suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
francesco VALENTE-GORJUP: “Sometimes the structure of a building is designed to reinforce another idea. In these cases the structure is not the element that generates the building’s form. The structure assumes a secondary, supporting role. For aesthetic or formal reasons it may even assume so much of a minor role that it may be for all intents and purposes invisible, inessential to the architectural experience, i.e., pure background. Alternatively, an idea about the structure may be what generates the design, where the building’s structure and form are one in the same. The structure may even function as a didactic tool that is omnipresent at all levels, conditioning multiple scales of the architectural experience. In this case, structure is all foreground” (Jeffrey Inaba).
Located on a steep hill on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, the proposed scheme took advantage of the natural slope to conceal most of the building below the horizon line thus creating an unobtrusive street presence and forcing to user to circulate up into the main gallery spaces. The ambition of the project was to have the entire building supported structurally by a series of bent steel tubes which also serve as the main means of circulation. The tubes play the role of “ambiguous structure” simultaneously supporting the concrete slabs, defining the spatial boundaries of the galleries and allowing people to circulate ‘blindly’ from one level to the next. In fact, there are no openings along the length of the tubes generating a sense of unknowing in the visitor, denying them the ability to foresee where they will end up on the next level. To enhance the experience of one’s travel through the building each tube is outfitted with unique lighting and interior lining, ensuring that each ‘leg’ of the journey is markedly different.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
fVG: Jeffrey Inaba
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
fVG: Telefon telaviv and brothomstates
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
fVG: Terunobu Fujimori, Bittertang, Junya Ishigami, H&dM, Hirsuta.