Critic: Zehra Kuz, Pratt Institute
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
gillian SHAFFER & justin HATTENDORF: Columbia Center for Competitive Rowing merges the rich history of boat fabrication techniques with the uniquely American attitude of competitive rowing, that which is rooted in the public spectator event. Rather than limiting the experience of the shoreline to Columbia University the building shell peels backwards, exposing itself to become one with the fabric of the Spuyten Duyvil waterfront.
Simultaneously, the intent of the boathouse was to celebrate the scale of the racing shell, using a strand logic to vault the span of the coxless eight, much like the ribbing techniques both in traditional boat making and the micro scale of a more contemporary fiber weave. Moments of sudden expansion, or spatial rupture, of ETFE bubbles speckle the community program to form pauses for spectators, focused team space, or multi-purpose gatherings.
The plunge of administrative skylight bubbles are formed at the intersection of arched two-way vaults, putting man at the center of the platonic sphere for comparative difference in affect- the scale of man in relation to space and the scale of man in relation to the boat. Meanwhile, the “belly of the whale” sectional affect further elaborates the difference necessary for the intended correlation and sensational phenomena between the object and the site. Flux of the rowing team training facilities, community classrooms, café/video lounge, and boat repair hobby center enhance the accessibility of the public to make use of the event in experience of the bloating object and the plunge of rupturing “raspberry” bubbles.
sP: Who/what influenced this project?
gS & jH: Hume Coover Studio, Florencia Pita, Greg Lynn’s Slavin house, Vladislav Hall.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
gS & jH: “Alphnso lingis on the imperatives in things (1997)” by graham harman, The Function of Form by Farshid Moussavi, Philosophy and Simulation by manuel delanda, the drive soundtrack, grimes, and yuck.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
gS & jH: Uriah Voth, Seth Scantlen, Studiomode [ ], Preston Scott Cohen.