• Acid Architecture: Quebec City Ice Museum

    Eleftheria VARDA, "Acid Architecture: Quebec City Ice Museum."

    Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
    critics: Marjan COLLETTI, Guan LEE, & Hannes MAYER.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Eleftheria VARDA: Dealing with concepts of qualitative differentiation—and given a brief to design an ice museum in Quebec City, Canada—the aim of this year’s research was to challenge previously used techniques and materials or invent new ones in order to achieve fused qualities in liveable spaces.

    Thus, a series of physical experiments and techniques lead to the discovery of new intricate formations by pouring pure acidic liquids (acetone) onto simple white styrofoam blocks and dissolving them.

    The basic anticipation was that this technique used intelligently would produce unforeseen design outcomes. Beginning with individual parts that could potentially be parts of a larger system and connecting these elements – sections together in order to form an intact accumulation, this temporal technique was put in motion. Each phase of the process re-formed and re-operated the next with results that were not previously expected. Analytically managing these procedures, the significance shifted from a preconceived design idea to a new encounter of innovative relationships that emerged through a constant feedback loop between material and digital experimentation. Continuous variation in topological forms achieved through this acidic process was indicative, open to different interpretations not producing differences in kind but generating differences and variation in degrees and intensities.

    Acid was used to deconstruct, deform and disintegrate previously homogenise foam formations in a variety of scales and evolve fused degrees of intensity that could inevitably integrate with other materials such as 3d prints and conclude to an original building design which although homogeneous would be intricately differentiated.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    EV: Natural ice cave formations, the artist Takashi Masubuchi’s work, digital deconstruction, Marjan Colletti, and (of course) fellow peers at GAD

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    EV: Reading: Greg Lynn, Folds, Bodies and Blobs: Collected Essays; Gilles Deleuze, Fold: The Leibniz and the Baroque; Ali Rahim, Catalytic Formations: Architecture and Digital Design. Listening to: Daft Punk; Hot Chip; and Parov Stelar.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    EV: Iris Van Herpen, Daniel Widrig, Michael Hansmeyer, Jorge Ayala, and Isaie Bloch.

    Additional credits and links:
    Thanks to my tutors Marjan Colletti and Guan Lee, together with Hannes Mayer, for their help and support.

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