advisors: david FREELAND & chandler AHRENS
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
paul CASTELLANOS: Whereas Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall, for instance, defined a columns structural integrity by the perception of continuity juxtaposed by discontinuous mullions, this project defines the structural character of the column by its orientation. Vertical elements transition into secondary elements and account for spatial variations, circulation, and lighting. The orientation of the columns subdivide the open plan into smaller spaces and renders enclosure as delusive.
By means of the columns succession from structural to ornamental produces an ambiguity of boundary conditions, contrasted with definitive geometry, in which the subject is inclined to explore.
The tubes vary from steel to polyurethane rubber at moments where the tubes orientation is not plumb to the roof surface. The relationship between the roof datum and the tubes oscillates resonance between line and surface, geometric and organic, that pokes through to provide moments of structural support, spatial variation, circulation and lighting effects. The tertiary element, glass, acts as an apparatus that vanishes and reflects in favor of the spatial variations created by the tubes. Either through provocation or adaptation to a heterogeneous environment, alternate uses arise and give new perspectives to one’s preconceptions of space. Through spatial effect, this project challenges ones preconceptions of space as empty and void and enable one to perceive spaces as heterogeneous and always in milieu even though it may appear empty. The dramatization of the column produce variations within larger spatial variations that engender relationships between subject to subject and subject to its space.
A pavilion in essence is a space meant for visual pleasure and does not involve pragmatic requirements. This pavilion by an American designer for the Milan 2015 Exposition does not represent a country. Neither does it seek a post-modern semiotic view, nor is it intended as another style, but rather is a critique about how space is full of engendered relationships of the “in between.” Since the pavilion in question is multivalent, the process attempts to minimize a misreading; one that entailed from mapping techniques.
Digital technology has enabled fabrication and time efficiency to architecture that is focused on the “how” rather than “what” – “how” referring to process and “what” referring to an encompassing idea commonly noted from post-structuralism. In “The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention”, James Corner describes the potential of mapping techniques that go beyond tracing to project the unseen and the fictional. The pavilion for the Milan 2015 Exposition began through a process of mapping techniques that used a hidden grid and a hidden gradient image to work in relationship with hidden circles projecting visible lines that attempt to break apart the continuous and homogenous field into a dynamic set of conditions that anticipates a spatial translation. Since each row in the grid is parametrically connected, spatial variances are produced when each row is rotated into the third dimension. Each row is now seen as sequentially differentiated and at specific moments produce contrasting spaces within a larger spatial field. The density of the spatial effect renders enclosure as delusive and is intended to alter one’s preconceptions of space from homogenous and empty to full of relationships by means of the milieu or “in between.”
sP: what or who influenced this project?
pC: Involutes & Atmospheres and Miralles’s Lines by Young and Ayata
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
pC: Manhattan Transcripts by Bernard Tschumi; Four Predicaments by Jeff Kipnis; Agency of Mapping by James Corner; Curating Architecture with Architecture by Eve Blau; Pavilion Politics by Andrea Phillips; Climate of Oppression by Noam Andrews; The Seattle Central Library by Amy Murphy; If, Then by Roger Sherman; Six Concepts by Bernard Tschumi.
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
pC: Ball-Nogues Studio, Young and Ayata, FreelandBuck, Plasma Studio, Heatherwick Studio.
Additional credits and links:
Thesis Professors: David Freeland and Chandler Ahrens.