Project: The "What If" Metropolis - Travelogue UPDATED

It has been a while since you last saw any form of life along the dusty, barren pathway. The road ahead is a long one, and the rocky terrain at the foot of the towering mountains is a treacherous path to travel. Any traveller is advised to remain cautious of the cavernous depths of the mountains’ pathway. Trekking onwards, the path becomes thinner; more narrow, as you progress. But wait. You spy an opening. Perhaps a way out. The light draws nearer as you push forward, tip toeing between the tight spaces of the rocks and rubble scattering the path. It gradually becomes closer. You finally make it out. And there it is. Amplexus.

Stumbling through the gap, you venture on to this strange environment. As you gaze upwards, you are only just able to decipher the peak of the monuments buildings aligned along the road into the city. Each building varies in height and shape. The abstract forms of the mass amount of structures leaves one puzzled, as it is difficult to determine where the entrance and exits are placed. The buildings have many features to them, be they incredibly large, or moderately sized, with chiselled edges and cubic towers, or curvaceous domes as smooth as porcelain, no two buildings are the same. Upon first impressions, one would assume that Amplexus has a thriving trading service as there is a vast amount of materials incorporated into the city’s structures. From rubber and leather, to glass, ceramics, chrome and metals like steel and copper, it diverts any visitors’ eye to roam across the intricate patterns of each surface. 

If you were to delve deeper into the cities heart, you will find an obscure building. This building has many poles and beams supporting the curves of each wall. A heat radiates from it’s centre as the crackling of the fire whispers within the distance. The building holds a sort of kiln within itself, where the fire pit is surrounded by iron rods and workbenches. Bags of coal are precariously placed around the working area and soot collects itself into piles in the corners of the open air building. This must be where the inhabitants get their main source of energy from. Steam and fire seem the be the main focus, and as this is the centre of the city, many streets then divert from it in different directions, leading to districts of varying professions. One district is known for it’s craftsmanship, where blacksmiths and wood carvers and smelters work day in and day out, continuously producing complex structures. Another district is solely dedicated to the market place, where stalls of goods and confections are displayed on wooden table tops.

Navigating through Amplexus is quite the task if you don’t live there. The twisting and turning of the pavement as you round the corner of a building is known to leave one feeling lost. It is advised that you use local transportation as a method of getting around the area, if you don’t already know it well enough. A cart, or what appears to resemble a cart, is what the residents use. A few can be seen lurking by the side of each pathway, it’s driver whittling into a block of wood to pass the time when off duty. The cart is mainly wood based, with the doors curving inwards, and the roofing beginning at the back of the cart, creeping it’s way up above your head. The roof is actually a set of curved wooden beams, as if a cage had been cut in half, allowing the sun to gaze upon you. When bad weather strikes or the night draws in, a hood made from a fabric coated with wax for waterproof purposes. This hood is attached to the beams when needs be, acting as a sort of umbrella. The wood is polished, and the seats within the cart are made with leather, as is the drivers seat, set out in the front, slightly raised compared to the back seats for better vision on the road. The wheels are made from iron, with steel mud guards hovering above them, and the cart is pulled by horse. Some of the carts are currently under improvement of having steam engines installed, but the process is a lengthy one when you need to remodel the cart to fit in an engine. Although intimidating, it is for the best to be chauffeured by this somewhat strange contraption.

As the evenings draw in, pathways are lit by large nests of fire trapped in circular cages, held up by stilt like posts, casting beams of light onto the stone slabs that is the pathway, and onto the solemn faces of the city folk that reside in the abstract apartments and houses. It leaves the mind wandering through each crevice carved out of the buildings. Each building, be they made from wood, clay, brick, or iron will have small fragments of teal and emerald green ceramics shards engrained into the walls of each structure. The colour green glows and illuminates the cityscape as the moonlight and lamp lights hit the speckled buildings and structures.

It’s strange, Amplexus has been known to fabricate buildings of unimaginable structures. It is forever remodelling and improving itself. The reason it is a city is due to the fact that it is forever expanding, and consistently creating new buildings. There is a beginning to the city, but no end. Analysing your recordings of your time in Amplexus, each set of buildings appear in one manner, and then as you progress down the streets, you notice that each design of the buildings gradually evolve into another form of architecture, giving themselves a new appearance, even to the extent of incoherency. The ever changing mindset of Amplexus is fascinating, and as visitors come and go, they would simply ask the residents, “Is the city unfinished? Is it still under construction?”, to which they shall reply, “We are simply improving. We are moving forward.”.That is Amplexus’ mentality. To enlarge, to increase, to improve.


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