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DRAWINGS

72, 326 92 4 294 — 30 346

330 96 — — 84 42 356

170 236 — 230 218 158 210

Double-Ex House 116 Endless Table 68 Forest Pavilion 302 Key Party 367 Living Steel Housing 292 M2 Mixed-Use Building 118 Navy Pier Kiosk and Lake Pavilions 74 Navy Pier Info Tower 270 Navy Pier Wave Wall 314 New Aqueous City / MoMA Rising Currents 364 NYC DOT Harper Street Yard — NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center 142 Open Porch, Detroit Riveryards 8, 16 Pocket Fence, Hong Kong / Shenzhen Biennale 6 Polycentric Pavilion 56 Shanghai Library East Hall (Library as Home) 127, 132 Switch Building 282 Villa-Villa / Ordos 100 124 Waterfront Seattle Urban Kaleidoscopes 278 Windshape 20 Wyckoff House Museum 88 Index —

— 70 308 — — 120 78 274 318 — 336 154 — — 62 138 284 128 280 24 — 370

188 — 190 250 168 222 198 — 204 184 180 254 260 — 238 242 160 174 226 166 194 —

ABC Department Store Facades A/D/O Art Basel Miami Beach Artisan House Butterfly Canopy / MoMA PS1 Carmel Place

BUILDINGS AND ALMOST BUILDINGS

FINAL

 ARCHITECTS

PROCESS

ERIC BUNGE MIMI HOANG

PROJECT

BUILDINGS AND ALMOST BUILDINGS—    ARCHITECTS flexible framework for microclimates and social exchanges. From our vantage point, it seemed as if the various human activities around us had been unleashed by the project’s apparent limitations. Our interest in an open-ended approach to archi­ tecture emerges from our desire for democratic and participatory spaces, and from a resistance to disciplinary definitions. Silos of expertise produce silos of experience. In all of our work—installations, buildings, public spaces— we find architecture’s social and formal potential in projects that are incomplete, ambiguously perceived, and open to appropriation. To paraphrase Rosalind Krauss, we imagine architecture as a series of data points on a spectrum between building and not-building.1 We work within this nuanced gradient, open to either extreme yet drawn to the possibilities in between. Soon after, we were once again in an ephemeral installation we had designed and built. More than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of string undulated around us, swaying and rippling in the wind. During the design of Windshape—a pair of dynamically changing pavilions in the South of France—we began thinking of incomplete or ambiguous buildings as almost buildings, buildings that invite transformation or interpretation by others as a result of their resistance to closure or completion. While on the surface a seemingly diminished ambition, the almost building was for us a provocation. In our minds, this idea destabilized our understanding of buildings as conceptually, physically, or environmentally delineated entities—remnants of Vitruvian thinking still embedded in architectural culture. This interest set us up for a paradoxical inversion of priorities. On the one hand we resolved to make our installations as building-like as possible in terms of form, use, and identity. Conversely, we sought to embody

Eric Bunge Mimi Hoang


The Almost Building Is architecture necessarily complete? Or is it a state of incompletion—a state of indeterminacy—that incites us to engage with it? These questions were on our minds as we stood inside Canopy, invisible to the crowd around us. Thousands of users—or mostly mis­ users, as we began calling them—had appropriated our intervention in MoMA PS1’s courtyard as their own, turning us into passive spectators. We were no longer authors, but users and interlopers, anonymous witnesses moving through the scenes around us like ghosts. The music was dizzying; revelers were settling in to the thump of the DJ’s beats; the Warm Up session was at its best. Lacking hard boundaries or overt function, Canopy’s green bamboo arcs

offered a flexible framework for microclimates and social exchanges. From our vantage point, it seemed as if the various human activities around us had been unleashed by the project’s apparent limitations. Our interest in an open-ended approach to archi­ tecture emerges from our desire for democratic and participatory spaces, and from a resistance to disciplinary definitions. Silos of expertise produce silos of experience. In all of our work—buildings, public spaces, installations— we find architecture’s social and formal potential in projects that are incomplete, ambiguously perceived, and open to appropriation. To paraphrase Rosalind Krauss, we imagine architecture as a series of data points on a spectrum between building and not-building.1 We work within this nuanced gradient, open to either extreme yet drawn to the possibilities in between. Soon after, we were once again in an ephemeral installation we had designed and built. More than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of string undulated around us, swaying and rippling in the wind. During the design of Windshape—a pair of dynamically changing pavilions in the South of France—we began thinking of incomplete or ambiguous buildings as almost buildings, buildings that invite transformation or interpretation by others as a result of their resistance to closure or completion. While on the surface a seemingly diminished ambition, the almost building was for us a provocation. In our minds, this idea destabilized our understanding of buildings as conceptually, physically, or environmentally delineated entities—a remnant of Vitruvian thinking still embedded in architectural culture. This interest set us up for a paradoxical inversion of priorities. On the one hand we resolved to make our instal1 lations as building-like as possible in See Rosalind Krauss, terms of form, use, and identity. “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” Conversely, we sought to embody October 8 (Spring 1979): 30–44.

nARCHITECTS

1

The Almost Building


offered a flexible framework for microclimates and social exchanges. From our vantage point, it seemed as if the various human activities around us had been unleashed by the project’s apparent limitations. Our interest in an open-ended approach to archi­ tecture emerges from our desire for democratic and participatory spaces, and from a resistance to disciplinary definitions. Silos of expertise produce silos of experience. In all of our work—buildings, public spaces, installations— we find architecture’s social and formal potential in projects that are incomplete, ambiguously perceived, and open to appropriation. To paraphrase Rosalind Krauss, we imagine architecture as a series of data points on a spectrum between building and not-building.1 We work within this nuanced gradient, open to either extreme yet drawn to the possibilities in between. Soon after, we were once again in an ephemeral installation we had designed and built. More than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of string undulated around us, swaying and rippling in the wind. During the design of Windshape—a pair of dynamically changing pavilions in the South of France—we began thinking of incomplete or ambiguous buildings as almost buildings, buildings that invite transformation or interpretation by others as a result of their resistance to closure or completion. While on the surface a seemingly diminished ambition, the almost building was for us a provocation. In our minds, this idea destabilized our understanding of buildings as conceptually, physically, or environmentally delineated entities—a remnant of Vitruvian thinking still embedded in architectural culture. This interest set us up for a paradoxical inversion of priorities. On the one hand we resolved to make our instal1 lations as building-like as possible in See Rosalind Krauss, terms of form, use, and identity. “Sculpture in the Expanded Field,” Conversely, we sought to embody October 8 (Spring 1979): 30–44.

1

The Almost Building


qualities we attributed to the almost building in our designs for more permanent buildings and public spaces. Could they somehow remain incomplete in positive ways—open to the outdoors, landscape, or environment, for example? Could they embrace ambiguity, shed their typological characters, and produce shifting perceptions? And finally, perhaps as a consequence of appearing incomplete or ambiguous, could they provoke appropriation, by remaining openended in terms of their use? Without clear delineation or certain identity, an incomplete architecture offers us no single road map for action. Instead, a tantalizing multiplicity of outcomes invites us to imagine architecture as an armature for an ever-changing life.

nARCHITECTS, CANOPY, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY, 2004. Photograph by Frank Oudeman. nARCHITECTS, WINDSHAPE, Lacoste, France, photograph, 2006.

2

nARCHITECTS


BUILDINGS AND ALMOST BUILDINGS—    ARCHITECTS Eric Bunge Mimi Hoang


can imagine a number of intermediate possibilities. Holes through buildings, whether singular or repeated (as in the Propylaea on the Acropolis or the thou­sands of sequential torii gates at Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, Japan), confound limits between buildings and their contexts. When designing buildings with holes or gaps—buildings one can decide to enter, pass through, or pass over and above—we sometimes describe our goals as similar to those of Robin Hood. Wherever possible, we surreptitiously transfer privately owned space to the public, or extend the public’s domain. Our interest in holes or gaps is just as conceptual as it is ideological or formal. Within a framework that considers buildings as solid objects or whole entities, an exterior hole in a building could be understood as an elemental form of incompletion. Anticipating the later Lake Pavilions, the Wyckoff House Museum deploys a single roof that unites two volumes. While the experience is one of a cohesive whole, the plan appears to describe two buildings. Users would need to step outside from one volume to access the other, recalling the paths of Dutch settlers on the site, who walked between adjacent barn buildings centuries before. Seen from other vantage points, however, the singular and unifying sloping roof plane appears to contradict the duality of the building beneath, an effect that is accentuated by the misalignment of the roof geometry with the volumes below. Meanwhile, from the point of view of visitors passing through, the building functions as a deep portal, a long passage leading to the historical Wyckoff House. Within this covered space, temporary outdoor events find permanent shelter. As the primary element organizing the building’s spatial structure, the portal oscillates between

52

nARCHITECTS

Julien-David Le Roy, longitudinal section of the Propylaea of the Acropolis of Athens from east to west, 1770. Imaginary reconstruction of the building by Mnesicles, 432 BCE. Senbon torii gates, Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto, 1684–. Photo­ graph by Nikta, 2008. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY-2.0). nARCHITECTS, WYCKOFF HOUSE MUSEUM, Brooklyn, NY, rendering, 2011.


acting as a hole within and a gap between. From this indeterminate state, opportunities for ambiguous connections between build­ing, landscape, and city emerge. The lack of programmatic fixity created by this ambiguous opening transfers agency to the user, catalyzing appropriation. Inspired by Gordon Matta-Clark’s work in the 1970s, architects have often conceived holes in contemporary buildings as interruptions of form, a violent removal of a part from an original whole, whether the building is existing or new. In our conversion of a Brooklyn warehouse into the design center A/D/O, we once again chose ambiguous duality over legible transformation. After removing a corner of the building to create a main entrance, we rebuilt a new perimeter using repurposed, graffiti-covered bricks, dismantled from the original building and reassembled into “reconstituted graffiti.” The resultant “cut” functions as a spatial extension of adjacent Wythe Avenue into the “freespace” within—a river-like public domain that dissolves the boundary between A/D/O and the street. We imagined that there might remain some ambiguity as to whether this mysteriously incomplete perimeter block had been recently introduced or was always there. Mostly, however, we were excited about the uncertain distinction between private and public space created by the absent corner, and the potential for unanti­cipated uses that might emerge from this condition.

Gordon Matta-Clark, Conical Intersect 6, Paris, 1975. © 2018 Estate of Gordon MattaClark / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. nARCHITECTS, A/D/O, Brooklyn, NY, model, 2016.

53

Incomplete: Boundaries

Giambattista Nolli, New Plan of Rome (Nuova pianta di Roma), part 5 of 12, 1748.


92

A/D/O


A/D/O

97


150

NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center


205

1105 NAVY PIER WAVE WALL


217 1301 CARMEL PLACE

When the units left the factory, almost everything was in place, including the walls, windows, lights, and plumbing mains and fixtures. The partitions were closed except for those on the corridor side of the wet walls, which remained open to allow utilities to be connected between floors. Welded at each steel post above and below, the units stacked in three and a half weeks.


350

Carmel Place


352

Carmel Place


For three and a half weeks, while the modules were being set, we couldn’t enter the building. It was strange to see all the modules displaced from a Brooklyn factory to their new Manhattan home.


Index of Projects

Index of Elements As if by X-ray or subtraction, the archi­ tectural element stands alone in our mind’s eye. Where a building once stood, we now see an arch describing but not yet enclosing space, a roof floating above a ground. The element is initially revealed to us as a separate entity through this willful myopia. As such, it is an incomplete moment inscribed within a building: an almost building.

ABC Department Store Facades Beirut, 2009–12 › New facades and exterior massing for city’s most prominent department store › Enlarged floor area from 215,000 to 484,000 sf (20,000 to 45,000 m²) › Composed of 2 aluminum and 2 concrete volumes, ranging from 65 to 82 ft (20 to 25 m) in height. Clad in over 100 panel types. › Waste from nearly 3,000 aluminum cutouts reused as facade elements on 3 volumes Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Stephen Hagmann, Hubert Pelletier, Tiago Barros | Alice Wong, Dominique Gonfard, Seung Teak Lee, Julia Chapman, Christopher Grabow, Ammr Vandal Collaborators: Architect of Record: Lamia Jallad, ABC Technical Team | Structure: BRM | Interiors: A-Consult | Landscape: ZMK | Lighting: DEBBAS

Index of Projects

pp 72–73, 170–173, 326–335

370

Or we can think about the element without this erasure, before we imagine the building that it will inevitably join. As a conceptual or physical armature suggesting further development, the element in this formulation becomes a sort of genetic code for buildings. Whether displaced from or preceding a building, the architectural element opens up the possibility not only of its own renewal, but also of its expansion from constituent part to ordering system. Rather than mere fragment or archetypal form, for us, the architectural element is an open-ended building block for the architectural imagination—a tool. Through hybridization, shifts in scale, duplication, multiplication, exaggeration, or emphasis, elements disappear as autonomous entities to ambiguously reappear as systems underpinning the spatial structure of our work.


371 Index of Projects Elements

A/D/O Brooklyn, 2015–17 › 23,000 sf (2,137 m²) warehouse transformed into a space for design and innovation, open to the public › Includes free work, event, and exhibition spaces, restaurant (Norman), start-up incubator (Urban-X), fabrication lab, and design shop › Hosts over 200 talks, symposia, and other events every year › 16 ft (5 m) periscope reflects Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines, joining views into a single horizon Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Ammr Vandal, Amanda Morgan | David Mora, Thomas Heltzel, Daniel Katebini-Stengel, Gabrielle Marcoux, Kyong Kim Collaborators: Client: MINI | Structure: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger | MEP: OLA Consulting Engineers | Civil: AKRF | Lighting: Lumen Architecture pp 92–107, 236–237

ARCH The archetypal arch regulates space, supporting and communicating weight. A multiplied network of arches, Canopy stretched over the courtyard of MoMA PS1—a deep landscape that unified vertical and horizontal, confounding interior and exterior. Lightweight splines replaced heavy mass, defining microenvironments with indeterminate boundaries.


DRAWINGS

72, 326 92 4 294 — 30 346

330 96 — — 84 42 356

170 236 — 230 218 158 210

Double-Ex House 116 Endless Table 68 Forest Pavilion 302 Key Party 367 Living Steel Housing 292 M2 Mixed-Use Building 118 Navy Pier Kiosk and Lake Pavilions 74 Navy Pier Info Tower 270 Navy Pier Wave Wall 314 New Aqueous City / MoMA Rising Currents 364 NYC DOT Harper Street Yard — NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center 142 Open Porch, Detroit Riveryards 8, 16 Pocket Fence, Hong Kong / Shenzhen Biennale 6 Polycentric Pavilion 56 Shanghai Library East Hall (Library as Home) 127, 132 Switch Building 282 Villa-Villa / Ordos 100 124 Waterfront Seattle Urban Kaleidoscopes 278 Windshape 20 Wyckoff House Museum 88 Index —

— 70 308 — — 120 78 274 318 — 336 154 — — 62 138 284 128 280 24 — 370

188 — 190 250 168 222 198 — 204 184 180 254 260 — 238 242 160 174 226 166 194 —

ABC Department Store Facades A/D/O Art Basel Miami Beach Artisan House Butterfly Canopy / MoMA PS1 Carmel Place

BUILDINGS AND ALMOST BUILDINGS

FINAL

 ARCHITECTS

PROCESS

ERIC BUNGE MIMI HOANG

PROJECT

BUILDINGS AND ALMOST BUILDINGS—    ARCHITECTS flexible framework for microclimates and social exchanges. From our vantage point, it seemed as if the various human activities around us had been unleashed by the project’s apparent limitations. Our interest in an open-ended approach to archi­ tecture emerges from our desire for democratic and participatory spaces, and from a resistance to disciplinary definitions. Silos of expertise produce silos of experience. In all of our work—installations, buildings, public spaces— we find architecture’s social and formal potential in projects that are incomplete, ambiguously perceived, and open to appropriation. To paraphrase Rosalind Krauss, we imagine architecture as a series of data points on a spectrum between building and not-building.1 We work within this nuanced gradient, open to either extreme yet drawn to the possibilities in between. Soon after, we were once again in an ephemeral installation we had designed and built. More than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of string undulated around us, swaying and rippling in the wind. During the design of Windshape—a pair of dynamically changing pavilions in the South of France—we began thinking of incomplete or ambiguous buildings as almost buildings, buildings that invite transformation or interpretation by others as a result of their resistance to closure or completion. While on the surface a seemingly diminished ambition, the almost building was for us a provocation. In our minds, this idea destabilized our understanding of buildings as conceptually, physically, or environmentally delineated entities—remnants of Vitruvian thinking still embedded in architectural culture. This interest set us up for a paradoxical inversion of priorities. On the one hand we resolved to make our installations as building-like as possible in terms of form, use, and identity. Conversely, we sought to embody

Eric Bunge Mimi Hoang

Profile for Actar Publishers

Buildings and Almost Buildings: nArchitects  

Buildings and Almost Buildings explores the work of nARCHITECTS as a single project – an anti-monograph with a subtle manifesto about the op...

Buildings and Almost Buildings: nArchitects  

Buildings and Almost Buildings explores the work of nARCHITECTS as a single project – an anti-monograph with a subtle manifesto about the op...

Profile for actar
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