these sites should be in proximity to major transport infrastructure as the users of such type would need to be highly mobile; we retraced a constellation of possible sites around the Crossrail line, cutting an east-west section to London and touching upon very diverse urban conditions. “ DOGMA + BLACK SQUARE, Like A Rolling Stone, Copy Editors, 2016