The project is about the (staging of?) the continuous interior.
Our contemporary condition is one of interiority, not only physically but socially. The relationship between the domains conceived as inside and outside have shifted immensely and the difference between these domains is becoming progressively less distinct.
Nowadays we spend more time indoors than at any time in the past, this move to the interior is largely due to technological shifts that have allowed us to connect to more of the exterior world from our houses. But is as well due to our apparent lack of tolerance for shifts in weather and outdoor environment that are pushing us further into controlled spaces that can be manipulated and interacted with at will.
Collective conditional modern situation
As a product of modernisation, globalisation and urbanisation the modern world has grown together into a collective condition where there is no outside. We are constantly in an ambiguously un-natural, staged environment, even when we are out doors. Nature as a singular, untampered space ceases to exist without some level of imposed artifice. ‘The modern understanding of inside and outside has been replaced by degrees of intensities, hybridity and artifice.’
The project initially explains the collective condition that sets up moving people to an ark. Crisis.
The contemporary climactic issues
As a product of the support of modern living climate change and pollution in the present day are a pressing concern. With the atmosphere around the earth being destroyed and weather events becoming more extreme, more and more people are being threatened by the air we breathe as it is filled with increasing amounts of pollutants. It is not inconceivable that in the future the earth’s atmosphere will no longer be safe for us to inhabit.
fictional future situation
So the question now becomes, what if we are forced into the interior? And how would that change an already interiorised society?
In this version of the future our condition of interiority is not a product of societal control, comfort and choice, but a necessity, we are forced indoors and the interior that we once inhabited by choice becomes the only landscape we can inhabit.
The proposal at this point becomes a collective surge to create a completely interior environment in it’s most simple terms, sealed, internal and protected from the air. In this post-troposphere world, toxic dust storms swell over what was the earth’s surface and humanity moves up.
Give it a site
We begin somewhere along the equator where the construction of this continuous interior begins.
Introduce the object
The air pollution is set to rise steadily over the next 150 years, the edge of the city becomes ground zero for the ark. Coined as an artefact of refuge and salvation, construction on the enclosed tower/ark/obelisk begins. Rising high above the city smog phase one, the base of the tower hovers over the urban sprawl awaiting addition of layers.
Introduce the ground condition in relation to the thesis
As air quality decreases more and more citizens leave the city and begin to enter the tower, in doing so the contexts left behind fall to ruin, the tower reaches upward gaining momentum from the fallen cities at it’s base, up-cycling their crumbling raw materials to feed its growth.
Get a bit destructive and desolate and wistful
The ark hovers above the city, continually sprouting new interior sectors as more people partake in the exodus, escaping the remnants of society below.
Loss or merge of the relationship between interior and exterior
The city contexts below are infolded and re-contextualised in the ark.
Following the constant re-contextualisation and bastardising of the obelisk by western Europe, humanity’s vessel of exodus is the ultimate appropriation of cultures, times and spaces and so is named the ‘space obelisk’.
Filled with landscapes real and forgotten the ark follows the interior condition that contemporary society and modernization built. Climate controlled and sealed as an environment, the ark is the last vestige of hope for clean air.
The internal environments created in the obelisk follow real and imagined spaces sequentially revealed as we ascend. The obelisk becomes the testing ground for sealed interior living, a biosphere 3.0 project on a global level, the forced intimacy and utter co-existence is a conditional side effect of the architectural limits of the obelisk, there is no ‘away’ no ‘over there’ everything manages to stand close in this vast landscape of the interior, but between ‘right there’ and ‘over there’ exists architecture. The arc-obelisk-tower is the mediator, the all important envelope, providing the framework for a universal interior space, combining an archipelago of microclimatised microcosms, no longer interrupted and abridged by the edge moments that we encounter in the transit portions of our everyday lives. Architecture lies in the gap between inside and outside, obscuring the ‘away’ areas, the polluted spaces of infrastructure in the form of the ark, synergising the already blurred interior-exterior modern condition.
Merging or forcing into a controlled environment forming a universal space (get spiel from notes) could become the very place to question and explore the continuous interior and how we occupy it today
The obelisk infolds, maps and imagines interiors in its bulk, it enclaves de-contextualises and re-contextualises spaces, narratives and landscapes producing a cacophony of interior worlds.
Narratives and contexts are re-contextualised and de-contextualised within the space, formed out of the shifting interior condition.
The obelisk becomes a framework for (how we occupy the interior) interior occupation at the different scales of the tower, the room, the object and finally the dynamic occupant, the user.
There is an inversion of the convention of the interior as the controlled environment and the exterior as a framed spectacle, these conditions of control and spectacle become fluid through framing and section/staging. Here the interior spaces are framed as spectacle, through portals read as scenes or vignettes they reveal a completely other narrative than expected. The controlled environment here lends itself to the framed spectacle rather than acting as it’s antithesis.
After Wes anderson, this interior world questions the constructed interior and framed (un-natural) view, the spaces have scalable domestic qualities but the composition and colour wheel creates a visual continuity and level of intrigue for the onlooker.
So does the arc become the ultimate stage set for interior experimentation, a theatre within, an endless landscape completely enclosed but completely controlled? Maybe humanity’s move to the obelisk will allow the earth to heal, regain some semblance of unadulterated nature and in the future be repopulated? Does it become a kitsch casino with gross representations of our famous landscapes?
Outside the walls of the arc the land lies scarred, cities falling to ruin as the last residents make their pilgrimage to the equator and the obelisk. What began as a vessel of salvation and a refuge from a toxic earth is now a capsule of iconic interiors. Just as Piranesi, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Kircher used fragment mastery to redefine place and space, the continuous interior becomes a new terrain cataloguing different time, context and narrative strata along it’s height.
At this point the project is concerned with the infrastructure of the obelisk, speculations as to its interior content and contexts are to come. Does the obelisk succeed in siring humanity and saving us all from the toxic smog, or does it become another fallen monument and museum to lost context.
Is it made in pieces, being formed by equator cities, by the rubble that is building up in the abandoned areas? Does it then all travel to one place to be assembled and erected like the obelisk and like a totem pole.
Narrative ‘let me tell you about my obelisk/ark’