Once, a city was divided in two parts.

One part became the Good Half, the other part the Bad Half.

The inhabitants of the Bad Half began to flock to the good part of the divided city, rapidly swelling into an urban exodus.

The Wall was a masterpiece.

Those trapped, left behind in the gloomy Bad Half, became obsessed with vain plans for escape. Hopelessness reigned supreme on the wrong side of the Wall.

As so often before in this history of mankind, architecture was the guilty instrument of despair.

+

Le projet Exodus cherche à transformer toute la négativité hérité du mur de Berlin en positivité. L’intention est de créer une une île merveilleuse dans Londres, matérialisée par deux murs épais parallèles, entre lesquels sont disposés une succession de carrés permettant aux prisonniers volontaires d’évoluer dans le Strip.

The Inhabitants of this architecture, those strong enough to love it, would become its Voluntary Prisoners, ecstatic in the freedom of their architectural confines. From the outside, this architecture is a sequence of serene monuments; the life inside produces a continuous state of ornamental frenzy and decorative delirium, an overdose of symbols.

                                                                                   +

En se confrontant à la ville de Londres, le Strip est sensé provoquer une intense désirabilité métropolitaine, qui conduirait à un exode loin de la ville historique. Le « vieux » Londres se transformerait alors progressivement en ruines. En s’inscrivant progressivement dans la trajectoire de l’architecture radicale, le groupe qui deviendra plus tard OMA, laisse volontairement presque indéterminé chaque scène qui se passe dans Exodus. Exodus devient la quintessence du mur de Berlin.

Suddenly, a strip of intense metropolitan desirability runs through the Center of London. The Strip is like a runway, a landing strip for the new architecture of collective monuments. Two walls enclose and protect this zone to retain its integrity and to prevent any contamination of its surface by the cancerous organism that threatens to engulf it. London as we know it will become a pack of ruins.                        

                        +

Décidant de quitter Londres, les Prisonniers Volontaires sont accueillis à la Reception Area puis transitent par la Central Area d’où ils contemplent “l’exaltante déchéance du vieux Londres” avant de s’y rendre par une paire d’escalators. Là, dans ce fragment de Londres conservé, ils résident temporairement et passent donc par une période de décantation dans la ville qu’ils connaissent, ce qui favorise une adaptation progressive au nouveau système. Dans une lutte constante avec Londres, les extrémités des murs du Strip sont en attente d’une prolongation.

Reception Area – The first step in the indoctrination program of the other side of the Wall is realized : the newcomers enter the Reception Area. The senses are overwhelmed by though.

Central Area – The roof of the Reception Area, accessible from the inside, is a high-altitude plateau from which both the decay of the old town and the physical splendor of the Strip can be experienced.

Ceremonial Square – This black square will accommodate a mixture of physical and mental exercises, a conceptual Olympics.

Tip of the Strip – In a continuous confrontation with the old city, existing structures are destroyed by the new architecture, and trivial flights break out between the inmates of the old London and the Voluntary Prisoners of the Strip.

                                                                                   +

Dans le Park of four Elements, subdivisé en quatre zones carrées pour l’air, le feu, l’eau et la terre, ils apprennent les qualités des éléments primordiaux. Le Square of the Arts est destiné à l’éducation artistique et comprend trois bâtiments : un temple néoclassique – tel une réplique du British museum – qui contient des œuvres d’art datant de la préhistoire. Une structure en forme de serre, contenant des œuvres contemporaines et enfin, creusé dans le sol, le troisième bâtiment destiné à la création artistique. Dans les trois bassins de l’espace appelé The Baths, les prisonniers volontaires font connaissance et se déplacent ensuite, en couple ou en groupe, dans des cellules insérées dans le mur creux.

The Park of the Four Elements – The first square, “Air”, consists of several sunken pavilions overgrown with elaborate networks of ducts that emit various mixture of grasses to create aromatic and hallucinogenic experiences.

“Desert” [is] an artificial reconstruction of an Egyptian landscape simulating its dizzying conditions : a pyramid, a small oasis, and the fire organ […].

Deeper still into the earth is “Water”, a pool whose surface is permanently agitated through the regular but variable movement of one of its walls, producing waves of sometimes gigantic proportions.  Day and night, the sounds of this interior sea serve as the acoustic background to the activities of the Strip.

The fourth square, at the bottom of the pit, “Earth”, is occupied by a vaguely familiar mountain, its summit precisely level with the surface of the Strip.

+

                                                                  

The Square of the Arts – Devoted to the accelerated creation, evolution, and exhibition of objects, the Square of the Arts is the Strip’s industrial zone – an urban open space paved in a synthetic material that offers a high degree of comfort to its users. There are three major buildings on the Square. One is old; it has always been a museum. The other two were build by the Voluntary Prisoners.

Baths – The function of the Baths is to create and recycle private and public fantasies, to invent test, and possibly introduce new forms of behavior. The building is a social condenser.

Institute of Biological Transactions – The Institute sustains the Voluntary Prisoners through biological emergencies and physical and mental crises; it also demonstrates the harmless nature of mortality. It is divided into four parts by a cruciform building. The hospital is a sequence of pavilions each devoted to a particular disease. They are connected by a medical boulevard. The mood here is continuously festive.

            +

Dans la zone de l’université, renommée en 1977 en “Parc d’Agression”, on trouve deux hautes tours léonidoviennes doté d’un degré de simplification architecturale. L’une d’elle n’est composée que d’une série de dalles dans un empilement d’arènes où les “prisonniers volontaires” deviennent des gladiateurs pour résoudre par le combat, “tout le conflit idéologique généré par la coexistence de tant de personnes dans une zone aussi restreinte”. Le vainqueur atteint le sommet et retourne au sol par la tour en spirale, dans une “chute libératrice qui efface les dernières traces de ressentiment”. L’université permet donc de faire fonctionner la ville congestionnée.

       

Park of Aggression – In this recreational area, rudimentary structures were erected to correct and channel aggressive desires into creative confrontations. The Park is a reservoir of sustained tension waiting to be released, a gigantic playground of flexible dimensions to accommodate the Strip’s only sport : aggression. Here conflicts are reenacted : the staged battles dissolve the corrosive hysteria of good manners.

The most prominent edifices are the two towers. One is infinite, a continuous spiral; the other, consisting of 42 platforms, has a familiar architectural style. Magnetic fields between these towers create a tension that mirrors the psychological motivations of their users.

As their tower leans forward, they push their antagonist into an abysmal fall through the relentless spiral of introspection.

+

Dans les Allotments, les prisonniers sont isolés dans une cellule dans laquelle il n’y a pas de moyens de communication. Ces zones sont conçus conçue pour purifier leur conscience et les engager dans les tâches quotidiennes de labourage, de nettoyage et d’embellissement des terrains. Il s’agit donc d’un un lieu surréaliste capable d’agir sur le ” subconscient ” et de stimuler des ” sentiments ” de ” gratitude ” et de ” satisfaction ».

       

The Allotments – To recover in privacy from the demands of intense collectivism, each Voluntary Prisoner has a small piece of land for private cultivation. The Allotments are well supervised so that both external and internal disturbances can be avoided, or at least quickly suppressed. Media intake in this area is nil. Time has been suppressed. Nothing ever happens here, yet the air is heavy in exhilaration.

+