SECRET CITIES – THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT | ITSLIQUID

SECRET CITIES – THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT

Architecture | September 12, 2018 |

SECRET CITIES - THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECTImage courtesy of National Building Museum

SECRET CITIES – THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT
May 3, 2018 – March 3, 2019
National Building Museum – Washington, DC

In the fall of 1942, less than a year after the United States was drawn into World War II by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quietly began acquiring vast tracts of land in remote areas of three states. The few residents of these areas were summarily evicted and their houses demolished. Soon, thousands of young workers arrived from far and wide, initially occupying tents and other makeshift shelters within the newly designated military reservations.

   
   

SECRET CITIES - THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECTImage courtesy of National Building Museum 

   
  

Shielded from public view by natural barriers and security fences, the workers quickly erected hundreds of buildings, ranging from prefabricated houses to industrial structures of unprecedented scale. As they did so, thousands more residents arrived in a near-continuous stream. By the end of the war, a total of more than 125,000 people lived in the three cities that had been built from scratch on these sites. Yet these cities appeared on no maps, and the federal government did not acknowledge their existence. Unfathomable quantities of supplies were delivered, but very little seemed to come out, adding to the air of mystery surrounding these “Secret Cities.”

    
    

SECRET CITIES - THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECTImage courtesy of National Building Museum 

    
    

That mystery unraveled on August 6, 1945, when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and President Harry S. Truman publicly revealed the purpose of the sites now known as Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford/Richland, Washington. In roughly two and a half years, the Manhattan Project  -so named because it was managed by the Army Corps’s Manhattan Engineer District in New York- had produced a weapon of previously inconceivable destructive force. While the ethics and strategic necessity of the decision to use such a weapon in combat are still fiercely debated, there is no question that this initiative was one of the most significant milestones in the history of scientific research and development.

    
   

SECRET CITIES - THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECTImage courtesy of National Building Museum 

    
   

The Manhattan Project would not have been possible without the extraordinary achievements in architecture, engineering, and planning that yielded three entirely new cities in a remarkably short time. Built in the early years of the modern movement, these cities reflected cutting-edge ideas about town planning, mass housing, civil and mechanical engineering, and modular construction. They became important proving grounds for the large-scale suburban development that would dramatically alter the physical and cultural landscape of the nation in the post-war era.

   
   

SECRET CITIES - THE ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECTImage courtesy of National Building Museum 

    
    

Secret Cities examines the innovative design and construction of Oak Ridge, Hanford and Los Alamos, tracing their precedents in the Bauhaus and other early modern schools of architectural thought. It looks at daily life within the cities and how it was shaped by their physical form, illuminating the social stratification and segregation that were still evident in these cities despite the high-minded principles underlying their design. The exhibition addresses each city’s development since the conclusion of the Manhattan Project, and their continuing importance as centers of research and technology, now largely devoted to non-military purposes. Extensive oral histories of the Manhattan Project are available through the Voices of the Manhattan Project, produced by the Atomic Heritage Foundation.

more. www.nbm.org

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


Native Union

Design | October 30, 2020

Native Union is an award-winning product design company bringing a unique and sophisticated perspective to the booming mobile accessories market. Founded in 2009 by John Brunner and Igor Duc, Native Union creates tech accessories with inherent warmth, personality and individuality, through its dedication to sophisticated design, innovative materials and an obsession with details. Native Union's in-house design team focuses on 3 main pillars: enhanced user experience, innovation through design and a dedication to using the highest quality materials. Garnering considerable critical acclaim from the design community, Native Union has offices in Los Angeles and Hong Kong with products available in the finest retailers across the world. Read more


COMCAST TECHNOLOGY CENTER BY FOSTER+PARTNERS

Architecture | October 21, 2020

Located next to the existing Comcast Center, the Comcast Technology Center rises 1,121 feet (341 meters) as the city's tallest building. The Comcast Technology Center is vertically stepped, with loft-like work spaces and state-of-the-art television studios for NBC10 and Telemundo62, with a 12-story Four Seasons Hotel above. Read more


2020: It’s Good To Be…

Design | October 21, 2020

Much has changed in 2020, not least our relationships with our homes. Since March, we’ve got to know them very well indeed. For months, we no longer locked the door behind us, and departed for hours, days or longer. Read more


FEATURED DESIGNER: Lee Alexander McQueen

Fashion | October 20, 2020

Alexander McQueen was born in London on March 17th 1969, the youngest of six children. He left school at the age of 16 and was offered an apprenticeship at the traditional Savile Row tailors Anderson and Sheppard and then at neighbouring Gieves and Hawkes, both masters in the technical construction of clothing. From there he moved to the theatrical costumiers Angels and Bermans where he mastered 6 methods of pattern cutting from the melodramatic 16th Century to the razor sharp tailoring which has become a McQueen signature. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!