19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Nicolas Grenier | 2015

Vertically Integrated Socialism is an experimental housing concept that integrates the social class pyramid into one single building. Tenants who live off state support live free of charge on the ground floor of an apartment building. The floors above house increasingly better-off social classes, which each pay the rent of the class below them. This architectural model acknowledges the social and economic inequalities of the contemporary neoliberal metropolis and provides opportunities for social integration and upward mobility. Population growth, immigration and the growing gap between rich and poor are major challenges for housing and urban planning in large cities. Vertically Integrated Socialism suggests a pragmatic system that incorporates the conflicting needs, interests and aspirations of different social classes. The apartment block offers 64 free housing units for the most under privileged. One floor higher comprises 16 apartments for the working class. The upper middle class is accommodated in 4 luxury duplexes and an exclusive penthouse 5 storeys up is home to an extremely rich individual. The rent for each level is paid by the residents of the floor above. Grenier places a studio in the church of the Grootseminarie and a model of the entire building. A video explains the concept of the social integration model. Vertically Integrated Socialism is an architectural template that is designed to concentrate and organise the economic, political and social inequalities of the modern metropolis. Residents themselves choose how they participate in this microcosm and whether it results in order and stability or unrest and revolution.





Nicolas Grenier
Nicolas Grenier (1982, Montreal, Canada) is interested in the skewed relationships between political, economic, cultural and social systems that we endure and in the principles - or lack thereof - that underlie them. His work takes these issues out of the theoretical and philosophical realm and into the physical. He mostly creates paintings and architectural installations but also drawings, digital images and art books. His work is both analytical and poetic. Grenier combines architecture with psychedelic renderings, texts with geometric abstractions and diagrams with colour fields. He divides his time between his hometown of Montreal and Los Angeles.

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