critic: M. Casey REHM.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Kellan CARTLEDGE & Carol KAN: The El Bulli Research Center does not ask what agricultural or institutional architecture is, nor does it ask what Spanish architecture is. . . .
The Research Center questions the traditions of gastronomy, as well as, the traditions of architecture and interiority. The geometric basis of the design fluctuates between function and ornamentation. Between space and divider. Between the smooth and the striated.
By shattering the ground, the site becomes divided into private and programmatic spaces enforcing the journey of movement. While the grid of the site enforces directionality and order, the decimated building masses break the order creating ornament. Like that of the Baroque, the exterior and interior are formed through gradient scales of logic driven operations. A fluctuating emergent system governs the creation of function and ornamentation, but also smooth and striated spaces forming a network of residential units and open atrium spaces. The introduction of an emergent system enhances the fluctuation, at once creating space, divider, structure, landscape, and ornament.
Within the striated voids the remnants of the emergent system form the interior texture, whereas the exterior is textured by the addition of the system. The images in the textured mirrors play on notions of the context. The mirrors reflect ideas of marinas, highways, Ferran Adrià, and the El Bulli gastronomy.
Questioning the manner in which Ferran Adrià runs the El Bulli kitchen and the notions of narcissism, the research laboratories are built from mirroring panels that reflect his face and his creations. In contrast, the residential spaces and site mirror the distorted landscape and harbor, which react to notions of the artificiality of the El Bulli gastronomy.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
KC & CK: Ferran Adrià and the molecular gastronomy of El Bulli.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?:
KC & CK: Reading: William Gibson, The Peripheral; Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, “1440: The Smooth and the Striated”; Beatriz Colomina, “Intimacy and Spectacle: The Interiors of Adolf Loos”; and Mark Foster Gage, Aesthetic Theory. Listening to: Armin van Buren; Tiesto; Major Lazer; and RL Grime. Watching Interstellar and Olympus Has Fallen.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
KC & CK: Gilles Retsin, Isaie Bloch, Peter Zumthor, Lebbeus Woods, and kinch-d (Studio Kinch).
Additional credits and links:
Ben Fry, Casey Reas, and all those individuals behind the development of Processing.