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id acadia14projects_181
authors Wiscombe, Thomas
year 2014
title National Center for Contemporary Arts
source ACADIA 14: Design Agency [Projects of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) ISBN 9789126724478]Los Angeles 23-25 October, 2014), pp. 181-184
summary This proposal is a continuation of a body of work we call ‘objects wrapped in objects’, which deals with discrete, chunky objects gathered and squished together in a sack. This strategy creates complex interstitial spaces and layered interiority, making the contemporary museum a space of surprises and discrete experiences rather than an endless continuum of paths. Tristan Garcia, the object-oriented philosopher, talks about the infinite regress of things inside of things inside of things, except the world, which everything is inside of and therefore cannot itself be inside of something else. For him, the concept of a ‘sack’, literally, is a diagram of the conundrum of how things can simultaneously be autonomous from one another but also contain other things. This conundrum is the core of our proposal, in that the building should appear simultaneously as multiple autonomous objects but also as a larger, emergent object with its own properties. The vibration between these two ways of existing creates a visual indeterminacy that is alluring and durable.On the south side facing the Park, the sack is sliced open to reveal an incongruent inner world of stepped and stacked public space. This space is formed by way of an inner liner, which delaminates from the sack surface. Permanent gallery spaces are housed in the space between liner and sack. The building is re-enclosed with a glass membrane which is not coincident with the sack silhouette, creating an open-endedness or deferral of interiority in the project. Black jack-like objects house various other functions such as the temporary galleries, theaters, research area, library, and offices. The interstitial spaces between objects and sack are technically exterior space, but they are enclosed with infill glazing deep inside reveals. These spaces are inhabitable and contain the primary circulation of the building.The sack is articulated with architectural tattoos that subvert subdivision logics in favor of the freeform figuration allowed by composite construction. Tattoos are executed in such a way as to blur the edge between discrete objects and visually re-establish the larger object, as if qualities from the black objects begin to loosen and drift onto the sack. Finally, the building is squished into a ‘ground object’ which is in turn squished into the land. The looseness between building and ground object allows for passage underneath the building. The looseness between ground object and land emphasizes the object-hood of the building complex. This move contrasts with exhausted ideas of buildings becoming landscape or otherwise disappearing into context
keywords Material Logics and Tectonics, Computational Design Research
series ACADIA
type Practice Projects
email tom@tomwiscombe.com
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