Instructor: Sheena A. Garcia
Seminar: ADGM6300 Theories in Digital Media, Tulane University School of Architecture
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
hannah AMBROSE, caroline MEYER, shea TRAHAN, & andrew GRAHAM: This VIP tent for the Spring 2012 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week embodies the idea that high fashion is a complex and seductive organism capable of consuming human interest through the ritual of spectacle.
The many characteristics of this organism are defined through a digital exploration of form, pattern and transparency. It actively takes inspiration from the world of fashion and the artifacts that it produces. Laced with references of a destructive, animalistic nature, our project rethinks these qualities as architecture through form and ornament.
The loft between a rectilinear base and circular observation platform evokes the constricting form of a billowing skirt that is tightly cinched at the waist. The transition of the outer shell twists the resulting surface violently in response to the undulations of the inner form. This resulting metaphorical dress is perforated through the application of panels which amplify the impetus of the twist and shatter the outer membrane. Drawing inspiration from the legacy of transparency in high-end fashion, the dress is perforated to the point of near deconstruction. Scaled to correlate with the proportions of the overall form, these translucent panels drape downwards to suggest another layer of transparency. The closer visitors get to the project, the more the inner form and spaces reveal themselves. This grotesque metaphor gives way to a tear in the fabric through which visitors can enter beneath the dress to the exclusive spaces within.
In tandem with the dress, the inner form is a cyclonic structure injected with light, sound, and program to activate the interstitial spaces. The elevator acts as a central point about which this spine-like internal form undulates. A stair radiates from this location to follow and intersect the structure of the inner component and ascend through tiered levels of intimacy. At the zenith of the pavilion’s experiential sequence (where inner and outer form unite), a visitor emerges at a platform that overlooks the choreographed activities of each night’s events.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
hA, cM, sT, & aG: We were inspired by the imagined movement in form and fabric of a dancer’s dress. Related to the fashion scene, we noted Eunsuk Hur’s experimentation with transformative textiles as a means of aiding sustainable design and Marchesa’s Spring 2011 collection of sculptural and intricate laser cut gowns.
Tectonically, the project nods to Ball Nogues (PS1) and FAT for their unapologetically assertive and almost impudent use of symbol and metaphor as well as Office dA’s quiet yet profound brick-becoming-fabric forms—a set of sculptural projects that are sensitive to both interdisciplinary reference and materiality.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
hA, cM, sT, & aG: Depeche Mode, and what we consider its contemporary spiritual successors: Fever Ray and The Knife (for an overload of dark ambiance). Also, Gotye, Metric, The Black Keys, The National, Phantogram, Aaron Copland and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs,
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
hA, cM, sT, & aG: Emergent/Tom Wiscombe, FAT, & MAD.
Critics for design review: