suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Clark THENHAUS / Endemic: This work is a portion of a larger body of work completed during a fellowship at Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning. The overall project considers repurposing post-military landscapes of pastoral America and is collectively titled Secret Landscapes and Non-Urban Objects.
Pictured here is The Belvedere, one of three old typologies, along with the Wishing Well and Bell Tower, seen as having the possibility for new expressions irreverent of their formal heritage, and thus alleviated from nostalgia or referendums on formal continuity via history. Central to the form making sensibilities in the work is the use of spheres, cones, and cylinders, initiating architectural figures that simultaneously appear bloated and fat, as well as slender and thin. The formal qualities in the combinations of spheres, cones, and cylinders are characterized by rotund volumes, omni-orientations, and hard-edged, abrupt terminations of thick poche. The use of self-limiting geometries (platonic solids) emphasizes volume and mass over surface and synthesizes otherwise autonomous solid parts into a single figure. Contrasted by sensibilities of topological surface making, piling collections, or emergent material/biological properties of form finding, the logics of combing spheres, cones, and cylinders tends towards lucid profiles, the termination of thick poche through intersection, and synthesis of part-to-whole relationships offering discrete moments where recognizable shapes come into and out of focus. In the Belvedere, shown here, 11 spheres, 24 cones, and 8 cylinders construct a tower with both outward (horizon) and upward (cosmological) views. Relative to context, this Belvedere sits atop an abandoned missile silo north of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Ten of the 11 spheres are allocated to specific constellations and are connected to the top sphere by a cone, thus initiating the 11th sphere at the top as a primary geometry of formal synthesis. The constellations provide an externalized parameter to which formal strategies may reply yet caution is exercised with regard to the notion that cosmological rationale or celestial projection compels or implies meta-physical meanings or mythical readings. The belvedere may be seen as a form of neutralization of the former missile silo, and upon zooming out can be seen set with a field of berms. The former military boundary of the site is indexed by a rectangular box accessed through cuts in the landscape which permits entry to the Belvedere from below.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
CT: Listening to Pandora.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
CR: James Macgillivray + Vivian Lee, Adam Fure, Ellie Abrons, Andrew Holder + Benjamin Freyinger, Kyle Miller, Jimenez Lai, Meredith Miller, and Catie Newell.
Additional credits and links:
Contributors to the project include Nate Oppenheim, Ryan Doidge, Tyler Smith, Danielle Tellez, Alexandra Bernetich, and Katie Donahue.