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architecture

Architects in New York~1. Contemporary Architecture Practice

I will introduce those architects (especially the ones working in New York) to my Japanese friends. The first lucky one is CAP, (Contemporary Architecture Practice) an architectural unit by two who graduated from Columbia Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. (GSAP)
I will mention the position of the computer and its usage in architecture to support the introduction of this unit.

In early 1990s, the adoption of a computer graphics and animation was accelarating in the movie industry of in Hollywoodーthat also began to influence the architecture field to introduce a 3D modeling environment. This 3D modeling environment went beyond the already developed and popular CAD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting--the aid for architectural design with 2Dimensional drawing drafting) to deal with the 3D space and modles directly in the computer's virual environment. The workstation of Silicon Graphics, or the software such as Alias' Maya or Softimage became widely available, and Columbia GSAP also adopted the system pretty rapidly.

The introduction of new 3D modling environment to architectural field forced the architects to reinterpret the ideas of spaces and materials as we deal with them in virtual environment by manipulating spatial/mateiral parameters translated into numbers. In addition, since those software are designed for the production of 'animation,' the notion of time-space was also restated and reinterpreted, through the adoption of philosophical theories developed by such philosophers like Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze. The ethos of Columbia architecture set by its dean, Bernard Tschumi, was such inter-disciplinary study--in his case, it pointed toward more literary aspects of various cultures rather than utilitalian reality, which further promoted the cross cultural communication within architecture field. It was quite dramatic in its shifting from the notion of architecture as a static, technical practice to more dramatic and literal study beyond its domain.

Until modernism came, western architecture enabled to elevate its artistic and social status, while it had established an archetype by expressing such characteristic idas of "sublime," "Rhetoric," "Melancholy," and materialistic concepts of "Gravity," "Ornamentation" to overlap each other--in other words, to unify both its existential characters and materialistic reasoning.

Against such historically and socially established architectural archetype began to be analyzed and reinterpreted by modernism movement, including Mies van der Rohe. He became the leading figure in modernism by further reinterpreted the "territory" that allows the existence and enables the forming of the architecture as a phsical entity. A "territory" is both physical and abstractive "concept" at the same time--since the introduction of the perspective theory and its adoptation in Renaissance era, that method had enabled to conceptualize the relationship between the materials and the space, to abstract and manipulate such concepts and ideas remotely and externally in a theoretical domain.
The inevitable centrality (with the notion of what is there at a vanishing point) was often used to exhibit the position of God, or an existial reasoning and a possibility of human nature, while the perspective, abstracted space described an ideal, universal, eternal field. Modernism, led by Mies, pushed the concept of an ideal space with the actuality and physicality of an architecture utilizing new technology and materials. (Partially, religious coloring was reduced or in some sense wiped out from the ideal space)

In that sense, the new, virtually established 3D modeling environment of a computer modeling method is the extension of such conceptualization as perspective methods and the ideal (ex. Descaltes' Cartesian Space) space with abstracted spatial/material theories. And the additional concept of time as a "time domain" rather than an affective notion (ex. "nostalgy" had been the important notion of figurating time/history and space, which highten the artistic and social reasoning of an architecture) could free the architecture from a static and materialistic existence.

At the beginning of the adoption of 3D modeling, it was studied to trasnform and morph a static volume by manipulating the every parameter of the space and the timeline. It gradually shifted even from Deconstructivism that reinterpreted and deconstructed the established social positioining of the architecture and its languages and forms.
By multiplying the sptial organization and programming (both spatial and social) and the notion of time space, the space and the form as its phenomena get transformed. Theorists such as Sanford Kwinter, Ignasi de sol?-Morales Rubi?, named such architectural process as "Liquid Architecture," and today it is often called as "Hybrid Architecture" as it compiles various elements of time and space.

The transformation of a form in Hybrid architecture has also the potentiality to shift the concept of the materiality in architecture. For example, a physical element of the architecture, a "wall"--is perpendicular to the ground to elevate and support the canopy, and it function to devide and isolate the space, define the interior and exterior, and so on. However in Hybrid architecture, such notion could be transformed, as the ground plane can be folded to become a wall, and a wall surface becomes the solid volume and mass to contain program elements (such as furniture and physical, utilitarian space) Such practice has the possibilities to provide new kind of lifestyle or the notion of space.

The concept of Hybrid architecture, which had been restricted by the computation power and software limitation, is drastically evolving. CAP, led by Ali Rahim, is a young but key player in this field. Here are some photos from their works--the images described here have not been defined in general standard, so imagine yourself!

CAP2.jpg

CAP1.jpg
Fashion designer's Resident project


CAP5.jpg

CAP3.jpg

CAP4.jpg
Reebok Store Beijin


CAP6.jpg

CAP7.jpg
Olympic House


http://www.c-a-p.net/
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Comment

なんだか子宮内的空間を想像してしましました。床・壁・天井なんて概念は存在してなくて・・・・。
唯一サッシの直線だけが人工的で、現実空間に戻るまさに「入口」に見えました。

確かに無機的な建築を変えるうえで有機的なものにモデルを求めることは昔からなされてきました。そしてその理想イメージとして体内回帰願望のようなものもあったと思います。時にアメーバ、時に昆虫、時に人体。一時期は滑らかでぼってりとした感じからBlob(おデブちゃん)と揶揄されてこの手の建築は減りましたが、最近はblobをもきれいに見せる小技を身につけた人が出て再び増えているようです。
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