No more Nostalgia_update

Working on my presentation for tomorrow’s rehearsal.

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I must agree with Maridia who said that we either design a detailed object/building or we design an argument for the project, both is ideal of course. Since my object/building is a series of concrete blocks in the city, which in one way might seem simple, then I must design a strong argument in order to make this project clear. I started by questioning myself why did I use blocks in first place.

Originally I was placing these concrete blocks as markers of my presence within the city context, just like I did by inserting myself within the history of the AA. I chose concrete as a material as it suggests something permanent and heavy in opposed to Cedric’s light and transparent structures. I decided to stick to it and find a use for those blocks. I took blocks across scales and different contexts in order to find answers on what these blocks are, I ended up with fragments that aren’t linked. Finally the block found its function in the city.
In simple words I am encasing buildings in concrete. I like to think of that as an act of imprisonment of ‘modern’ architecture. The idea of imprisonment reminds me of Rem’s final thesis Exodus, but mine is different. Rem had a huge wall that divided London into 2 parts that voluntarily imprisoned people bla bla, we all know about it. Mine however consists of multiple concrete prisons that permanently imprison buildings. I really see them as prisons rather than anything else.

I like to think of it this way. When people break the law they are arrested and taken into custody, then there is court and depending on the decision they are placed in prisons. The project questions why can’t buildings be arrested and imprisoned just like people? But in this case the prisons are built right on the spot where the buildings are. One example would be the Walky Talky building, we all know the damage it caused and the amount of attention it had. In the world of this project that building broke the law and it must be imprisoned, therefore the prison is built around it! I feel that this brings that exact irony to the project that Natasha kept mentioning lately.

On the other hand by imprisoning architecture I am creating moments of escape for the society. Few words from my last Jury on escapism: ‘Escapism is the idea of escaping the modern city to a place where architecture is not a part of complex relationships of work, function and society. It is a need to visit places such as historical sites, the ‘remote southern European village’, Havana or even the Coliseum. The block is an architecture that society can not use, they can only interpret. It becomes a cultural relic in the city allowing for that escapism.’

After many hours of reading my notes since the beginning of the year I have briefly summarized my thoughts above. I am now working on my presentation and shaping the thesis by incorporating this idea of imprisonment into it.

Few questions that I am struggling to find answers to and thought maybe you guys could help me out here:

What are the laws that buildings brake? Who decides if building has to be imprisoned or not, me, or the society or….? There are more but I can not summarize them now.

I would very much appreciate if you could comment and let me know what you think. I personally feel that the project is becoming alive and starting to make more sense.

Thank you!


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One Response to No more Nostalgia_update

  1. Maridia Kafezopoulou says:

    I like this question:”Why can’t buildings be arrested and imprisoned just like people?
    I Think it starts to make more sense. According to my view I think you still need to think about which types of building you are encasing? we need to see them before you encase them, how do they look like before and after?What about the surrounding of each building… why this particular building? which are the elements that you don’t ”like” about these buildings. It is very subjective, so you need to explain your position and define why these building. Since it is very subjective,you as an architect you might want to set your own set of rules that those particular buildings might brake and that is why you decide to encase them.

    What about the future? Future (modern) constructions? Do they need to follow specific sets of rules? Or you focus only on what happened in the past? How do you see the future might help you to gives as a clearer picture of your ”vision” and argument.

    …. Just brainstorming…….