A Copy/Paste city - The Why Factory






Nowhere | Everywhere


Felix Madrazo

Bas Kalmeijer
Winy Maas



Oliver Wainwright

Sander Mulders







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In a Darwinian fashion, buildings unable to convincingly cope with the fast requirements of a copy/paste city are left behind, with copy-friendly buildings populating other districts as proof of their flexibility. The more often a building is copied, the more pertinenent and valuable it becomes to the exercise.


District 12 of the copy/paste city was the author’s contribution to this scenario, with the 1111 Lincoln road project from Herzog & De Meuron as the geneological seed;  transformed for cultural, medical, commercial and housing puporses. Eventually 1111 deceased and the district was completed by District 14’s N House by Sou Fujimoto, in a hybrid model. The methology proved to be a game of design survival, with further evaluations revealing qualities that make a building fit for evolution and a city with rich with urbanistic variety.


With increased freaquency, we are confronted with architectural designs being copied all over the world. Internet is partly responsible to the speed of ideas dissemination, but also it seems conceptual design lacks the specificity of a handcraft; copying is easy, cheap and fast, but it can also lead to banality and ultimately to the death of the design profession. Yet copy as a culture is here to stay, and copy/paste city is a simulation that aims to better understand this notion and turn it into a strategic design agenda.


Ctrl+Varcelona is composed of 14 districts, where each district starts with a parent building that sets the trend of hereditary programmatic transformation. The goal of these architectural transformations is to improve the original building and unveil parental hidden talents.