MORE ABOUT ONECITY
▪ ONECITY is a 675 square mile spiral located between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.
▪ Along the 4 arms of the spiral plan is the “Outer City” consisting of a chain of over 14,000 square buildings.
▪ All buildings in ONECITY rise on average 9 stories above ground and descend 9 stories below ground; each story is 12
feet high. Each building in ONECITY is 2 square miles containing 100 rooms. Each “room” is the equivalent of a
neighborhood, making each building the equivalent of a “town.”
▪ All buildings are comprised of an “Over Building” and an “Under Building." The Over Buildings house all inhabitants of
ONECITY, and their terraced rows rise and fall similarly to hills.
▪ Light wells and skylights provide ONECITY with natural illumination. Air shafts descend through the Over Building,
ventilating the entire area, while exhaust tunnels channel waste and fumes beyond ONECITY limits.
▪ The “Under Building” houses the Theatre Space, Shopping Malls, and Performance Halls, as well as all administrative,
business, education, manufacturing, and other processing areas.
▪ Asides from the mysterious 13 square mile “Inner Field” acting mostly as a wasteland, 80% of ONECITY is park or
▪ Because of ONECITY’s single-file layout, inhabitants can be in an outdoor setting with all the amenities of the
countryside in under 30 minutes
▪ Transportation to all areas of the city takes place in high speed trains within corridors encased in translucent walls,
creating an effect so that “at night the city glows like a giant, digesting jellyfish.”
▪ Computers in the underground system of each building mastermind all city functions.
▪ Crime is noted as a natural underside of the human psyche and the segregation of criminals from the rest of the
population takes place in an area known as the “Ninth Arena.”
▪ The “seed and soul” of ONECITY is the Opaque Library, an empty structure at the core of ONECITY’s Inner Field, which
houses “the city’s mythological secrets." The Opaque Library is a maze of twisted tunnels and passageways with no actual
entrance, forcing the citizens that are drawn to its mystery to spy on virtually nothing through brief slits in its upper
▪ Citizens of ONECITY have a highly developed form of democratic government, where everyone is “obligated by law to
vote and do so virtually every day on some matter or another." In ONECITY, “there is no visible central authority, no visible
▪ Inhabitants worship the horizon line as a “mythical space between earth and sky through which one may journey into
the future and return to the present to record what one has seen." Worshipping the horizon line is relevant to the
proportions of Over and Under Buildings designed in Insley’s ONECITY.
▪ Imaginary structures surrounding ONECITY are offset with slashes around the word ‘buildings’, i.e., /buildings/,
conveying the difference between imaginary and conventional architecture. Construction of these /buildings/ began long
before the start of ONECITY itself. Upon completion of the /buildings/ they were immediately abandoned and left for
future generations to seek out.
▪ Having the mysterious appeal of the half forgotten, these /buildings/ that line the perimeter of ONECITY itself are explored by curious inhabitants. Insley says that the main purpose of the /buildings/ is “to contain spatial situations
sympathetic to the religious beliefs of the people.”
▪ ONECITY is mankind’s last desperate attempt to create a complex large enough to accommodate the entire population,
while resolving their differences and ensuring their survival.
▪ Insley admits that even though ONECITY may never materialize, it lies “buried” along with “the dark cities of mythology
which exist outside of normal time.”