Saturday, 28 January 2012
Tatlin's transparent tower
The model of Tatlin's 1920's tower project was one of the highlights of the excellent 'Building the Revolution' exhibition at the Royal Academy. The project is a famous one and an inspiration to architects ever since, but I'm ashamed to admit that I'd forgotten, if I ever knew, that the 400m structure that you always see illustrated as transparent was in fact designed to contain a great deal of accommodation, in the form of four large rotating structures, one on top of the other and going round at different speeds. These were represented by the flimsiest of wire cages in the RA model, as they presumably were in the 1920s - diaphanous enough for the orthogonal lines best suited for floors, walls and suchlike not to interfere with the visual drama of the twisting structure.
Selling your project with an compelling image that is a bit different from what you will actually get is nothing new.