Between Stone & Sky

Beware balrogs and deep crows.

Mexican architects have designed a 65-story pyramid-shaped building, the "base" of which is at ground level, the "peak" of which is 300 meters underground.

My first instinct is to be a little frightened, because of my claustrophobia and because of one too many readings of Michael Jones' Living Machines and Robert Silverberg's The World Inside. I imagine that all the open space and illumination in the world cannot overcome the fracturing of privacy such a structure would demand. But I know that's not necessarily true.

Especially since this will certainly be for rich people. They, if they wish it, can build in libraries and nooks and sanctuaries.

The transparent "window" that roofs the building, allowing light in, would be the central square in Mexico City. The intent of the architects is to preserve the normal uses of the square, so that one might see soldiers raising a huge Mexican flag over a sea of perfect glass.

[caption id="attachment_9102" align="aligncenter" width="322" caption="El Zócalo."][/caption]

In the film Battle in Heaven this very plaza is an illustration of the between-heaven-and-earth purgatorial nature of man's life. And to be caught between stone and sky has been man's difficult destiny all his years. I have the feeling that being under the surface of the earth, surrounded by it, but able to see the surface and the sky through it would only serve to emphasize a sense of spiritual exile. Going three hundred meters underground would take us farther from the earth than going three hundred meters above it.

And now, instead of going to play or work outside, I'm going to go cruise around facebook. Excuse me.