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Steven Holl; Kiasama, Museum of Contemporary Art


Transitional space is concerned with the state of change which happens over a period of time. It follows the flow, force and mutation of the tornado phenomena. Its writhing diffusion and para-laxing condensation give it definitive expression. Integral to observing the transformation is the evolving relationship of the phenomena to receive and project light. Light then becomes integral to the form of mutation along with the speed and direction of the forces driving it. By the daily cycle of the sun, architecture receives an inherent source of potential for the reconstruction of transformation spatial affect.

By careful sculpting of form paired with precise choice and placement of the appropriate materials, the dynamic intrusion of light into space can mold a perceived transformation and experience. This potential of affect is the study of Transitional Space, especially that of regarding the phenomena of the tornado. This follows through the particular spatial dynamisms and diffusing/condensing of light filtration aspects of the phenomena as guides to result in the space of transition.

From sleep the monster rises. Form expanding and entering the world. Consciousness congeals from nothing in an ever changing dynamic. Transformation bursts into oblivion of a never ending realm of possibility.

This intrusion of phenomenal affect into the life and experience architecture opens the realm of poetic experience into daily life through access and participation.

Using various forming techniques, various materials are put under shear, compression, tension and twisting to capture the finesse and particular nature of the complex dissipating forces of the tornado. Principle recognitions are that of the increase speed from a condensed source to flung aerial liberation, as well as progression from dense to sparse.

PM1_manifestation of force

Themes produced are visibility and obscurity, and the speed of forms. Durational forms arising are the interplaying of multiple layers, and outward explosive vortexing.

“It is necessary that, once and for all, she fly away. She must melt and swim and cut through the air. Fly, girl of nothing, lonely soul, obscure candle . . . Fly! . . . She flies. . . . Substances alter. A gust as heavy as waves supports her. She reaches bird power. She dominates.� -Bachelard, The poetics of reverie, p 208

The springing aerial fire collides with wind. Constantly waning up and being swept away. Unfurling and curling. Folding, unravelling. Stretching, tearing. Fraying and vanishing in layers of oscillating yearning. Restraining yet dissipating. Chaotic propulsive aspirations to an end unknown. A pushing leap of faith; a struggle for hope to unite with the sky.`

PM2_waking by light

PM2 explores the layers and tensions of the dynamic forces at play in the tornado expressed in its engagement with light. The changing transparency by expansion and dissipation paired with directional movement come are sought with the expression of direction and tension of force. Layers compile to capture the slippage and congealing of matter. Key driving the study are the embodiment, expression and understanding of motion, tension and dissipation. Evolving from the study comes forms of multi-layered undulations of varying transparency which constantly separate and rejoin. The space resulting is one of curvilinear and undulating motion.

Spaces formed are torqued, interwoven and peeling apart.

Anton Freundorfer _1

Piranesi; Carceri Plate VII

“As trains of unseen waves resound through, tangle up in, and congeal inside a bodily corpus, light becomes temporarily incarnate.” -Plummer, The Poetics of Light, p9

Locating a site requires searching in dense urban zones with heavy multi-modal traffic and exchange. The twister touches down in Manhattan, and burrows into the land underneath the intersection meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York City Hall and NY City Hall Park. The transforming space grows from the evolving phenomena to proceed from the denser means of transportation use of the area and interconnect them through a phenomenal transitional space, eventually growing to include the finer and more elusive transportational types into its mutating form.

Manhattan Subway Map

Herzog & De Meuron; Fünf Hofe

Herzog & De Meuron; Apotheke des Kantonsspital

“Neighborhoods of flux give a pulse and ripple to space, firing the atmosphere with inflective tensions and gradients of energy, all of which may disappear as the luminous charge depletes or equalizes.” -Plummer, The Poetics of Light, p75

PM4_inhabitation Observing the space, man can enter, caught in the inherent dynamism. From the space of speed, slippage and multiple layers of travel comes the integration and participation inhabitant with the phenomena. Similar to the variability of the tornado, the flow of inhabitants varies, and conforms to spatial types and states. From the complexity of converging paths and directions of flow, the space takes on the role of mediating inter-modal transitions. From fast to slow zones, the space accommodates layers of speed and repose weaving together. Spaces, affect and flow condense and diffuse as the time of the day progresses. Dawn. Rush hour. Day. Rush hour. After hours. Night. The phenomena evolves: space and action together, responsive to the day.


The introduction of space focuses the study to the relationship of form to light and its variable nature through time. Intentional to study is the exploration dematerializing surface, to give the affect of aerial flight. The form of the space seeks to capture the sculpting force of the tornado, creating a fluid and fluctuating space which has inherent movement and speed for the racing light to speed across. The transformative light is mutated by a multi-layered filter screen which varies to cast a duration of congealing and diffusing light. The themes touched on are the durational capability of form and aperture to create transformative space over time. Durational forms range from vortex, swoops, wave-fields, undulations and explosions.

2_ Anton Freundorfer

The predominant modal features of the site include the three subway lines that pass under and around the intersection. The space would connect them to each other by means of a various access points that descend and ascend along with the nature of the phenomena. Coming to grade, the space reaches out to the end of the Brooklyn Bridge boardwalk, allowing commuter a seamless transition from grade to sub-grade transportation.

Red line

New York City Hall

Project Siting

Green line

Brown line

Brooklyn Bridge

Frederick Keisler; Endless House


Formally, the space evolves into a diving vortex of various modal paths and spaces of various speeds and scales. The spaces interweave an meld into the ground allowing penetration of light and life into the phenomena. Reaching grade, the space bursts forth, gasping to the expansiveness of the city above. Separating the interior from exterior, the protruding skin filters the duration of light, defining the mutational affect below. Further expansion would explore the incorporation of cars and other modes, while also expanding and branching out passages and spaces of various uses and modes. This evolution might allow for expansion of city life into accessable and integrated subterrainian space. This language of spacial engagement may further be replicated and linked to form a greater accelerator of urban transversal.

Anish Kapoor; Leviathan

“There are occasions when a swelling light actually penetrates into the very structure of things, brightening them so from within that they seem to shine translucently. We sense at these times a profound chance in the state of matter, and in the relations between light and form, for instead of the material and immaterial opposing each other, or one dominating the other, the two partners enter into a mutually enlivening exchange. Energy becomes materialized as matter becomes energized, so that once vacant and inert material flames up with a vibrant presence. [...] Through light the physical world is able to undergo a heightening of existence, its lifeless chunks turned into ravishing and incandescent fabrics.� -Plummer, The Poetics of Light, p9

3_ Anton Freundorfer

The light filter, often in the form of billowing canopies, is essential to the phenomenological affect created by the duration of the filtered light. Multiple layers of varying scaled structural diagrid and glass that is curved and fritted with a gradient, screen the light, dematerializing the interior. The many layers create a slippage of shadows which become more prominent when the light congeals in passing through an undulating perforated surface. The affectual sequence spans from dense in the morning, congealling towards noon and through rush hour, and dissipates after hours to wash the space in an even subdued light.

Transitional Space  

Final Project for a studio exploring new ways to go about designing and developing speculative architecture.

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