Thursday, 4 March 2010

Architecture sem 1 ( 3 concepts )

We were asked to design a house + studio for a celebrated architect of our own choice in a given site. The architect I chose as my client was Hundertwasser

and the site given was zonqor point. Below where the initial 3 proposals for the dwelling.

Concept 1 UFO* Unidentified futuristic object When I went on site I could feel emptiness. The site is filled with plants, beautiful sea, and interesting micro areas, but on a whole there was something missing. There needs something which cleanses all the bad activities in the area. Like bird hunting on the street and seashore, and from the people who dumb their rubbish in the area. In the site further up there is pillbox (built by the British) and a tower of De Redin (built when the Knights were here). So the building that has to be proposed has to confine with this time line. Knights, British, Contemporary/Future. Hundertwasser was in a sense Futuristic with his Organic ideas at his time. It is now that we are realizing in what a bad state our planet is that we are thinking more on how to be green, more with the political aspect of it, since the idea has been with us for a long time. The building has to show as if it is of today, or came today from tomorrow, with the real answers to the problem. Now it is not the Pirates or the Turks we need to build a tower to watch, but to watch ourselves from our own evil. Also introducing the UFO*, unidentified futuristic object, will attract attention to the place and will remove the dodgy activity, and hopefully bring new people to appreciate the little intact nature there is, and why not introduce more vegetal and animal life. UFOs Unidentified Flying Objects, where noticed most of the times in remote villages, or unheard of towns. We never heard of a UFO sighting in New York, London or Rome. It seems that either the Unknown likes quite places, or that the Forgotten Areas need the Unknown to come so as to attract attention on them. Zonqor is one of these forgotten areas, and maybe it needs this radical intervention. Hundertwasser was a man who wanted attention on him and his ideas. This building would reflect this too.

Concept 2 Illusion / Illumination Summary of Concept A house that would stand out but emerge from site, a house that will be in harmony with site and the Architect’s beliefs, but will also challenge them. The building will be detached from the ground (heavenly), but connected to it with straight lines (evil). It has to be Organic not only in the aesthetic sense but also in its function and behavior. It will enhance the area to make it more accessible the public. Detailed explanation of derivation Hundertwasser said that the straight line will cause the downfall of humanity, and that the straight line is the tool of the devil. When I went on site, I tried to search for straight lines in nature, because he also said that there is no evil in nature, therefore there had to be no straight lines in it. There was a spider web which appeared to be constructed in straight lines, the horizon, the different strata in rocks seemed to be perfectly straight. The sunrays that the sun produced from behind the clouds. The rain fall (gravity). The lines that I constructed with my eyes between different starts in my mind (natural process), and the bees which think in coordinates, therefore in straight lines. When I went home to study them I realized that straight is what appears and is not the physical reality. The sunrays appeared to be straight lines, but if you give a deeper look to it, you realize that in fact it is in wave form, curvature, and also physical particle. The horizon which look straight from between rocks is in fact a curve when you see the whole object, Earth. If Straight lines are evil and from the devil, Good is curve and from God. This can be paralleled also to gravity, Newton said that gravity is in a straight form, he noticed this when an apple fell on his head, we also know that it was the apple in the genesis that fooled Adam and Eve in the acquisition of true Knowledge. Therefore here we notice that the devil used the same tool (apple) to fool humans, because Newton was not fully right, and gravity is in actual fact curved. What we can observe is that the straight line is an illusion, not a reality, not a copy of nature. The curve is of a deeper insight (knowledge) and therefore it is true. In architecture there is nothing wrong with the use of straight lines, only when one knows that they are an illusion, not a reflection of reality, an illusion of nature or a copy of an illusive nature governed also by evil forces. Since nature is not perfect, like us humans. In this I think Hundertwasser was wrong because he said “there are no evils in nature- there are only evils of man” man is of nature and in nature too, animals act just like humans and humans like other animals in most aspects. There should be reason (a human ability) for the usage of straight lines and it is not homage to evil; it is just an acknowledgement of the lack of knowledge, growth and wholeness of today’s humanity. So as to pass a massage or create a feeling with your building. Dwelling Hundertwasser had this sort of knowledge, so the house I am proposing for him has to show all this. The volume of space where he will have all the needs to live will be elevated in a form of a cloud, since it is a source or filter to make visible sunrays and a source of precipitation, gravity. It is also a heavenly object, elevated, but still connected to the land for the actions I mentioned above. The cloud is also made out of water, same as the spray of the waves when the sea hits the land, a mirror of what happens on land and is in fact a process of it. The cloud/house is supported on straight lines as to say that there has to be a process, to achieve this, the over coming of the illusive things around us. Hundertwasser used to preach his manifestos naked and make resistance to those who did not believe in the same as principles he believed in. In this way, an outstanding building will make people ask about the building and who lives there. Also this process of from ground going up, to a higher dimension, is a similar process of when you enter the site. If you enter the site from M’scala, which is an architectural hell, to slowly entering the site, until you reach an area where the sea is protected and people can swim, there is land where you can be playful in and make use, not infested by hunters and rubbish, and there is an architectural monument, which is the watch tower of De Redin. The process, the effort is important as to appreciate more what you find once you are there. The effort may not be a physical one. The cloud has to show and pass a massage to the passer by of this symbolism, I am suggesting a room on top of this ‘cloud’ in a Pyramidal form. This was used by an inspiration of Hundertwasser, Gustav Klimt who used to dress his women in paintings whit Eyes in Triangles, who he took from the Egyptians, the all-seeing eye of Horus. The Christians then enclosed it in a Triangle to represent the holy trinity. After that the free masons used it to represent God as the Architect of the universe. Here I want to use it as to Hundertwasser’s Open Eye as an Architect and artist to this knowledge, and that we all have to open our eyes and realize that not all that looks straight is evil, and we have to give a deeper look and understanding to what is around us. I can also add that there is always more to learn and understand as in fact Hundertwasser had much more to learn; therefore this room will not symbolize the acquisition of something, but a statement that we will always search for more. The studio in which he will pass most of the time will be semi berried underground, the roof will be open to public use. The side will enjoy the views of the north part of the site and the sea view, with his, ‘cloud’ house as part of the landscape. It is there living, collecting water by wind, naturally and dropping it again. In Malta it is rarely raining, rain was one of Hundertwasser’s main inspiration so he can always look outside and see rain if he wishes, which will constantly produce a rainbow in summer. Public space: Since it is elevated the area beneath the building can be used by the public. Land can be enjoyed by everyone, and it can be made more interesting. Since the location of the building is not a very safe place to swim I am proposing to enclose an area around the building that would be suspended over the sea where people could swim safely with and around the pillars. Hundertwasser always wanted to make even private apartments open to the public, like the rooftops he connected them to the land as to be used by everyone. In this way, we will give the Footprint of the dwelling to the public to use. **Information about Hundertwasser was taken form the publication of his Manifestos in the book : Hundertwasser Architecture ISBN 3-8228-8564-9
Concept 3 Octopus The site is used as a dumping area, by hunters to kill birds, by motorcyclists who have no respect to what they are driving on, and a notorious place for nocturnal night activities. The introduction of the Octopus which represents new life, an eternal life to something which is dead or has the culture of death in it. The Octopus has all the characteristics to be able to cleanse the place and promote something good. As in its natural habitat, the sea, it is found living in a hole most of the time next to a ‘dumping site’ of shells and exoskeletons. And that is what the site needs, a good clean up from all the bad energy that there is and bring out the good features it has, make it more accessible and known to people. Hundertwasser liked to reuse material for his constructions, as if giving life to dead objects again, and the parallels of the octopus’s characteristics are the same with Hundertwasser’s Catholic faith. Why the octopus? As in the introduction, the site is close to the sea, and in the see you can observe that where you find a cemetery of shells and exoskeletons you will most of the times find an octopus. Where there is death you find life. Life, as in the Octopus. If one studies further the Octopus as a creature and as a living thing in a habitat one will notice these things: · The octopus can polarize light, light which is a wave form, a curve, Hundertwasser said that the straight line is evil, therefore the curve is good, and the octopus has the ability to control (polarize) the curve, the good. · When it is given objects or it wants to play, it puts the object in a circular form. A non liner shape, non evil. A whole shape, a circle which was connected to the divine for most medieval scholars, and many believed that there was something intrinsically "divine" or "perfect" that could be found in circles. In architecture the circular plan was considered to be Ideal. · Has 8 tentacles, 8 is the eternal number, representing the eternal life, the beyond time for Christianity. For the Mormon faith, children have no sin before the age of 8, and it is the atomic number of Oxygen that there would be no life without. · If you cut an octopus tentacle while it is still alive, the tentacle will continue moving as if it will continue to live after life. · It has no skeleton, will leave no trace, representation of the soul. The octopus has 3 hearts. The Roman Catholic faith is about the holy Trinity, of Father, Son, and holy spirit that can be seen in the unique characteristics of the octopus. Represented by the heart Trinity. The Father, is represented by the Brain of the Octopus, which is problem solving and is the most intelligent invertebrate. The Holy Spirit is represented by the physical feature of a beak, similar to that of Birds, Pigeon as the physical form of the Spirit represented in the bible. And the Son Jesus, who had to die to give eternal (8) life to humans, in the same way the octopus dies after having sex, as to say, it has to die to give life. In few words, the Octopus is the divine soul of the site. Hundertwasser used the Trinity to compare the Tenant, Builder and Architect, that should be the same person. The Building Octopus · The building can either remind us of the Octopus in its form. · It can either be an idea, as in giving eternal life to what is present on site, like the dumping, re using building debris. Tiles that there are on site, and huge stones that where put there can be used for a proper landscaping of the site. · It can also be the shape that the octopus does, the circular assembling of objects. · It can be the fact that it lives in holes. · Or that it has no physical skeleton. Building can be changeable non-determined. · Some octopuses have the capability of changing colour, to camouflage. The building may have this ability too.
Concept/ Idea Organic death Death of something can mean life for another … … I have noticed that sometimes these shells or skeletons would be habited by smaller animals or vegetation. Showing that even after death these creatures give life to others by giving them protection. And the smaller creatures do not need to worry to construct shelter, but they find it ready. The same thing might apply to humans which by looking at the site we find rubble walls that where constructed with stones found near the wall had to be built. This can be further maintained when Hundertwasser reused old building material to build new buildings. Therefore we can apply this further to architecture that organic architecture is not just the form, or just inspired by nature, be sustainable, healthy, conserving, and diverse, like Hundertwasser preached and built. But it also has to remind us of the living, that a house is also living in a sense (non in the scientific definition), exposing all the servicing, piping and wiring designed in a good way, as if you are inside one of the simple shell organisms you find at the sea. Which most of them you can see the wiring and piping, (vanes and so on) from the outside due to their translucent flesh. It might look industrial, but I think industrial is a bit organic too, when it does no harm the original environment and human dignity. Not just the look of it, pipes and tunnels that can resemble a human (organic) digestive system for instance but also the process, if we have the knowledge and capability to alter something in a way that can help us live better in a sense it is still a natural process. The exoskeletons or shells found still mostly intact even after considerably strong currents and movement at the bottom of the sea are made up of calcium carbonate. The same material that our limestone is made out of the same ‘shell’ that we live in. We can also produce limestone, with concrete using shells and exoskeletons of marine life that is always being renewed naturally. The exoskeleton is also responsible for various tasks that can be applied to architecture: Protection: A building has to be able to protect the people using it from unwanted natural elements, or is able to alter them as so to be used by humans for their needs. Excretion: the building has to be conscious of the things that he is excreting, like water, drainage, heat, fumes, garbage, radiation etc. For example the building has to be able to treat his drainage suitably on its own and use it again to water plants for example. The building has to have place for garbage separation. The heat that goes out of the building could be collected, the water used in kitchens and baths can be collected filtered and reused. Also it has to reduce the bad excrements like CO2, by filtering it with plants for instance. Sensing: The outside elements have to be sensed by the building and made good use of them. Feels the rain, closes windows, and opens the water collectors, in summer it closes windows when there is a hot breeze and stops the air conditioning and opens the windows when there is a cold breeze. Can be able to alter when there is noise and we do not want to hear it, when we are sleeping for example. Support: The structure has to support itself independently of what there is inside it, and has to then support what there is inside too. This is not essential in a building but can be of aesthetic interest. Feeding: A building feeds on electricity and water. Therefore the structure has to be able to collect energy from the elements around it, light, heat, wind, movement. And it has to be able to collect water, from rain falling directly onto it, that meets the ground around and underground. Each of our buildings has to have these characteristics being inspired from a shell/exoskeleton or not. Then our building would not only look organic and as if it is living but will actually be an independent body. We can also learn from these found dead objects how to do joints, and movement in our buildings. Door hinges can be round like the joints in a crab’s arm. There is no need to be linear when dealing with mechanical joinery, nature has been working on evolution for millions of years; most of the things came out to be practical. Or the Door can slide sideways like the walk of a crab to maximize the space. The whole dwelling can move, not on wheels but with pillars on spheres like the sea urchin does. Sea urchin & death The sea urchin is surrounded with spines, straight lines. That hurt, that are evil for the others but also evil because they are straight. When it dies these fall out, and the exoskeleton is left without them. As if the death is a cleansing process, removes the evil before it gets to a new life. The site is reminiscent of this. Now is the time, after it has this dying process, of waste being dumped in it, and forgotten by people, to give it straight less lines, and good new life.