University of Pensylvania, PennDesign
critic: Ali RAHIM
suckerPUNCH: Describe your Project.
Andreas KOSTOPOULOS & Hayley WONG: A nightclub is situated in Hong Kong, in Victoria Harbour, in order to provide a range of experiences for different audiences based on their distance and degree of enclosure. Those viewing the nightclub from the tallest skyscrapers retain a generalized perception that is also altered by the building’s reflected image in the water, which remains unseen to those within the night club.
Those located in the immediate vicinity of the building can begin to observe the construction and geometry that contribute to both the exterior and interior atmospheres of the nightclub. Lastly, those directly immersed in the building, are able to fully experience the interiorities and atmospheric effects of the nightclub as a result of precise formal techniques and composition.
Throughout this range of experiences, illegibility and bilateral symmetry are key to the study of interiorities within the design of this nightclub. The idea of illegibility is central in developing interior atmospheres and architectural techniques that are not visually linked to a specific existing creature or object. Because of this illegibility, continuously varied readings of the architecture are encouraged. Through the vagueness of illegibility, experience emerges through impulse rather than figuration. Bilateral symmetry, which this project recognizes as a universal, over-arching organizational quality, allows for a sense of attraction and order to be achieved in select precise locations, even when recognition is not achieved as a result of illegibility.
A Hong Kong nightclub program inherently allows for a break from architecture’s normal focus on efficiency and economy, both in interiorities and in circulation. In this project, night club-specific illegible circulation, as opposed to a direct procession-like circulation, is achieved by situating distinct spaces in a way that allows for non-sequential experiences according to the interpretation and self-navigation of visitors. The use of bilateral symmetry is then implemented to create, when visitors stand in select exact locations, a sudden flicker of unity and brief directionality amongst the otherwise illegible orientation of spaces.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
AK & HW: Francesco Borromini, Alexander McQueen, Edgar Allan Poe, Sanford Kwinter’s essay “Who’s Afraid of Formalism?”
sP: What are you reading / listenig / watching while developing this project?
AK & HW: Reading Jeffrey Kipnis, “Towards a New Architecure”; Sylvia Lavin, Kissing Architecture; Eric R. Kandel, The Age of Insight; Konstantinos Chatzopoulos, “Simple Manners”; The New Yorker. Listening to Maya Jane Coles; Sub Focus; Maxology; Trust; Daft Punk; Grimes. Watching Cloud Atlas (dir. Tom Tykwer) and Pina (dir. Wim Wenders).
sP: Whose work is curently on your radar?
AK & HW: Matt Johnson, Andreas Lolis, Tino Sehgal, Ryan McGinley, Sara VanDerBeek, Phoebe Philio, Olivier Rustein, Miuccia Prada, Raf Simons.