The Slow Death of Indeterminacy
One of the key ideas of the last serious architectural avant-garde, the futurists and indeterminates loosely grouped around late Buckminster Fuller, Archigram, Cedric Price, Geoffrey Copcutt and the Japanese Metabolists (and of their corporate outgrowth, the high-tech of Rogers, Piano, Foster etc) was that their designs could be adapted, built on, rebuilt, plugged and unplugged, and were never merely fixed edifices. The question has to be asked, then, now that one of the most famous (one might even use the 'I' word) of these, Kurokawa's Nagakin Capsule Tower is slated to be demolished: has any building of this sort ever actually been treated with the disrespect intended? Have the expected adaptations ever actually been carried out? Or do they either simply get demolished and replaced or left as landmarks that are functionally the same as any other?
Cedric Price was always a scathing opponent of the idea of listing or preserving buildings if they no longer served a social purpose (famously, 'Q: what should be done with York Minster? CP: tear it down!'). When his community centre in North London, designed specifically for adaptability was scheduled for the wrecking ball as (sigh) an 'eyesore', he supported the move, as long as they could come up with something better (they didn't). But meanwhile, as Ian Abley has pointed out, Rogers' indeterminate Lloyds building isn't exactly being reconfigured in interesting ways by the stockbrokers. Likewise Cumbernauld town centre's inbuilt possibilites were ignored in favour of turning it into just another mall; while the Capsule Tower, instead of being expanded (as it was always supposed to be) is just getting obliterated. A meaner person than I would suggest this was merely another example of architects not really understanding capitalism, but perhaps there's a subtler point here as well - that spatially, late capitalism incessantly builds and rebuilds, but is incapable of ever really progressing.
(On which matter: read this, and this.)