critics: Michael CHEN & Jason LEE.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Michele MAZZARO & Deniz OZGUVEN: HigherGround is the result of a fascination for height and the search for the sublime through an architecture of the future and the rise of a new enterprise: space traveling.
The space industry is undergoing a shift from State-Mission-Oriented to a more profitable programming which will drive architecture, and many other disciplines, to rethink boundaries as never before and to explore the potential for exploiting space travel as a high-end-exclusive-leissure activity.
HigherGround will be the threshold between human experience and extreme conditions and the gateway to the skies as it rapidly becomes more and more accessible. It will be the first stop in a journey between Earth and “beyond” on board of a “space elevator,” where its architecture will catalyze the hostile outdoor conditions within a series of experiential programs meant to amplify humans reception of the un-experienceable immense outer space.
Some of the experiential programs that HigherGround involves a fiber optic charged sphere which transmits the light and color from the outside into a seamless/limitless space, sleeping quarters and common spaces that continuously display outdoor conditions through performance and visual installations, and a accessible “terrace” that allows visitors to step out into the un-habitable.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
MM & DO: Camera Obscura; Bouleé; Sean Lally; Philippe Rahm; Doug Wheeler; Peter Alexander; James Turrell; Jim Campbell; Tomás Saraceno; Pierre Huyghe; World View Experience (Balloon Ride); and Virgin Galactic.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
MM & DO: Reading: Sean Lally, The Air from Other Planets; James Hilton, The Lost Horizon; Philip K. Dick, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch; and Elizabeth Grosz, Architecture from the Outside. Watching: Alfonso Cuarón (dir.), Gravity; Joseph Kosinski (dir.), Oblivion; and Neill Blomkamp (dir.), Elysium.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
MM & DO: Heatherwick Studio; Iris Van Harpen; Marchelo Moscheta; Studio Roosegarde; AMID.cero9; and Studio Olafur Eliasson.