Journal Journal 2011 Rory Corr Journal 2011 2011 Rory Rory Corr Corr
Rory Corr Journal 2010 / 2011 Stage 5 Thesis ReykjavĂk
Monday October 4th 2010 Northernness as opposed to Southernness. The stern, Lutheran mind-set of Northerners. Deprived of southern luxuries such as olives and wine, Northerners exist on the staple of preserved goods - herring, lamb, root vegetables. The coal-faced workers of the industrial North diametrically opposed to the affluent Southern thinkers. In Art, we have Dürer and van Eyck versus Botticelli and Raphael. Hard, firm scenes as opposed to luscious, supple angelic portrayals. The Gothic in the North is indigenous, ubiquitous. “Architecture can be a bond - but not here. Here (Northern Holland) it was a mask that disguised schisms” Jonathan Meades’ Magnetic North Wednesday October 6th A finely textured tapestry of internal and open city rooms. Thursday October 7th Destruction and demolition, expropriation and rapid changes in use as a result of speculation and obsolescence, are the most recognisable signs of urban dynamics. But beyond all else, the images suggest the interrupted destiny of the individual, of his often sad and difficult participation in the destiny of the collective. This vision in its entirety seems to be reflected with a quality of permanence in urban monuments. Monuments, signs of the collective will be expressed through the principles of architecture, offer themselves as primary elements, fixed points in the urban dynamic. Aldo Rossi, The Architecture of the City Friday October 8th With a history which could be described as less turbulant and more calamitous, Iceland has always managed to do quite well out of its various historical allegiances and occupations. Norway and Denmark have at certain points assumed control
of the island - mostly without much resistance - and as a result it has been included in a ‘Scandinavia’ - rather than left in isolation. Tuesday October 12th Nordic? Scandinavian? European? Global? Wednesday 13th October Beigel ARU Korea: “Beigel’s work has always pursued his concept of ‘landscape infrastructure’, where the landscape is built first and helps to define a non-programmatic urbanism born of geography and typology. The Saemangeum proposal takes ARU’s compelling ideas to an epic scale. Beigel and Christou’s work on what they call ‘city structures’ aspires to building in the flexibility over time as found in the architecture of Venice, Barcelona or Georgian London. Thus the appearance of fragments of Barcelona’s Cerdà grid on the harbour island and Cambridge University’s quadrangles on the long, central island.” Thursday 14th October Incompleteness on a city scale. Saturday 16th October Historical Edges - or the lack thereof. In a city uncurtailed by any presupposed city boundary or traditional neighbourhood-core(s), wherein do centres and edges occur? Without any cohesiveness, we find a space that is an accumulation of edges, frantic in its nature.
Monday 18th October A landscape takes form. What is it that gives form to the landscape? How to read material layers of the landscape, as in a painting. (Agnes Martin) Lava-formed expanse cooled by the crisp Northern air, unsuitable for many a tree, crop and flower; along with impressive glaciers occupying the central highlands of the island. The dwellings of farmers, arranged on periphery for ease of transport, access to better soil and the sea - both sources of food. The rural clearances to ReykjavĂk leave voids in the countryside, while population a village city not equipped with the sensibilities of urban life. Land is taken over and a great expanse is built upon to house very few. Modernisation brings Globalisation brings a ruthless consumerist society, building more and driving more, disrupting any pre-existing rhythm of the place. Traces of history are still present and are significant in any place-(re)making that may occur. Friday 22nd October The Brittle city versus the Robust city - soft versus hard (or vice versa). Sunday 24th October Landscape city: Two liquid landscapes, one hard and one soft. The interface of these as a place for exploration. At the same time the urban landscape appears brittle and delicate. A finely poised collection of situations, not robust. A lavaformed landscape, ground made from brittle basalt - unbuildable. An interesting disconnection between that which formed the landscape and that which cannot form the walls of the city. Diametrically opposed to sandstone Glasgow - this works either as a tragic loss or wonderful freedom. Glasgow and Edinburgh, arguably, are particularly good examples of cities being unable to escape their stone walls. Bound by material and mass, new development stutters and falls
Monday 25th October Exploring the explorers: An interest not just in ReykjavĂkâ€™s native artistic culture, but looking into the tradition of imported ideas. Explorers, who went to find themselves, and brought with them fresh eyes to see the landscape, seascape, people. One thinks of Morrisâ€™ fascination with the primeval landscape, and the thoughts on the land which he committed to paper, not for the public but for him a personal record his emotional response to the land. Ah! What came we forth to see that our hearts are so hot with desire? ... / Why do we long to wend forth through the length and breadth of a land, / Dreadful with grinding of ice, and record of scarce hidden fire? These ideas among others do not necessarily grant anything to Iceland or its people, but are merely an artistic response to place. As we, another set of explorers head North, we must aim for both. To provide a poignant response which also gives something back, which does not remain insular. North is a place of extremes but also of wonders. True North is unreachable they say, but despite or perhaps because of this, it is also the place that man can make his soul. An interest in the introduction for adoption of styles in Iceland. The Northern Renaissance, National Romanticism, Nordic Neo-Classicism, Modernism. When and how were these approaches assimilated into Icelandic culture? Were there periods that were missed? Why? What were the effect of these? Or has there merely been a modest Romantic artistic idea about the land (in different guises) until the swift globalisation of the last 30 years? What has been the effect of the great many artists who have been educated in Denmark and elsewhere? Have they returned? Tuesday 26th October Doing almost nothing.
‘One must use the extremely limited resources and possibilities for intervention given to the designer, by considering ones actions as laying a seed, creating a catalyst, or beginning of a process of which one can only partially predict the result. Mies believed in doing almost nothing. There is an aesthetic economy, the aim of elegance, doing little with good things.’ Beigel Wednesday 27th October Beckett and the absurd Thursday 28th October ‘Kong gan is the Korean word for a far eastern concept about nature by the 6th Century BC Taoist philosopher Lao Tse. Kong gan means emptiness and the architectural meaning is space - space in between. This concept applies to all scales of architecture, small and large, interior and exterior. Object does not exist before space. Space makes object. Space is the essence of architecture, not object. You can also use the terms void or in-betweeness or openness. Thinking in these terns requires a freeing from object fixation, putting objects in the back of ones mind, forgetting them. Anyway, objects are fleeting. New ways of seeing are necessary to represent in-betweeness, context, condition. Berthold Brecht the drama producer used to say it is not empathy that is important, but the representation of conditions (of life). Thinking and representing this way, the small can become very large and the meaning of things can become very vivid and fresh. Think of drawing the branches of a tree by drawing the shape of the sky in between them. For this you have to look at the tree the other way round, with a shift of focus. You need to take a certain distance first and then investigate with intensity. Why do you think Alberto Giacometti’s figures are so condensed? This concept of emptiness and openness is close to an artistic and architectural approach which has been called the phenomenological approach. It is an approach of experiencing, often subjective experiencing. It is not a functionalist
approach, which tends to forget the past, starting from a tabula rasa as it often does. It is not the programmatic approach of orthodox modernity. It is an approach allowing discontinuity, operating at different times next to each other, an approach of coexistence, of colonisation, of inhabitation of existing space. It generates improvisation, intensity and sometimes a certain vagueness and dreaminess which can be clear at the same time. It is an approach of both-ness. Sensitive observation can become proposition.’ Florian Beigel Friday 29th October Departure: 14.20 Glasgow, United Kingdom - Glasgow International Arrival: 15.40 Reykjavík, Iceland - Keflavik International Monday 8th November ‘Environment sustains us as creatures; the landscape displays us as cultures.’ DW Meinig ‘The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired as long as we can see far enough.’ Emerson (Thomas Jefferson’s grid system of North Dakota) - A road every mile to north, south, east and west. 160 acre plots/homesteads. Making marks alongside and on top of those that preceded it, as in a painting. Art as window or mirror. Sunday 7th November Global homogeneity & the lamenting of 21st Century placelessness What time is it now?
A community which is global, but whose responses are local - or vice-versa? Two generations: Older who left Younger who are left Students and young graduates more inclined to political and social engagement. Filling in the void left by the older generation? Connection to Literary Heritage? Tradition of writing down their stories and ideas. But what is their story now? History of interactions with other countries - History of imports and exports. Global. Tuesday 9th November In a time of flux, the artist is perfectly placed between local and global realms to propose and define in which direction we should move. The importance of place-specific art in a globalising trend of homogeneity. The ability of the artist to thrust us forward. Artists in conversation - Art (performance & representation) spaces grouped not by discipline but by theme. “Iceland is an immature nation” - Steve Christer Wednesday 10th November Potemkin-like feel to Reykjavík Thursday 11th November Rural clearance means many people gave up their traditional ways of life, which often lead to personal identity crises and superficial relationships.
Recent shift from Rural to Urban Therefore, is it easier for this society shift from National to Global (Dis)connection between outward display and internal confusion denial anguish placelessness naivety In a city with such a porous built fabric - spaces between, behind, residual space, under-used - How important is truly public civic open space?? A strange relationship to ideas, and expression of those ideas. Ideas above their station? Global? Local? How do they express themselves & their collective society? They feel like they should say something, but are not quite sure what to say (or what they should be saying), or how loud they should shout it.
Saturday 13th November Exploring the place of the artist in a society in flux. ReykjavĂk is at a crossroads - a self-consciousness about their perception to the rest of the developed world leads to grotesque conference centres. Planners envision a kind of Scandi-supernation - dense and urban(e). This notion seems to reside in the past - in the optimistic billionaire-led 2000s. Perhaps there is a more interesting and engaging approach. It seems the artist is best positioned for objective social response. Many of the raw materials for artistic engagement are in place, but are somehow disparate. All the city needs is some focus: a group of artistic minds in conversation to relearn and redefine what this city and country might be. 21
Tuesday 16th November It is the job of the artist to be in a constant state of alert in order to pick up on the changes and the evolution of the society in which they live. Art as mirror or window. A way of thinking of cultural output as that which is global in a local setting. Wednesday 17th November Departure: 08.00 Reykjavík, Iceland - Keflavik International Arrival: 12.40 Glasgow, United Kingdom - Glasgow International Friday 19th November It is not Platonic solids in Isotropic space, it is more specific than that. We have streets, footpaths, adjacencies, views through. Direction of traffic, width of footpaths, makes nature of these spaces individual, and all the richer for it. A distinct set of urban conditions, tied together by space, held by built fabric, program, artistic thought. Sunday 21st November Art and Revolution - Wagner Wagner notes that artists complain that economic uncertainty following the 1848 revolutions has damaged their prospects. But such materialistic complaints are selfish and unjustified. Those who practised art for art’s sake ‘suffered also in the former times when others were rejoicing’. ‘The Greek [...] could procreate Art for the very joy of manhood; the Christian, who impartially cast aside both Nature and himself; could only sacrifice to his God on the altar of renunciation; he does not bring his actions or his work as offering, but believed that he must seek His favour by abstinence from all selfprompted venture.’
Modern changes in society have resulted in the catastrophe that art has sold ‘her soul and body to a far worse mistress - Commerce.’ ‘There are even many of our most popular artists who do not in the least conceal the fact, that they have no other ambition than to satisfy this shallow audience. They are wise in their generation; for when the prince leaves a heavy dinner, the banker a fatiguing financial operation, the working man a weary day of toil, and go to the theatre: they ask for rest, distraction, and amusement, and are in no mood for renewed effort and fresh expenditure of force. This argument is so convincing, that we can only reply by saying: it would be more decorous to employ for this purpose any other thing in the wide world, but not the body and soul of Art. We shall then be told, however, that if we do not employ Art in this manner, it must perish from out our public life: i.e.,—that the artist will lose the means of living.’ ‘Only the great Revolution of Mankind, whose beginnings erstwhile shattered Grecian Tragedy, can win for us this Art-work. For only this Revolution can bring forth from its hidden depths, in the new beauty of a nobler Universalism, that which it once tore from the conservative spirit of a time of beautiful but narrowmeted culture—and tearing it, engulfed.’ All a bit too Wiemar. Artist-led redefining of society - Is it possible? Picasso; Malevich; Amis; Courbet; David; Manet; Baudelaire; Delacroix; Diderot; Voltaire; Rousseau; Miller; Tom Wolfe; Kerouac? Wednesday 24th November Landscape / Landspace: Landspace is the nature of nature. Being horizontal, landspace is a space of communication. It is a meeting ground.
Friday 26th November Two Performance Spaces; Two Playground Spaces. Four Sites for Play Hard / Soft Approach - streets, spaces, edges. Two Concrete, Two Timber. Spaces about optimism and joy. Bernini. The playgrounds designed by Van Eyck were exercises in non-hierarchical composition. Owing to the placement of such elements as benches, trees, hedges and different coloured paving stones, the slender metal tumbling bars had the same status and were as emphatically present as the big concrete sandpit. Its round form and rounded corners softened the presence of the sandpit even further. If there is any demonstrable connection between works of art and the playgrounds by Van Eyck, then the playground compositions are more akin to the work of De Stijl, Joan Mir贸 and Jean Arp than to art brute. Saturday 27th November Nationality & locality are not notions one gets out of easily. To find escape routes, one needs a map or overview of the (mental) territory. Imported fragments from the minds of others. Builds layer on layer as in a painting. Visual Art / Sculpture Film Theatre Poetry / Prose Photography Music (Classical / Contemporary) Creation of art Interaction with city / nature.
Simplified to: Gallery Space Theatre Space Music Space Public Space Spaces grouped by subject rather than medium/discipline. Representation and Performance. Self-consciousness - insecurity. Displacement. Sunday 5th December ‘This capacity to be there and at the same time to be invisible seems to be a fundamental quality. This form of what one might call secret (in)visibility is the most effective counter to the currently hegemonic regime of visibility - that dictatorship of transparency in which everything must make itself visible and interpretable, in which the while aim is to invest mental and visual space, space which is no longer a space of seeing, but of showing, of making seen. The antidote to this is an architecture capable of creating both place and non-place, and retaining the charms of transparency without its dictatorship.’ Jean Baudrillard, Truth or Radicality? The Future of Architecture Monday 6th December Tom de Paor 4am Describing 4am, his piece for the main show in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni at the 2010 Venice Biennale, Tom de Paor paints a picture of a strange, oxymoronic space. Aiming to bridge the gap between opposites, he promises it will be at once a world of linen closets, lavender and domesticity and an alien one of shadows, half-seen spectres and distorted perspectives. ‘The argument is that you meet in architecture initially in the domestic and we
are trying to grapple with that world of memory. It’s a world of linen cupboards, folding and the smell of lavender, without getting too phenomenological about it.’ Responding to show director Kazuyo Sejima’s brief “People meet in Architecture,” the piece will focus on the “liminal” domestic, or what de Paor terms “that familiar feeling of being in a domestic space late at night, or early in the morning, when the house is asleep and there’s that weird sense of things”. This concept of the debatable boundary is central to the work, and to his ideas of the domestic in general. De Paor wants to convey a sense of both comfort and discomfort in the everyday home, saying these boundary questions occupy his mind on a regular basis. “We’ve been doing a series of these squarish plan houses. You always end up playing the game of where the stairs is, and where the servant space is. These questions in houses that are not about modernism, but houses that are about house in a more general sense of the thing. I like that territory”. Dürer’s piece, often said to be the most discussed engraving of all time, depicts what Renaissance Humanists believed to be melancholia of the imagination. An emotional state particular to artists who could see a realm of perfection they could never access. The piece shows a figure in deep thought surrounded by instruments of geometry and architecture, and flanked by a large polyhedron with a ghostly face on its surface. Much debate has centred on what the polyhedron represents. Often called “Dürer’s Solid”, it has been said to signify everything from the philosopher’s stone to the golden ratio. ‘From this point on I came to regard architecture as the instrument which permits the unfolding of a thing’ A. Rossi, A Scientific Autobiography Wednesday 8th December Mutating objects capable of undergoing transformation in accordance with their functional requirements. A potential for transformation is their role, their
specific quality. They are seemingly abstract, mute objects that donâ€™t communicate and, depending on the transformation, they become objects with a recognisable use. Their scale is only recognisable in the presence of the performers. All proceed from the defining of a structural module capable of undergoing variation and exceptional situations. Structure and size are maintained, then the composition, the solids and voids, with the implantation after. They are non-designed architectures, and it is their particular location which determines their form, their design. JoĂŁo Mendes Ribeiro 4 Stage Designs With Architectures on Stage, JoĂŁo Mendes Ribeiro aims to highlight the various interventions of his own stage setting, reflecting the contemporary spirit of hybridization, experimentalism and contamination between various artistic disciplines. The set is therefore addressed as trial processes and languages common to architecture.
Friday 10th December Play Space - Spaces purely for Enjoyment - Trivial Space A series of elements as transitory and/or trivial characters. Sunday 12th December The focus of the building always occurs inside or outside? Friday 17th December Bramante, Lewerentz, Hans van der Laan, Rudolph Olgiati, Christian Kerez 33
“Developing external spaces as a series of strongly articulated ‘urban figures’. Distinctions between these figures come from their overall proportions, those of their openings and an expression or suppression of structure. The facade treatment documents the erosion of a load-bearing brick structure from solid wall with openings along the everyday perimeter facades via something in between — a pilaster front facade — to a skeletal brick pier and beam structure enclosing the main courtyard.” Saturday 18th December Terragni’s Dantaeum A sequence of monumental spaces that parallel the narrator’s journey from the “dark wood” through hell, purgatory, and paradise. Rather than attempting to illustrate the narrative, however, Terragni focuses on the text’s form and rhyme structure, translating them into a language of carefully proportioned spaces and unadorned surfaces. Since the form of the Divine Comedy was itself influenced by the architectural structure of Byzantine churches, the Dantaeum is in a sense a translation of a translation. An example of how a spatial structure can express a sophisticated poetic meaning without an explicit “vocabulary” of architectural symbols. A translation of a translation of a translation. “In Terragni’s work we find the idea of a city built with fragments, which relate to one another according to a classical order. The work focuses on the recomposition of absolute form. The rules and elements that they adopt are atemporal fragments of a whole that doesn’t exist anymore, and are explicitly related to a language that can only be rescued by using a different grammar.” Terragni: “Architectural monument and literary work can adhere to a singular scheme without losing, in this union, any of each work’s essential qualities only if both possess a structure and a harmonic rule that can allow them to confront each other, so that they may then be read in a geometric or mathematical relation
of parallelism or subordination. In our case the architecture could adhere to the literary work only through an examination of the admirable structure of the Divine Poem, itself faithful to a criterion of division and interpretation through certain symbolic numbers: 1, 3, 7, 10, and their combinations, which happily can be synthesized into one and three (unity and trinity)” “The Danteum is an abstract, metaphysical, magical object - designed as “a wanderer in the city” - “the possibility of creating and communicating myths is born from [the] conflict between everyday reality (setting / context) and magical objects.” “The Danteum is the reconstruction of a space in which to live a miraculous adventure. The adventure is that “higher aesthetic value,” and can be reached only through formal and logical relationships that one can build following an abstract and nearly invisible trace.” All ideas stolen from: Schumacher, Thomas l. The Danteum: Architecture, Poetics, and Politics under Italian Fascism.
Tuesday 21st December The process of casting - the imprint of memory, of a process, or of a way of life. Casting entails a kind of mapping of the remembered onto the present Sergison Bates Thursday 25th November NÝLÓ Reykjavík The Association of the Living Art Museum was founded on January 5, 1978. According to the Organisational Chart the Association operates and manages the Museum and its property. Membership in the Association of the Living Art Museum is open to any person
with an interest in contemporary visual art. Today a total number of members is around 274, mostly Icelandic visual artists as well as foreign artists. Non- Icelandic members are not required to pay annual dues, they have the right to attend the meetings of the Association and will receive newsletters. The Board: The Living Art Museum is managed by a committee of five individuals. Each member of the committee can serve for up to two years and all work is on a voluntary basis. Nýló evolves under the influence of each successive committee and therefore maintains a fluid and varied relationship with developing concerns in the world of the visual arts. The broad perspectives on contemporary culture offered by the individuals serving in the committee, ensures Nylo’s prominent role in these discourses, and keeps the Museum’s engagements challenging and current. The History: The Living Art Museum (Nýló) is an non-profit artist-run organization that was founded in 1978 when two local artists, Níels Hafstein and Magnús Pálsson called for an open meeting of artists to discuss the current situation in Icelandic cultural politics. The founders of Nýló were a diverse group of artists at various stages of their carriers; some had been members of the SÚM movement and some were still art students. In Icelandic, the museum is called Nýlistasafnið which can refer to either the museum being new or it being a venue for a new kind of art. This was a direct parody of the National Gallery of Iceland that was the only museum collecting and exhibiting art in Reykjavík at the time. The Living Art Museum was founded as a non-political institution, but with a pronounced engagement in issues concerning society and cultural politics. The main purpose of founding a new contemporary art museum in Reykjavik at the time was to establish and introduce contemporary art within the local culture scene. The Living Art Museum has functioned as a forum of possibilities for both art and reflections on society. The intention has been to explore various modes of production and display in order to create different forms of encounter between audiences and art. Nýló has over the last 30 years offered a varied program that
has extended beyond art exhibitions, including performances, film and video screenings, live music, lectures and symposiums, poetry readings, and theatre. Since it’s foundation the Living Art Museum has been an important forum in the Icelandic art community for introducing, reflecting, and debating the role of contemporary art. The Collection: Over the years it has been Living Art Museum’s vision to commission new works from international artists and create opportunities for local artists to present their work within an international context. Nýló has played a central role in the support, development and promotion of work by Icelandic artists; we see each exhibition as an investment in Iceland’s creative community – pushing the boundaries of innovation and experimentation, and challenging and redefining visual art for both local and international audience. The Living Art Museum’s collection today holds almost 2000 works, all donated by artists that have been a part of Nýló’s history. Traditionally, artists that have exhibited in Nýló have donated works to the collection, which means that over the past 30 years the museum has acquired an eclectic collection of works by both international and Icelandic artists. The Museum also holds a vast collection of artist books and prints, as well as documents that speak to the context and history of the works in the collection. The Living Art Museum continues to forge new creative partnerships. In 2008 we saw the first fruits of a burgeoning partnership with the National Gallery of Iceland, when a 15 year preservation project of Nýló’s collection was officially signed and successfully started. This project will make works from Nýló’s collection accessible for future research; informing studies of local cultural history by collecting people’s relations to the works and thereby allowing mute objects to speak. The Archive: The Living Art Museum’s archive is an eclectic collection of papers and documents connected to the museums exhibition history. The archive consists of catalogues, audio and video files, letters, photographs, films, and meeting notes among other things. The archive is an interesting collection with almost arbitrary information about the artists, exhibitions, and other events occurring in relation
to the museum. As a part of this year’s anniversary program the Living Art Museum has started two parallel initiatives for organizing and archiving documents from the history of artist-run spaces and performance history in Iceland. This project is a creative collaboration with the Reykjavik City Archive with the aim of making the history of local artist initiatives accessible for future research and preservation. We believe this effort is important to relate the history of Nýló and contemporary art in Iceland to different ideas, theories, and perspectives of cultural history. The (Now Non-Existant) Hangout at Laugavegur 26: At the far back of the Living Art Museum is the hangout, which is an alternative exploration of the exhibition space in form of a kitchen/library/commons. The hangout creates a threshold between the busy shopping street (Laugavegur) outside and the austere white walls of the exhibition space. This produces a place for pause that can be considered a library, café or an idiosyncratic exhibition all at once. The idea is to provide a place for conversation, extended curiosity, daydreaming, warming up, dozing off, and random perusal. In 2008, as a part of this year’s anniversary program, the hangout in the Living Art Museum will host research-exhibitions, readings, discussions, and screenings. In addition, the hangout will display parts of Nylo’s archive, which contains various documentations from exhibitions, artists, institutions, critics, and curators. The Hangout was designed by Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir, Brynhildur Pálsdóttir, Hörn Harðardóttir and Rakel Gunnarsdóttir for the Grass-Root exhibition in 2005. Tuesday 28th December SEQUENCES REAL-TIME ART FESTIVAL REYKJAVÍK The aim of SEQUENCES is to celebrate and exhibit contemporary visual art with a special emphasis on time-based art, such as performances, sonic works, video art, art in public/urban spaces, and to create a cross-platform for these art forms. SEQUENCES hosts a number of events in collaboration with art spaces, galleries and institutions in Reykjavík, exhibiting the latest developments in the field,
involving a large number of Icelandic and international artists. A special emphasis is put on live events for this year’s festival which will take place at various venues around the city centre. www.sequences.is Wednesday 29th December Rather than dispersing programme around courtyards, maximizing the perception of scale externally, the villa is reduced to a singular dense volume from which secondary elements extend into, or are carved out of, the landscape. These offer a series of intimate, domestic scaled exterior spaces, taking advantage of orientation. The majority of the site is defined by trees, an abstracted nature that might be thought of, simultaneously, as a little forest or as an orchard. Upon arrival, the house resembles a classical form within an idealized landscape. The villa is a house of rooms, primarily experienced through movement from room to room. Recalling the ‘raumplan’ of Adolf Loos, the section is manipulated to create rooms of different scales and proportions, suitable for their respective functions. The larger public rooms are held between the act of dwelling and the desire to roam. Their proportions and symmetries describe the sense of stillness found in classical archetypes, simultaneously overlaid by the geometries and perspectives of movement; with extended enfilade sequences and oblique views to spaces beyond. The spaces of these rooms also move from interior to exterior. Large, vertically proportioned windows look from the ground to the sky and out to the landscape horizon. In the principal living spaces on the ground floor one is allowed to step through these windows onto sunlit terraces. From the North facing entrance façade a gallery extends into the garden, taking advantage of orientation to capture diffused light. Interior and exterior merge through the lower ground pool room and entertainment room. These extend outwards, through open-able metal screens, into intimate courtyards. At the top of the building two ‘roomlike’ terraces are defined by perimeters of perforated brick. In the garden, a final room is created through a simple canopy above a brick floor, within a clearing
in the trees. A generous staircase, with wide, shallow treads is situated at the heart of the plan. It both differentiates and connects these overlapping ‘houses’, forming a communicative space of its own. Each landing of the stair becomes, in effect a small room in itself. These extend to each edge of the building as the stair climbs: to see a view; to cross-ventilate the interior, through glazed doors placed behind the perforated brick walls at the end of two of the landings; to catch different qualities of light during the course of the day. The space of the staircase extends from the spine of service accommodation which differentiates the spaces at the lower ground. Stretching through the house it forms a dramatic space, which retains a quality of exterior through the simple painted brickwork of its walls and the white terrazzo of floors and stair treads. The rooms, which lead from this connective staircase space, become progressively more richly lined depending upon their importance and formality. Their position in the section is defined through the material quality of their ceilings. The spaces within the ground have ceilings defined by slender ribs of concrete. On the ground floor, the tall living spaces have ceilings of in situ bronze formwork with delicate bronze down stands, whilst the lower spaces have a grain of flush bronze channels set into a polished concrete soffit. On the top floors the concrete soffits become continuous, subtly folded surfaces, reflecting the falls of the roof. The bronze detailing of the interior responds to the character of the exterior. The villa is concerned with proximity. Its form and the scales at which it is registered, shift in relation to distance. From afar, it is understood as a simple, compact, brick volume, seen in the round. Closer to, the building is understood as a number of more intricate layers. The hierarchy of each ‘face’ of the villa is subtly adjusted in response to place and programme, whilst collectively, the façades establish a continuity of character. This continuity extends to the roof, also of brick, which is understood as a fifth elevation in relation to taller, neighbouring houses. Density is both expressed and denied in the tectonic of the façade. At its base, the brickwork of the construction expresses the mass of the material and the
thickness of the wall. Above a change in brick bond and a corresponding step in section, suggest a lightening of load whilst revealing the brick face as a skin, supporting only itself. In places this transforms into a delicate fretwork of open joints describing a fabric like patterning of light and shadow, through which a viewer might catch a glimpse of what lies beyond. The denial of the wall as the element that supports the building is made emphatic through the introduction of a further layer of refinement, in the form of a delicate bronze frame. This subdivides the surface of the wall into a series of panels. The frame is patently not load bearing, in fact it is the visible component of a system that ties the exterior wall to the concrete frame of the internal leaf. At the base of the faรงade, the frame sits just proud of the surface. As the wall steps back above, the frame becomes more expressed; a series of fin like verticals which crown the building. Each face is, at once, figurative and abstract, decorous and purposeful. Masks, offering only partial resemblances, they collectively echo the proportions and rhythms of tradition whilst simultaneously registering the abstractions of modernity. They retain memories of the devices of classical order, alongside the didactic qualities of traditional framed buildings and Twentieth Century industrial facades. Through the critical re-interpretation of culturally embedded forms, constructions and spatial configurations, the villa generates associative qualities that place it physically, socially and historically. Through these, it establishes a restrained and refined aesthetic, which might inform the development of a new city. drdh Thursday 30th December STUDENT PRECEDENTS: A key word of the project is the coexistence, the simultaneity of distinct temporal layers. On this historical background of sedimentation and subsidence of
temporal sequences, the project is adding another one : the today, the foreign layer. [continues ...] Pavel Cosmin Archaeological Museum. Troglodytic Study Centre 2005 Looking closely at a delicate inhabitation, tough supportive materiality, and a deep melancholy essential to the city. In place of clearance and Master Planning an Emptiness Plan: Taking away opens up powerful, useful public spaces and under used facilities – densification by demolition. A Suite of Projects affirms the strategy of a matrix of public rooms, spatially rich and varied in character. Projects with building names; Underpin, Letting in, Lift core, Joiner… Utilising Time, Unpredictability and Uncertainty; giving public spaces of differing lifespans - the spontaneous rave and a space recalled from youth. Adam Khan Peckham Plan - Building Stories; London Met 2004 Adam Khan begins his study with good, matter of fact detective work mapping the multicultural vitality of his site. He comes up with convincing evidence that the place although partially in disrepair and underused, is buzzing with urban vitality and culture often of a temporary transitional kind. The scene is set for a sensitive selective interstitial open-ended urban repair strategy, being wary of displacing local people. A masterplan strategy with the usual unrealistic finality and fullness seems quite inappropriate to Adam. At the scale of the urban landscape, Adam clears away a number of buildings standing in front of the old Peckham Railway Station, offering an ‘urban valley’, a large public space between the railway viaducts on either side. This emptiness strategy is creating potential for future yet unknown inhabitations. At the scale of the urban block, a suite of charming interstitial projects are being proposed, supporting his reading of the existing block as ‘a castle’ with strong edges and inner courts. The description of the projects use a building process terminology, revealing Adam’s experience as a builder and his interest in bringing together the existing and the new building substance in a close way. For example, the ‘joiner’ is the project for a gallery for Gerhard Richter, playing conceptually with the materiality of an existing passage. The ‘underpin’ project divides a long court into two, and the new concrete walls are cast onto existing ruined brick
walls. The ‘lift core’ project describes a charming new San Giminiano-like single room tower, with the same size and proportions as the underpin building, but in vertical formation. In these projects Adam finds beautiful compositions and proportions inspired by archetypal classical buildings. The tutors have called this project an inquiry into architecture, as it takes a design as research attitude in all its scales of architectural design. Playhouse: The aim of this thesis is to explore the layering of space and its use as a metaphor or narrative device to influence an occupant, with particular emphasis on how this narrative topography is explicitly used in the design of theatres. The theatrical sequence of entry, path, and sanctuary is filtered through a personal reading of Jean-Francois Bastides’ novel ‘Le Petite Maison’, a narrative which describes a plot of seduction as it unfolds in a visit to a maison de plaisance in suburban Paris. It presents an intimate relationship between a host, a guest and a building, through its layering of spaces and its elaborately ornamented rooms its describes an architecture which explicitly seduces and manipulates the senses. The architectural programme through which these intentions will be made manifest is a Playhouse for ‘Macnas’ theatre company to facilitate the fabrication of puppets and stage sets while also providing a flexible performance space. This Playhouse will be used as a model for an exploration of spatial layering and its ability to manipulate ones perception of an environment. It also focuses on the interstitial spaces in theatres and playhouses, highlighting how they offer the opportunity to change ones role from spectator to spectacle, and how in this reversal, theatre becomes not only a place to see, but a place to be seen. Joseph Mackey UCD 2010 The “playhouse” project is a scholarly architectural investigation, expertly researched and precisely composed – a truly academic study. Joseph’s intention with the project is to explore how the sequencing and organisation of space influences the user. Through the particular nature of theatre he opens up and investigates the “play” between actor and audience; viewed and viewer, exploring the conventions at work beneath the surface. His
highly literary process of work and analysis is coupled with precisely detailed physical models. The achievement of the work is to retain the power and fascination of the initial inquiry in the developed spatial design. The project remains complex and nuanced avoiding introversion and indulgence. He has eloquently provided us with a resolved architectural project and managed to keep the questions as beguiling and untainted as they were at the outset. John McLaughlin, Peter Tansey ‘In the centre of Fedora, that grey stone metropolis, stands a metal building with a crystal globe in every room. Looking into each globe, you see a blue city, the model of a different Fedora. These are the forms the city could have taken if, for one reason or another, it had not become what we see today.’ Italo Calvino, Cities & Desires 4, Invisible Cities Everyone has an idea of Venice that extends beyond the reality, whether romanticised, nostalgic, demonised, the city exists beyond the physical manifestation as we see it. The IUAV has gathered a precious collection of schemes and dreams from architects and artists contributions to Venice, their idea of Venice, over the recent centuries. They include Le Corbusier’s H-Ven and Louis Kahn’s Palazzo dei Congressi. The project creates a home for these works, permanently on display yet archived in a way that expresses an idea about Venice captured in a few key themes; Attic: Venice balances on piles above a lagoon. It regularly floods. The traditional safe keeping of treasures in vaults and cellars does not apply. The loft becomes the treasure chest of Venice. They reveal the craft of ship building in their timber frames, and emulate Venice with their stretching and groaning and fantastical appearance. Solid space: An archive has an inherent quality of weight and silence. Solidity, or the appearance of mass are the embodiment of the might of the knowledge contained within. A mass can decay and crumble whilst retaining the memory of its form. Colonnade: Associated with collegiate and monastic architecture the colonnade offers dignity, classicism and shelter from the elements.
Lantern: The lantern evokes the campanile whilst offering a solitary moment overlooking the city for the hardy scholar. Threshold: The division of the archive into smaller cells and larger reference rooms mirrors the relationship of Venice’s grand Palazzos and tiny Calle. Book stack: In amongst the stacks. It is dark and the floor creaks. As you move out towards the edge the solid walls of books melt to reveal light and the desk, dappled in refracted and reflected light, awaits. Sean Douglas MSA 2010 The Venice Archive: Venice is one of the ultimate expressions of the act of civilisation, its formation a coalition of fragments into a labyrinthine unity; ossified and intact; a meniscus on the brink of a watery destruction. The archives of Venice, papers dating from the 9th Century, are second only to those in the Vatican, the largest in the world. Sean’s proposal for his archive, poised on the edge of the Canale della Guidecca in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, shaped out of the marsh grass and weeds of Miralles’ abandoned architecture school, nearby that church, San Nicolo dei Mendicoli, (restored by Donald Sutherland in Roeg’s “Don’t Look Now”) engenders all the contradictions implied in saving these papers as the city sinks. Permanence, prudence and security are expressed using a massive carved carapace giving shape below to its own island. This keep, this citadel, poised at the head of the canal addressing the Guidecca, draws a line between today’s Venice and the Venice of memory. This sea-like creature arises directly from the lagoon, revealing and accommodating in its underbelly a loggia, which circumnavigates the island, stitching the neighbouring insulae by bridges, the whole the final keystone in a mosaic of islands. This secret, this hardened crab-shell evolves into an expression of independent cellular clusters, roof forms echoing the Venice skyline, implying a series of attic rooms holding the precious artefacts, stored in a pragmatic and poetic manner, an expression of intimate safekeeping. Overall there is a well observed use of historical precedent, producing a sensitive proposition, beautifully represented through a set of drawings which evoke a poignant atmosphere of robust decay. CS
Monday 3rd Januray 2011 Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions - Edwin Abbott Abbott (1884) Wednesday 5th January To explore how an architecture might emerge from a range of continually changing parameters. These demands vary widely in frequency â€“ from slow infrastructural shifts to fleeting inter-personal relationships and often present contradictory and mutually destructive requirements. Friday 7th January The experience is of a sequence of poetic settings articulated by light, texture and space - settings which mark stages on a journey through the meaning of a nation from inception to present. A series of defined representational spaces in which the performer must respond. Call / Response. Saturday 8th January Identity - Memory - Soul searching. That which has made us, is no longer present - absence of identity? Now, as at the beginning, we have the potential for objectivity. The cold light of day strikes hardest in the North, and today we feel the chill. What was inbetween was mere pretence - performance, deception and slight of hand. Alcohol dulled our instincts to the point that we dismissed insecurities as smallmindedness, when in fact therein lay foresight for which we now yearn.
House of Pretence. The Trivial. Sunday 9th January The artist plays when everyone else works. Monday 10th January Performance Spaces grouped by theme: Misery; Melancholia; Insanity; Elation; Claustrophobia; Isolation; Rebellion; Humour; Cynicism; Stoicism; Capitalism; Patriotism. Any set of preoccupations are by their very nature temporal and subjective. Therefore we must propose a revolving curatorial topicality to which the artists respond. The building demands of the user. Sequencing - the importance of layering - psychological, material, architectural. The physical manifestation of a nation of mindsets. Laxness; Björk; Erró. To draw a line between today’s Iceland and the Iceland of sentiment. Tuesday 11th January Studio Granda Practice Statement The sands of an arctic volcanic desert are black, shadowless and constantly shifting. There are no trees, buildings or roads and footprints are instantly erased. To survive one must watch the celestial bodies, focus on the horizon, heed the warning of the winds and make clear and precise judgements. The necessary acuteness of thought and tuning of the senses is equivalent to the
practice of architecture where listening, reevaluation and production are all equally interdependent. Cities are built testimonies to manâ€™s will to move beyond the limitations of nature, they are purpose-made machines to service ever-increasing needs and expectations which cannot be provided by a bush or a rock. Within this built environment architecture has become the new landscape, a datum against which everyday judgements are made. As the singular most powerful factor influencing the lives of city dwellers, architecture has become a synthetic substitute for the stability of, say, a mountain and in that role must provide humankind with an equivalent sense of security. Cultural history is carved into the built fabric, rich in nuance yet incomplete and capable of endless reinterpretation. The identity of the past is not absolute as we adjust our vision of history according to the emotions of the present and our desires for the future. Yet beyond the noise of man there is a calmer identity of place, a latent source energy which can provide a secure foundation for an architectural intervention. Perhaps this pure ambience can be likened to the wisdom of a tribal elder, a known condition against which to test new ideas. During the creation of an object the forces of nature, culture, function and time are to be challenged, ordered and re-ordered by the emerging architectural identity. Through this investigation of the elements the pattern of a project will evolve naturally. It is only necessary to be patient and alert to detect a definitive solution as it emerges from the tumult of possibilities. This intricate balancing act is undoubtedly most complex in the territory of time, both in terms of placement and the multifarious effects of ageing. Is it necessary that a structure is built according to the dictates of its age or may it shift back and forth in time according to the perception of the observer. This blurring of registration inevitably leads to the discussion of spatial organisation, the limits of enclosure, and most essentially is there a need for a building. The most important regulator in the creative process is the realisation that physicality of man, unlike his thinking or technology, has not changed for thousands of years. The basic needs of housing humans has created a series of omnipresent building elements and as a result established an expectation amongst users for certain relationships and perceptions. It is these expectations that are most enjoyable to manipulate in architecture, to prey on the collective
memory of society. Take a handrail, it is for holding; does it feel hot or cold, what is the apparent value of the materials. Doors are for opening; what-could-be and what-is on the other side. The banal deserves to be challenged bluntly but the ordinary and the prosaic require a more surreptitious hand. By this subtle play a user may interpret the ambience of a room in differing ways from day to day or when it is crowded or empty. Perhaps after a period, without consciously realising, the original reading will be re-perceived. The process of building is a critical opportunity to refine, reevaluate and realise the thoughts expressed on paper. The nature of the building site forces an attitude of practicality and tactility combined with a comprehension of physical power. To fully capture this energy it is essential that the construction team is of equal understanding with the goals of the project as the design team and client. The rare talents which are at the hands of craftsmen can offer a new dimension to the design and edge to the finished product. Skill is not only expressed in the carving of wood or stone, it is also in the care taken to align a door or program a computer for mixing concrete. To ignore craft as an unartistic process of production is to deny the spirit of creation. In the final analysis architecture is judged as a complete entity, for as a weak actor can muddle the message of a play, an ill conceived or shoddily built detail will disproportionately effect the perceived confidence of a building. Attitudes and ambitions gradually change and mature as one moves through life. Architecture is the embodiment of our precious thoughts and philosophies and therefore it is natural that it develops parallel to our vision. Consequently even the most valued emotions when translated into a structure must be alert, questioning and open to challenge and change. The process of achieving the metamorphosis is rugged and tortuous yet the result should appear effortless and obvious. Wednesday 12th January The Thesis is surely about the establishing of an idea and the year long pursuit of the answer(s).
Friday 14th January Everything leads us to believe that there is a certain state of mind from which life and death, the real and the imaginary, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, height and depth are no longer perceived as contradictory. Breton Saturday 16th January Krapp: Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldnâ€™t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldnâ€™t want them back. Pozzo: The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all. It is true the population has increased. Vladimir: Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day? Vladimir: Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave-digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. (He listens.) But habit is a great deadener. Tuesday 18th January melancholic, opaque and allusive; obscurantism, allusion and concealment illusion-allusion; allusive-elusive 67
Wednesday 19th January An architecture of arrival and transition. A space for movement through - the temporal and the long-lasting. Thursday 20th January Do you discuss your work with other architects and designers? Sometimes. from time to time...I often dissect my work in small illustrations and small blocks of text, to examine it with great attention. How they could relate on paper as if they were equivalent. By doing so the defining lines of the respective projects are rendered ambiguous, and a vague, abstract image of the whole emerges. The act of of giving form to such an ambiguous whole might lead to new possibilities. And then I write essays about it. Or books. Junya Ishigami Friday 21st January The creative Art Center by Diller Scofifio + Renfro is intended to advance new directions in teaching and research, and cross boundaries between the arts, science and the humanities. The 36,000-square-foot building includes a 200seat recital hall and 35mm screening facility, a recording studio, multimedia lab, gallery space, and large multi-purpose production studios. Next in the species of the loft typology, the building is made up of large uninterrupted floor plates with interior surfaces ranging from raw to refined. The building program utilizes three floor plates that fill the site envelope. These floor plates are cut in the short axis along a shear line, and displaced in section to create six half levels, each with different technical and physical properties. The structured misalignment is a sectional opportunity, allowing each floor to interface two others conjoined by a sheer glass wall. The landscape shears as well, half inclined toward the entrance lobby and half descending along the rake of the recital hall. Students and passerby are invited into this outdoor theater to witness activities on stage
or screen. The building fosters creative exchange throughout. The landings of the main circulation stair are expanded and conceived as vertically stacked living rooms for serendipitous and planned encounters. Diller Scofidio + Renfro Saturday 22nd January A nation’s artistic identity. Architecture as a crucial part of that. A platform for artistic self-reflection at an interesting point in a nation’s (city’s) history. Sunday 23rd January Delay is a small research piece; an over-simplification and an entertainment. The material of the study is time – cut and continuous, sound and vision, real and artificial. Delay identifies with the forced intimacy of the cinema and amplifies the uneasy proximity of audience. Its subject is the act of cinema, focused on the in-between. The object is a compression of the space between a door and a window, a portrait and a landscape, scaled by the viewer. It is both monument and toy. Cinema suggests that a window may be the “indecisive combination” of projection and screen, inverted by day or night. The fixed nostalgic aspect ratio – “an oblong opening” – offers order and economy while releasing the potential for continuity and montage within the Galway Picture Palace to rewind and fast forward time and space. Monday 24th January It’s basically a Cultural Centre, Kunsthaus, or another catchy name. It differs from the ubiquitous fare though by a) being a series of spaces for site-specific responses, and b) by being multi-disciplinary. So you would get a group of people - painters, photographers, video artists, film- 71
makers, dramatists, or theorists who would inhabit the spaces and produce work on a theme. The intention is that it serves as a platform for local artistic discussion, but giving it a focus and a status that it can have an impact on a national level - to elbow in on the banker and politician led conversations which are all-too common in a place in flux such as ReykjavĂk. It is seen as a natural appendage to the existing art scene rather than an imported one showing disconnected work. I guess it would function like the Arsenale, or the Turbine Hall, but in a series of smaller spaces. And it is principally focussed on exploring the idea of performance and representation on a city and nation scale. Iâ€™ve also been describing it as a kind of Danteum, but rather than being a temple, work is actually produced inside the spaces, which forces another level of interaction.
Friday 28th January Positive Thinking Publishing House We think the building should tell a story about the place and the landscape in which it is situated. The urban design of Paju Book City is shaped by the existing landscape: the views of the mountain, the large Han River and the mountain ranges beyond the river, and most importantly by the 10m high flood protection dam of the freedom highway and by the wetland territories in Paju. In the design for Postive Thinking building one finds these landscape imprints, particularly in the stepping forms of the buildings. Postive Thinking is designed as not one, but two buildings. Between themselves in the void made between and in front of them, the buildings provide an extension of the public space. This is a gift to Paju Book City. This double-ness allows the northern building to align with its neighbour, the YoulHwaDang building and the entire Book Makerâ€™s Street to the north, and the southern building to partially make the turn to the new directionality of the city at this lively street junction. The buildings are composed of suites of editorial studio rooms of various sizes and proportions on each floor, without corridors, like the interior of a house. The employees like the idea of working in a studio house.
Thursday 3rd February The Lost Space of Stiller (Max Frisch) - Patalab It is the architect’s dilemma to have to deal with incidentals in order to achieve the real objective. The real objective is the space in which the life of its occupants unfolds and which is involved in a constant process of change. The architect, however, works on material and static elements. As a result the designer shares the fate of the writer: “The important thing is the ineffable – the white space between the words...”, as Frisch once wrote. This is exactly what Seifermann’s installation takes as its subject: the focus is not on the objects which are individually exhibited but on what happens as the result of their combination in space, explains Seifermann. He also refers to this as the «magical moment» – a feeling of happiness which good architecture can inspire in people by the design of the spaces they live in. The technique of the collage and the ‘ready made’ as it is used here is in direct relationship with Frisch’s own literary approach. In stories such as “Man in the Holocene” he also wove outside texts like a collage into the story of his protagonists. http://www.architonic.com/ntsht/lost-space-found-architecture-with-a-story/7000269 Monday 7th February Thereʼs the outside of the outside form, the inside of the outside form, and then a space in perpetual tension. Then thereʼs the outside of the inside form and ﬁnally, the inside of the inside form …. outside and inside are both coincidental and discontinuous. Fit and misﬁt. Eric Owen Moss, Gnostic Architecture Monday 14th February “Every part of the city landscape has its own silhouette, appropriate to its contents.” Hans Scharoun
Saturday 19th February Clouds are important elements of our atmosphere, framing outdoor space and filtering sunlight. They are the visible part of the terrestrial water cycle, carrying waterâ€” the source of lifeâ€”from the oceans to the land. Clouds find balance within stable equilibria and naturally sustain themselves, embodying and releasing solar energy. The ability to touch, feel, and walk through the clouds is a notion drawn from many of our fantasies. Gazing out of airplane windows, high above the earth, we often daydream of what it might be like to live in this ethereal world of fluffy vapor. Transsolar & Tetsuo Kondo Architects create Cloudscapes where visitors can experience a real cloud from below, within, and above floating in the center of the Arsenale. Visitors find a path that is akin the normal experience of walking through a garden. The path winds through Cloudscapes appearing and disappearing. Sometimes people only see the other people across the cloud while the path is obscured. The structure consists of a 4.3 meter high ramp that allows visitors to sit above the cloud. Simply, the structure leans on the existing Arsenale columns. The cloud is always changing so the experience of the path is also dynamic. The cloud is based on the physical phenomenon of saturated air, condensation droplets floating in the space and condensation seeds. The atmospheres above and below the cloud have different qualities of light, temperature, and humidity, separating the spaces by a filter effect. The cloud can be touched, and it can be felt as different microclimatic conditions coincide. The scene is set underneath an artificial sky where the cloud can be touched and felt as different micro-climatic conditions coincide and where people are changing the cloud and meeting each other. Tetsuo Kondo Sunday 20th February Thinking about mirrors, they are intriguing objects. There is no color or texture to a mirror itself, and no expressions such as soft or hard. Something that is sort of hard, silver, shiny can be visualized, but what is being seen in reality is the reflection of surrounding scenes, and not the mirror itself.
And always taking in the surrounding reflections, despite of having influence which is not negligible against the environment, I felt the main importance of designing a mirror is very much limited to where it is not mirror, but mainly the frame. Then, I tried to think of existence against environment - from the point of the mirror-itself’s expression, but not to think where to place this “object in the frame which reflects surroundings.” Special film is applied to the surface of this full-length mirror, which reflects a clear image at its center, when looked at directly. Functional in essence, the piece also maintains the aura of a sculpture, softly shining when seen from an oblique angle. The frame is finished with subtly embossed paper, revealing itself on close inspection. Depending on the beholder’s viewing angle and distance, the mirror’s appearance transforms - sometimes a strong presence is felt while, occasionally, this unique object seems to disappear. By making the mirror an object such as chair, table or carpet, it naturally becomes influential to spaces ; maybe use the other side as lounge or place a potted plant next to it and make relaxing atmosphere. Acquiring existence of itself, the mirror becomes, I feel, something that blends into interior. Tetsuo Kondo Thursday 24th February “At that moment, I realized that I wanted the new thinking processes embodied in architecture to not be summated in a mere diagram, but to emerge as a kind of landscape capable of remaining in ones memory.” Functionality that can be derived or can emerge from locality, instead of a space made to accomodate human functions. Providing a field for people to behave (perform) A ‘nest’ is a place for people that is very well prepared, everything is assembled
and very functional, meanwhile the â€˜caveâ€™ is just a raw space, which people need to explore and find their own comfort within. This is a situation where people can use space creatively. I prefer something like the cave-like-unintentional space. Something that is in between nature and artifact - formless form. Space is relationships and architecture generates various senses of distances. To construct a wall is to bisect a space into 0 and 1, however a space must have intrinsically many graduations between 0 and 1. I like to create an in-betweenspace, therefore my works are very basic. Sou Fujimoto Tuesday 1st March How can the potential of architecture be expanded? Seamless gradations can be found among the various scales that space has. For instance, we can detect extremely delicate gradations within nature - infinite worlds of bugs and other small creatures, plants... but in architecture there is very little of this kind of seamless gradation. There is some gradation, such as in moving down the levels from city to building, then to furniture and other products coming into that building. How general this grouping is, in contrast to the gradations seen in the woods or forests. What for instance, can fit between skyscraper and high-rise building to bridge that difference? A structure architecture could be made much more permissive by laying down an infinite gradation of scales and creating a most ambiguous, indefinite gathering of spaces that emerge both as part and entire form of that gradation. Junya Ishigami Monday 7th March Play is distinct from ordinary life in both space and time. Play is free, or in fact freedom. Play creates order, is order. Play demands order absolute and supreme. Play is connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained from it. 81
Play is the most fundamental human function Play and Culture side-by-side - Play is primary. “For archaic man, doing and daring are power, but knowing is magical power. For him all particular knowledge is sacred knowledge—esoteric and wonderworking wisdom, because any knowing is directly related to the cosmic order itself.” Play and Poetry: Poiesis, in fact, is a play-function. It proceeds within the playground of the mind, in a world of its own which the mind creates for it. There things have a different physiognomy from the one they wear in ‘ordinary life’, and are bound by ties other than those of logic and causality.” Play forms in Art: “Wherever there is a catch-word ending in -ism we are hot on the tracks of a play-community.” “Let my playing be my learning, and my learning be my playing.” Homo Ludens Huizinga
Friday 11th March The distinction between planning on another’s behalf, with a multitude of consideration (architecture) and approaching a situation from one particular stance, a singular point of view. Role of the individual (person and object) within the plural. Temporality An interest in liquidizing an experience/space (or series of), rather than solidifying and quantifying. Thoughts on listening to an interview with Olafur Eliasson 83
The importance of temporality and duration in space. Gaston Bacheland, in The Poetics of Reverie writes about the necessity of giving memories an ‘atmosphere of images’. ‘Values‘, he says, must be rediscovered beyond the facts. In order to relive the values of the past, one must dream, must accept the great dilation of the psyche known as reverie. Memory and imagination then rival each other in giving us back the images which pertain to our lives’. This, too, is a form of flux, just as it is a descent into the darkness of our souls, where we are compelled to pay special attention to uncanny pools of sadness and mourning. Renewal Wednesday 16th March Tacita Dean Sunday 20th March To be in one place is not to deny the existence of another, even if that other place cannot be felt or seen. A place, upon crossing a threshold, opens/closes depending on the intention of the perceiver. A threshold [any place or point of entering or beginning] is not just an entry from light to dark but a bodily threshold, a constructed experience. But how to inhabit a threshold, a space of memory that negotiates the self. To propose an architecture where the movement through - by the perceiver constructs the space, where the crossing of a threshold is different for every person. No two feel or see the same thing. In perception, memory plays a role. Memory as perspective - memory as a blur - a long exposure. If the body is scale and the intention inhabits the space in a movement or shifting through time, this would change how a threshold is crossed, how light moves through. [the coming from and the going to] The shift in perspective [a back and forth-ing] recognizes the in-between.
In the looking back the reflection finishes, completes. In contemplating threshold as a point of entering or beginning, the act of the transitory space is the interest in this degree project. The understanding is that intention leads one through a threshold - a particular reason to pass through. In many cases there is a point when the same threshold is crossed again (perhaps in the leaving) but the intention is different. Using the word intention, an understanding of coming from and going to is used, the word perspective in one of its definitions. To study through perspective the direction one is going and then to look back at where one came from is the beginning of this project. To understand the idea of the in-between and how to inhabit that place as an architectural space. What is the difference in living between two walls or inside of the wall. To use this idea as a physical understanding as well as an investigation in the aspect of time with the present being the mediating “space” of past and future. Tuesday 22nd March Aldo Rossi Monument to the Resistance at Cuneo A stair to an opening above. The light of the time of day moves down and around the stairs through the opening of entry. This is the foretelling of the room to be in and to look up and back through and down. The opening on the opposite façade is a horizontal band that allows only a certain light to pass through. Very intentional and prescriptive light. To know one’s place is the allowance here. The orientation is determined by importance of views to the mountains. the long window frames the battle sites at eye level. The walk up such stairs to a purposeful standing creates the question of how long the time of travel or from where and to where is one going.
Friday 25th March A house is a collection of good rooms.
Friday 1st April The simultaneity of distinct temporal layers. Utilising Time, Unpredictability and Uncertainty. Public Spaces of different lifespans. Selected interstitial openended urban strategy. Creating potential for future unknown inhabitations. An inquiry into architecture, design as research. Relationship between host and guest - city and building. Sequencing and organisation of spaces and their impact on the user. Architecture as temporal and permanent. Transient and static. Saturday 2nd April A place in flux. A moment of calm. A piece of Reykjavík at a particular moment in time. Inhabiting the place as a space for art. The belief in the architecture of a house for art of various media. The possibilites of their proximities, the interstitial space. An architecture of civility, a setting for performance and discourse. An ensemble which is at once about cohesiveness and informality. An inquiry into architecture, design as research. The city is at once temporal and permanent. Monday 4th April To take on the idea that both recent and ancient human interventions in the landscape – farm fields, pathways, topographical terracing, remains of buildings– can constructively be used as the basis of the design of a new urbanity. The landscape has embedded in it an urban structure, however empty it might at first seem. Hadrian’s Villa. Vale of Tempe. 89
Tuesday 5th April The most beautiful Kunsthalle in the world is an international research project developed between 2010 and 2012 involving a wide range of curators, critics, historians of art, artists and professionals from diverse disciplinary fields and contexts, in an ongoing debate about exhibition practices of contemporary art in the beginning to the 21st century. It is organized by Fondazione Antonio Ratti together with the Camera di Commercio di Como (in the ambit of the initiative Laboratorio Como 2011). The project consists of approximately 25 public events, each dedicated to a specific problematic. The themes that will be discussed will range from the analysis of the diverse models of exhibition spaces; the relation between economy and art; the definition and identity of the figure of the curator, and other aspects of doing and producing exhibitions. A particular attention will be given to the Italian panorama. Each event will be prepared through thematic dossiers that will be published, along with the documentation of the events, on the new website of Fondazione Antonio Ratti. The encounters have focused on diverse themes related to the practice and theory of exhibition making. The first meeting focused on the relations between centres for contemporary art and the European cities that host them. It was followed by an extended inquiry about the Spaces for Art; a dialogue with curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and an overview of the career of the P.S.1 founder Alanna Heiss. In 2011 the program started with a debate on the relation between art, culture and society. Friday 15th April Zaches Teatro concludes the residence at the Pim Off theatre staging Mal Bianco. The play, representing a reflection on the loss of mystery in human existence, is the second leg of the project Trilogy of Vision, which explores the altered perception of the vision as the perceptive alteration of the mind. The first leg of the project was the show The Charm of Idiocy, inspired by the black paintings of Goya.
In this last project, Zaches Teatro company focused on the concept, and the circumstance, of the human rationality and its negation. The performer’s body becomes a kind of simulacrum of himself, while around him the space changes its appearence, reflecting the material body in relation with a spatial context, that is virtual and disappears little by little… Tuesday 19th April My whole Work is a journey of discovery in Space. Space is the liveliest of all, the one that surrounds us. I believe in perception. It is riskier and more progressive. There is something that still wants to progress and grow. Also, this is what I think makes you perceive, and perceiving directly acts upon the present, but with one foot firmly planted in the future. All of my work is the progeny of the question. I am a specialist in asking questions, some without answers. Chillida Wednesday 20th April “… as the philosophers maintain, the city is like some large house, and the house is in turn like some small city…” Alberti: Book I Cap. 9 Thursday 28th April A theatre of sociable moments
Rory Corr Journal 2010 / 2011 Stage 5 Thesis ReykjavĂk