Crawler Town is a movable city structure designed and realized using Lego by Dave DeGobbi.
It’s the new born in a offspring evenly shared by utopic ideas or concrete buildings and dating back to Archigram’s Walking City, Yona Friedman’s Ville spatiale, Brodsky and Utkin‘s Wandering Turtle, Cedric Price’s City of the Future, NASA‘s Space ships Crawler Transporter for the Assembly Building and other Service Structures. (Not to talk about Space Settlements, which is a little far beyond)
That is: the family of inhabitable mobile mega structures.
“Several such cities exist but Crawler town is the most popular due to the Aero 500 hydrogen fuel cell Air races that are held. Many people travel the wastes to Crawler town for vacation and to enjoy rare luxuries like Pizza, fresh vegetables and Beer. Travelling the wastes in search of minerals and aquifers ( vital for survival) the mobility of the city keeps it away from the vicious sand storms of the wastes.”
“Its started out as going to be a steam-punk land dreadnought/battleship but evolved into a roaming city where self sustainability and Eco efficiency became the theme. I ended up calling it “Eco-punk” due to its Steamy inspired roots. Several playable features include functional powered treads for movement , full suspension and front and rear steering. Working crane, hanger slides for planes and lift from upper and lowers levels.”
Here the Crawler town, complete photo set.
Archigram’s Walking City:
In an article in avant-garde architecture journal Archigram, Ron Herron proposed building massive mobile robotic structures, with their own intelligence, that could freely roam the world, moving to wherever their resources or manufacturing abilities were needed. Various walking cities could interconnect with each other to form larger ‘walking metropolises’ when needed, and then disperse when their concentrated power was no longer necessary. Individual buildings or structures could also be mobile, moving wherever their owner wanted or needs dictated.
“The traditional structure of the city”, according to Friedman, “is not equipped for the new society. He suggested mobile, temporary and lightweight structures instead of the rigid, inflexible and expensive means of traditional architecture.”
More here, in an application for Binkhorst.
Brodsky & Utkin’s Wandering Turtle
“In a maze of a big city. A style for the year 2001”
Cedric Price’s The city of the future
from: Matilda McQuaid, ed., Envisioning Architecture: Drawings from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 144: (Read on MoMa site)
(…) One of his principles was that the elements that make up the city, such as buildings and service devices, must respond to the user automatically. Essentially he was calling for a form of artificial intelligence, an idea he had developed in his Pottery Thinkbelt Project of 1963, an unconventional higher–education facility that, if built, would have been located in a depressed industrial area.
He also refuted the ancient assumption that buildings are stationary, suggesting instead that buildings of the modern age could move. The traveling gantry crane and suspended rooms and walkways that he had worked out in his Fun Palace Project of 1960-61 reappear in more general terms in the City of the Future through the description, “the potential of phased movement of goods, shelters and equipment by means of mechanical and magnetic suspension.”
NASA‘s Crawler Transporter and the Vehicle Assembly Building
The VAB is the largest single-story building in the world, was the tallest building in Florida until 1974 and is still the tallest building in the United States outside an urban area. Read more on Wikipedia.
Creating the Nasa’s Gentle Giant: