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August 19, 2009 2:23 PM   Subscribe

A High Tech Building for New Orleans: ‘New Orleans Arcology Habitat’ or NOAH by E. Kevin Schopfer

I doubt that they will build something like this, but I would love to see one of these futuristic designs in the real world.
posted by SamsFoster (56 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I endorse this crazy thing.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:27 PM on August 19, 2009


I thought that's what the Convention Center was.
posted by sswiller at 2:30 PM on August 19, 2009


One one hand I find arcology projects and ideas really neat, and research into them can help further development of more pedestrian structures and infrastructure. On the other hand, I can't help but get a twinge of visceral reaction against them. They just make regarding humans a colony of ants much easier. Life is much better when you can just quickly walk outside and have your feet on real earth.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:31 PM on August 19, 2009


Having lived in New Orleans in the past and currently in another part of LA I have to say that nobody could afford the amount of bribes alone it would cost to build that thing.
posted by GavinR at 2:32 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think someone has played too much simcity 2000. Also from animation, it mostly looks like a weird wind turbine that lights up at night.
posted by philcliff at 2:32 PM on August 19, 2009


I thought they invented arcologies for Sim City.
posted by smackfu at 2:33 PM on August 19, 2009


I endorse this crazy thing.

As a resident of New Orleans, can I recommend we build this in East Manitoba instead?
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2009


New Orleans should not have been built on in the first place.
posted by kldickson at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2009


New Orleans should not have been built on in the first place.

That's outstandingly wrong and someone more knowledgeable will come to say it better. New Orleans has been a vital port for over a century. Blame the oil companies for jacking up the marshlands that acted as a natural buffer against tidal surge. But don't toss out pithy comments like that.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've got some friends over in city planning. I'll check and see if that part of the CBD is zoned wtf-3.
posted by gordie at 2:40 PM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


er, glib, not pithy.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:40 PM on August 19, 2009


Do people not watch any movies at all? That thing would inevitably become a symbol of dystopian oppression inhabited by the sort of police who wear black bodysuits and contoured reflective helmets. The head evil guy would have his massive office right at the top.

This is a more Age of Aquarius-style Arcology.
posted by Spacelegoman at 2:41 PM on August 19, 2009


This is a more Age of Aquarius-style Arcology.

And previously (and awesomely)
posted by Burhanistan at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2009


This has been done before, good for them for continuing the concept and producing a high quality presentation. Needs more interior shots, as in, what it is like to wake up and look out the window of this thing?

Sim City 2000 was my first reaction as well, and I appreciate how the arcologies in the game were allowed to have different characters. One was deliberately confusing, over-designed and awful to live in, another was a back to nature luddite 'arco'. To be honest, the reason I would build arco's in the game was to increase population and therefore tax revenue. It was also easier to build an arco than engage the existing city in thoughtful urban planning, and unfortunately, that seems to be the approach megastructures in real life as well.
posted by limited slip at 2:48 PM on August 19, 2009


I thought they invented arcologies for Sim City.

Arcologies. Paolo Soleri actually tried to get something like this off the ground (or into the ground, in this case) in reality, in the Arizona desert: Arcosanti. When I visited there around 2001 it felt like a 97%-failed, well-intentioned hippie commune with nice pottery.
posted by gurple at 2:51 PM on August 19, 2009


Sadly, New Orleans could have been a start-over city, brilliant in glass and design.

But people go to New Orleans to never change. Like one restaurant stopped servings cocktails with ice from an ice block and began serving them with ice from a machine. That made headlines in the newspaper.

Any change is a great sadness, lamented in drink and another drink.

Building that in New Orleans would be like constructing a mosque in downtown Wichita. It goes against the bloodstream of the inhabitants.
posted by plexi at 2:55 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Any change is a great sadness, lamented in drink and another drink.

I've often thought that I should visit New Orleans someday. Now, I want to get on the next plane.
posted by gurple at 2:58 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Burhanistan: "pithy" is good, as in "I just pithed on it." (punchline of a joke I told in Sunday school at age 8 or so. I've since figured out what meant.)

But that building should only be built next to an oil platform somewhere aound Dubai. NOLA traditionally has a different look.
posted by path at 3:01 PM on August 19, 2009


They should include a picture of just the tip of it sticking out from the Mississippi River, for when it eventually sinks. Also: you really want to make downtown traffic WORSE? Also: Can you build another one right next to it so that it looks like a big pair of titties?
posted by ColdChef at 3:05 PM on August 19, 2009


Also: instead of Two of every animal, please provide us with Three, because one of each is going to end up in my gumbo.
posted by ColdChef at 3:07 PM on August 19, 2009 [9 favorites]


I've often thought that I should visit New Orleans someday. Now, I want to get on the next plane.

I went for the first time for the 10th anniversary meetup. You like food? You like booze? You like music? You like boobies? It will be your Mecca.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:09 PM on August 19, 2009


I went for the first time for the 10th anniversary meetup. You like food? You like booze? You like music? You like boobies? It will be your Mecca.

I propose 'Nolaji' as a term for a lover of the delights of the physical world who has made that pilgrimage.

A number I do not count myself worthy to be among. Yet.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:28 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


New Orleans should not have been built on in the first place.

Well. Let's just go back to 1718 and tell those stupid Frenchmen to un-build it then! It's as simple as that.

(I hate that dome-thing)
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:34 PM on August 19, 2009


I'm trying to pin down what exactly I hate most about this. I think it's that I'm pretty sure kid rock was riding on it in Endymion last year.
posted by gordie at 3:46 PM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Putting something like this on it's own island seems it would create a traffic nightmare. Even it were spectacularly well served by by public transport, the five o'clock jam occurring at the base would be pretty horrific. Unless of course, it houses all of the work places of the residents, which is a whole different kind of nightmare, a giant company town ala Sterling or Gibson.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:53 PM on August 19, 2009


So this thing will house 40,000 people doing what?
posted by localroger at 3:57 PM on August 19, 2009


Looks like the joke schemes in Dubai are starting to come home to roost.
posted by doobiedoo at 4:05 PM on August 19, 2009


Building that in New Orleans would be like constructing a mosque in downtown Wichita. It goes against the bloodstream of the inhabitants.

Unless, say, it were related to football somehow. (That being said, New Orleans has not been devoid of modernist architecture. This, however, is totally stupid.)
posted by raysmj at 4:41 PM on August 19, 2009


Ugh.
Yeah, the tetrahedron is a structurally strong form and all, but the idea that such an elemental geometry could serve as the overarching organizational principle of a small city is a totalitarian, totalizing, sanitizing, and simplifying commienazi delusion.

Museum Plaza, by REX, an elaboration on an OMA concept (couldn't find better link), is a much smarter approach to the megabuilding. And it's under construction.

This is sinister!
posted by Casimir at 4:42 PM on August 19, 2009


Part of me wants to see this built. But not on the Mississippi. Last thing the city needs is blockage in a major shipping lane.

If we're already making empty wishes and promising a pony to every resident, I say, throw the thing down on Lincoln Beach.

(Based on my experience with the Bally's on Lakeshore - if you want whitefolk to brave the wilds of the East NO, all you need is a massive daily lunch buffet, preferably taking up the entire bottom floor of the arcology. We'd turn out for that kind of craziness.)
posted by suckerpunch at 4:52 PM on August 19, 2009


"When I visited there around 2001 it felt like a 97%-failed, well-intentioned hippie commune with nice pottery.


I spent a summer there around '82, and there was some fraying at the edges. The deepest problem was the seniority system, where the most entrenched lived in splendid digs, two story flight of stairs carved from the raw rock of the mecca. The newbies competed for 10' concrete boxes.
posted by dragonsi55 at 5:07 PM on August 19, 2009


um 'mesa' not 'mecca'
posted by dragonsi55 at 5:09 PM on August 19, 2009


The science fiction nerd in me loves this sort of thing... in theory. In practice I hate the idea (mostly for doctor_negative's reasons).

On the other hand, if they scoot it over a bit so it smooshes the ugly-ass Harrah's building, it has my total support.

I miss the Rivergate.
posted by brundlefly at 5:09 PM on August 19, 2009


kldickson: "New Orleans should not have been built on in the first place."

Here is the best illustration of the progression of Hurricane Katrina flooding in the New Orleans metro area I've seen.

The older portions of New Orleans which are built on the higher ground near the river got very little water as a result of Katrina. The areas that were flooded were the result of isolated failures caused by poor engineering, contractor fraud and government incompetence on many levels. All significant damage was preventable via non-extraordinary means. The heavily populated West Bank, across the river and south on the map got no significant flooding. New Orleans East had inadequate levees. The partial flooding to the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish caused by the breach in the Industrial Canal was rendered moot by the near complete failure of the MR-GO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet) levee and the 40-Arpent levee. The consensus culprit of all New Orleans Katrina damage, what should not have been built, is the MR-GO canal.
posted by vapidave at 5:25 PM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


As a resident of New Orleans, can I recommend we build this in East Manitoba instead?

Ian A.T.: This confuses me. Why would you suggest Manitoba? (Forget about the 'East' part, which is nonsensical). Would Manitoba be your stand-in for some kind of hicksville? Because it really is not. You know why Manitoba is superior to Louisiana? If they had a 'town hall' meeting about government medicare, it's very unlikely that anyone would attend packing a sidearm or assault rifle! It's amazing and true! They would speak to each other in reasonable terms and, who knows, agree or agree to disagree. Very civilized. Don't you dare nominate a Canadian city, out of your own ignorance, as nowheresville.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 5:55 PM on August 19, 2009


I would just like to remind everybody that before Katrina, the NOAA had a list of the 10 cities most at risk for hurricane destruction. New Orleans was #3 on that list. Above us were Miami and ... New York City.

Tell me again which cities shouldn't have been built where?
posted by localroger at 6:08 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


It blocks the French Quarter from the river, and the Missisippi is not that wide, it'd be a hazard to navigation. Also, ugly. Fuck that. Build it over on Lakeside where nobody would notice.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:38 PM on August 19, 2009


Above us were Miami and ... New York City

Okay, I knew why insurance companies were cancelling home insurance in Florida, but I was wondering why they were cancelling Long Island, too.
posted by dragonsi55 at 6:41 PM on August 19, 2009


Ease off the throttle, there, hoser. I think he was proposing Manitoba because it wasn't New Orleans, eh? And really far away, too.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:41 PM on August 19, 2009


Slap*Happy : Gotcha buddy. Maybe was a bit quick off the trigger.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 7:08 PM on August 19, 2009


Actually, he said East Manitoba because of the first comment in this thread.
posted by kyrademon at 7:10 PM on August 19, 2009


Can you build another one right next to it so that it looks like a big pair of titties?

And then we can build a giant tube top to go over them, and when aliens fly by we can retract the tube top and so earn beads from them. Giant space beads.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:19 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


First they build this, then come the flying cars and off-world colonies, and before you know it, a guy named Gaff is convincing someone to part with their noodles.
posted by quin at 7:41 PM on August 19, 2009


(Turtles: the poster I was quoting is named East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion; it was just a dumb joke because he spoke up in favor it. Like: "Well, if you like it, let's build it in your backyard instead." But maybe "Vancouver, BC" would have been a better place to send it...I've never heard of that place before, so I can only assume it must be a charmless shithole with really boring town hall meetings.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:40 PM on August 19, 2009


So this thing will house 40,000 people doing what?

eating each other.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:05 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]



It looks like a death trap.
posted by bukharin at 2:56 AM on August 20, 2009


Sounds like someone's been spending some time with Paolo Soleri .
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:37 AM on August 20, 2009


Dang it! Someone did it before me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:40 AM on August 20, 2009


This is incredibly ugly and so ignorant of basic facts of urban planning that you wonder why an architect would push something like that. Maybe his clients are the casinos and he is so disgusted that he designed something guaranteed to fail from the start? It would be cute as a space station but nowhere near a coastal city.

At least the guy has better taste when designing super yachts.
posted by bru at 6:32 AM on August 20, 2009


Building that in New Orleans would be like constructing a mosque in downtown Wichita. It goes against the bloodstream of the inhabitants.

Hey we have a Mosque in dowtown Wichita....well kind of on the outskirts of downtown Wichita, but we have one!!! We keep up with the times here in Wichita.
posted by brneyedgrl at 7:21 AM on August 20, 2009


There are at least 4 masaajid (mosques) in Wichita, KS. The heartland invasion is in full effect.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:29 AM on August 20, 2009


But maybe "Vancouver, BC" would have been a better place to send it...I've never heard of that place before, so I can only assume it must be a charmless shithole with really boring town hall meetings.)

Fair enough, Ian A. T., I deserve that. I had a combination of a very bad day and a humor/intelligence failure. Sorry.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:00 AM on August 20, 2009


Whatever it is, it had better float.
posted by jim in austin at 8:23 AM on August 20, 2009


What Burhanistan said. I have been interested in the arcoloogy concept since the 70's and briefly contemplated going to work on Arcosanti backthen, but these days the idea of living in such close proximity to so many people gives me the whim-whams. Guess I was always just a country boy.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:38 AM on August 20, 2009


It looks like a death trap.

Think of it as evolution in action.
posted by malocchio at 10:18 AM on August 20, 2009


Well Burhanistan man, I guess we Wichitans even more up to date than I knew...thanks for the update.
posted by brneyedgrl at 10:44 AM on August 20, 2009


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