Can Infrastructure Be Architecture?

MAZZOCCHIOO #2 Bucharest. Fake Stability

In 2017 I was invited to answer the question that titles this post.

Resuming the answer given in the magazine, we find that the infrastructure works are the true monuments of the contemporary city; they can trigger awe sensations which only the best architecture examples can do. It is because of their pure form derived from a specific use, their esthetically undisputed materials and their dimensions that connect us directly to the scale of the whole city. On a visible level, the transport infrastructure is as much a part of the iconicity of big cities as their most important buildings, while, on an invisible level, the city’s physiology resolved through huge underground networks of inhabitable spaces has mutated into an important part of the metropolitan imaginary. An unused part of the sewage system of New York becomes home to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[1]. The four heroes that save the big city find shelter in infrastructure as do many people on the fringes of the society in real life.

True monuments of big cities and shelter for human life, infrastructures transcend and reveal themselves as architecture.