City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

Musashino Plateau

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In my recent review of the book Houses, on SANAA’s work, I noted the potentially useful understanding of density in Tokyo and related cities. And that the sprawling cities of America and Australia may have to rebound from their singed edges, folding back in on themselves, to what end? Hardly a shattering insight.

I then chanced across this incredible animation, by Nobuo Takahashi – a Maya Master – which either seems to critique or celebrate – or possibly both – this very particular sensibility for density. I say ‘celebrate’, due to the loving care that’s gone into the renderings of buildings enmeshing and blurring with each other. Though it’s probably intended as a critique – it’s a post-human city for sure – it’s a city that has generated incredible architectural visions nonetheless.



Starting with the kind of ruined, deserted city that the architects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis might soon identify with, the buildings quickly re-erect themselves, as if falling dominos in reverse, unfurling and entwining with the peculiar twisting and rippling of raw code – shifting between staccato and adagio, akin to the movement of Troika’s Cloud – ultimately revealing a spiraling tower-like structure, ascending into the sky. What on earth is the back-story here, if any?

(Musashino Plateau refers to a key component of the geological underpinnings of Tokyo, I believe.)

(Another Nobuo work, ‘Japan’, deploys this idea with a little more restraint, disappointingly, to describe the growth of a Japanese metropolis from its rural origins. Still rather compelling.)


One response to “Musashino Plateau”

  1. marilisa Avatar

    no comment! it’s amazing. i love it…really a genial movie!


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