The majority of this website is focused on the redevelopment, or rather 'rebirth' of Pruitt-Igoe. The original spiralled out of control from poor planning, resulting in it becoming run down, vandalised, and robbed. The resulting demolitions left the possibility of a reimagining for the site, but no such thing has happened. Instead it has been left. The Pruitt Igoe Now website showcases projects submitted to finally realise the rebirth of the site.
Whilst I was looking at the proposed projects, I noticed that a lot of them focused on agriculture and nature, but although the brief says to do something bold and to focus on a specific element of Pruitt-Igoe to take forward, I did not feel that a lot of the proposed ideas were actually that bold. Baring in mind that the competition did not demand a complete architectural solution, drawn up technically or ready for building, and that any designer from any discipline could enter it, there was a surprising lack of variation.
However, two proposals have struck my interest, both of which completely strayed from the obvious.
The first, entitled 'A Double Moon For Pruitt-Igoe' had the fairly simple but completely different idea of giving the site a giant, glowing moon for the residents of St. Louis. During the day it would be an auditorium, but by night it would glow and provide something beautiful for people the world over to see. Pruitt-Igoe has become internationally famous, so why not bring something which is known the world over to Pruitt-Igoe? Its own Moon.
The second proposal which caught my interest was 'Forecast'. This very interesting proposal told a story. It imagined what cold happen in a completely different projection of the future. I shall not explain the story myself as I feel that it is best seen through the video made for the proposal here: "vimeo.com", however I did find it very interesting and absorbing to watch and follow what the proposal suggested the site could become. Forecast is suggesting that the site is potentially very diverse, it could follow any number of paths and is capable of changing through its life to serve any purpose. This is key to me. They suggest that the site will always be known as the 'Pruitt-Igoe site' and why try and hide this? It has become a part of history. But adapt it to become a hero for every context it is faced with, let it adapt to help people and give back to a community that it let down so badly to begin with.
I am pleased to know that competitions like this exist. Instead of just demolishing the past and trying forget about it by placing new housing developments over it all, ideas for something responsive and contextually appropriate are being suggested and I believe that this is what the world needs more of.