Glen Small – Self Consuming Cities, Biospheres & Green Machine Megastructures

Green Machine - Glen SmallGreen Machine – Glen Small [1977-1980]

West Coast Architect Glen Small, an early proponent of environmentally aware architecture, has documented a large range of projects at his website including his well-known proposals Green Machine, Biomorphic Biosphere and Downtown Troposphere. Forget about clinical isometric models, here much of the documentation consist of loose organic sketches of freeform biomorphic canopies and archigram-esque modulars covered with vegetation. These eco-utopian futurologies would not seem out of place within the genre of sc-fi illustration.

Green Machine - Glen SmallGreen Machine – Glen Small [1977-1980]

Green Machine - Glen SmallGreen Machine – Glen Small [1977-1980]

Flying House - Glen SmallFlying House – Glen Small [1972]

Flying House - Glen SmallFlying House – Glen Small [1972]

Biomorphic Biosphere intended to extend the urban environment with the addition of a 8000 ft high spanned structure creating a micro climate of its own – ‘a condition where the air would rise, cool and fall and be collected in the reservoirs’. The structure would expand and retract in relation to population requirements – if the population decreased significantly the building cycle would reverse the biosphere would begin to consume itself.

Biomorphic Biosphere - Glen SmallBiomorphic Biosphere: Computerized Building Machine Extruding Compression Structure with Plant Growth – Glen Small [1972]

 BiomorphicBiosphere - Glen SmallBiomorphic Biosphere: Cross-section elevation – Glen Small [1972]

 Biomorphic Biosphere - Glen SmallBiomorphic Biosphere: Stationary Grid Growth Models – Glen Small [1972]

 Biomorphic Biosphere - Glen SmallBiomorphic Biosphere: Stationary Pattern for a City That Would Grow From a Small Grid – Glen Small [1972]

 BiomorphicBiosphere - Glen SmallBiomorphic Biosphere: Suitcase Transportation Modular – Glen Small [1972]

 VerticalCity - Glen SmallVertical City – Glen Small [1966]

In his most well-know work, Green Machine, Airstream trailer living pods were to be suspended on a crystalline lattice. Green Machine worked with the idea of restricted and compacted living space while simultaneously exploring the potential possibilities of the dynamics of modularity and expansive reconfiguration.

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