The Spatial City (Ville spatiale) is an unrealized theoretical construct inspired by the housing shortage in France during the late 1950s and by Yona Friedman's deep belief that housing plans and structures should allow for the free will of the individual inhabitants. Not wanting to displace the city below, Friedman raised a second city fifteen to twenty meters above the existing one. The framework was to be erected first, and the residences conceived and built by the inhabitants inserted into the voids of the structure. The layout of each level would occupy no more than fifty percent of the overall structure in order to provide air and light to each residence as well as to the city below. The project was designed for construction anywhere, and meant to be adapted to any climate.
Publication excerpt from an essay by Bevin Cline and Tina di Carlo, in Terence Riley, ed., The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 40.