Flexibility is the key concept in Mobile Architecture. It serves to enhance the freedom of choice for the individual, the flexible use of city space, and to offer the city dwellers grip to give meaning to their environment as described in Ten principles of L’Architecture Mobile (1960). To realize this the future inhabitant’s cooperation was indispensable; the architect would just be instrumental to work out the wishes of the user. The personalized units formed the architectural expression. (See also Flexible constructions and Esthetics).
When these units would be incorporated into large supporting structures or space frames, the networks of span-over blocks and of the Ville Spatiale were created. The structures were to be supported by tall columns so that they have little impact on the ground. Cities could therefore continue to grow without any increase in land use or the need to demolish existing buildings. (See also Principles Ville Spatiale).
At the time belief in scientific progress was still undiminished. Friedman saw great advantages in keeping urban climate under control. In contrast to colleagues who saw an important role for advanced, complex technologies, Friedman proposed the idea of roofing over streets and courtyards using simple and readily available materials. By working out such ready solutions, Friedman sought to underline the feasibility of his ideas. (See also Prefabricated constructions).
The idea of mobility also was twofold: it not only served to describe the way constructions would serve the changing needs of cities and their inhabitants, but also to show how cities can have a network relation with each other, serving as a Continent City.
Links to projects and studies:
–Manifesto Architecture Mobile, 1956
–Mobile Architecture: 10 principles of spatial urbanism, 1959
–Studies for Mobile Architecture, 1956-1958
–Continent City, 1994
Related studies and subjects:
>Flexible constructions, from 1945
>Simple technology, from 1945
>Mobile Architecture, from 1956
>Trihedral system, 1956
>Principles Ville Spatiale, from 1958
>Administrative Centre Dubonnet, 1974
>Lycée David d’Angers, 1978- 1981