Ralph Erskine 1914-2005 (1955) Shopping (shopping centre), Storgatan 51 (high street), Luleå. Photo (no name & no year) Maud Adams (née Wikström) 1945- in front of Shopping (c. 1960s) before she became a ”Bond girl” and interiors from Shopping by Hörnell postcard (no year).
Erskines ”a city within the city” a indoor town for everyone all year round in arctic climate had a unconventional construction plan with several half plane connected with sloping surfaces, stairways and escalators. There was basically no traditional floor levels. The building has been badly neglected and severly damaged by reconstructions. It was a piece of art.
Victor David Gruen (née Viktor David Grünbaum) 1903-1980 (1956) Southdale centre, Edina. Photo Southdale centre (c. 1950s).
The ambition of Victor Greun was to “provide the needed place and opportunity for participation in modern community life that the ancient Greek agora, the medieval market place and our own town squares provided in the past.” Erskine had a similar ambition but in the city centre of Luleå.
Victor Gruen who has been named the father of shopping centre in America declared 1976, “I would like to take this opportunity to disclaim paternity once and for all. I refuse to pay alimony to those bastard developments. They destroyed our cities.”
An idea backfires?