Greg Lynn’s Fountain is the first architecture and design project guest-curated by architectural historian Sylvia Lavin. As part of Hammer Projects, Lavin will organize a new project approximately once a year over the next three years that will present new works by architects and designers. These projects will be sited in different locations around the Museum.
suckerPUNCH: what or who influenced this project?
greg LYNN: I was influenced by an ex-assistant of mine who stayed on in my position at the ETHZ named Matthias Kohler who is using robotic arms to place standard masonry units like bricks and blocks as well as Office DA who must have inspired him by building something similar in China with intricate brick patterns using manual labor and curved templates.
I was interested in an intricate approach to masonry but instead of geometries of how to place bricks I decided to start with a new kind of brick itself. A hollow plastic lightweight brick that would be cut intricately in order to achieve complexity of surface as well as rustication (a quality I admire in the baroque architecture and sculpture); all without use of mortar for tolerance. My wife, Slvia Lavin suggested that the best scale for these new hollow plastic bricks (Blobwall and Toy Furniture) was a Fountain. Once the typology that was her idea was in place I started looking at Bernini’s fountains around Rome in particular. I realized that as sculpture they were too busy (they were assembled out of many many parts including turtles, elephants, fish, dolphins, shells, human figures, serpents, etc…) whereas as architecture they were figural and made out of relatively few pieces. I was inspired by this typology of the fountains that had more discrete pieces than sculpture but fewer more figurative parts than a building.
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
gL: Like I said, I was looking at my photographs of Bernini Fountains while being surrounded by the Toy Furniture which had just returned from exhibition in Europe and was surrounding me in my studio.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
gL: Frank Gehry
Walt Disney Imagineering
Fountain designed by Greg Lynn Form © 2010
Fabrication and assembly of Fountain by Machineous LLC
* Designed and manufactured in 2010 for exhibition at the Hammer Museum organized by Annie Philbin, Anne Ellegood and Sylvia Lavin from 21 May 2001 through 26 September 2010