suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Isaie BLOCH / Eragatory & Gilles RETSIN: This is a 2nd-prize winning architectural competition entry for the homemade dessert & Liepaja city council competition which asks for a public building in Karosta, a former military town in the south-west of Latvia.
Karosta’s urban space is defined as a vast open terrain with unique objects or artifacts. The proposal adds a new object to this space, with a strong social agency. Despite the competition brief asking to redevelop the complete site and add a big cultural centre, the project deliberately maintains the existing fabric of garages and storage spaces located on the site.The new building is a relatively small volume, programmed with civic commonplace amenities including a canteen, a daycare centre, and a workshop located into neighboring garage boxes/storage units.
The new object is a simple cube, rotated around its centre axis. The volume is composed of custom made prefabricated concrete panels mounted on a steel frame which transitions into a fibrous yet highly striated and rectilinear structure of thin, yellow copper coated rebar. The rebar manifests itself at times as surface, volume and strands, defining fenestration, folding into the interior space to form columns and generating ornamental features on the concrete shell.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
IB & GR: Karosta site condition, soviet modernism architecture, and bunker fabrication techniques.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
IB & GR: Reading: Levi Bryant, The Democracy of Objects; Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture. Watching: Benjamin Bratton, “What’s Wrong with TED Talks.”
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
IB & GR: Daniel Widrig, Henrique Oliveira, Christian Kerez, Deskriptiv, Peter Trummer, and Adam Fure.