When does a high-rise become a skyscraper? Perhaps it’s just a matter of perception. Highrises make you think of those glum 1960s housing estates, Le Corbusier nightmares in concrete, gangs of feral kids and graffiti, whereas skyscrapers make you think of shining cityscapes, New York, the pre-Depression thirties, old money.
This is La Vigie, Charleroi’s skyscraper/high-rise (filled with UT students, not feral but music is sometimes played loud). I lived on floor 13 years ago. Apparently there is an official definition given by the Emporis Standards Committee that a high-rise must be over twelve storeys high (La Vigie checks in at fifteen). The same Wikipedia article that gave me that useless tidbit of information tells me that skyscrapers carry a connotation of pride, of achievement. Les Vigistes would often go on about being proud (oh, anyone can be proud, it’s easy), and I daresay they sometimes acheive things (making it through nine months without a hot shower is an amazing achievement). So what if it’s not a skyscraper? It’s still the tallest building in the city, and has stunning views over the old slag-heaps and factories, when the cokey fog clears. A skyscraper is just a big substitute phallus anyway.
Drew this in cobalt blue copic, with a grey wash. The blue looks bluer than it does on the page, and it makes the grey look silver. That’s the scanner for you.