suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Gilles Retsin Architecture: The proposal consists of 278 standardized, engineered-timber elements which combine together into a highly differentiated spatial assembly. These elements can be understood as large-scale LEGOs; a similar male-female connection defines their assembly. This results in an architecture that is fundamentally discrete or “digital” in its physical-material organization.
Elemental parts cannot be reduced to the status of a mere subdivision of the whole, but at the same time carry information of the whole. This is the result of an iterative process that continuously negotiates the intentions of part and whole. Levi Bryant refers to this condition as a “Strange Mereology”—a part is part of the whole and the whole is part of the part.
Heterogeneity emerges not from a continuous differentiation of parts, but is a result of the algorithmic assembly of parts into differentiated combinations, patterns, spaces and buildings. Increased computational capabilities are able to push the modernist understanding of architecture as an assemblage of prefabricated, discrete elements into an unexpected new domain of previously unachievable detail, materiality, structure and aesthetics while remaining accessible and economic.
These discrete elements are, initially, structurally weak but gain strength through redundant combination. This system is based on Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). LVL is used to form stiff hollow tubes that come in the form of modular straight or L-Shaped pieces. These tubes are prefabricated off-site and can be quickly assembled on site. The hollow inside of the LVL modules is used for HVAC installations, services, and museum lighting.
The proposal for the Suncheon Art Platform introduces a low, horizontal architecture that frames a series of courtyards and squares. Four main public spaces are formed: a central events-courtyard; a sculpture courtyard; a garden courtyard; and an entrance square. These courtyards form strong public spaces that in turn form an infrastructure for the regeneration of the old town. The squares maintain the permeability of the site, introducing and framing new routes. The program for the Art Platform is carefully distributed around the courtyards in order to activate them. They can effectively be understood as “platforms”—connected infrastructures which carry and nurture activities.
A long path winds around the courtyards and platforms, connecting different areas while framing views and strong urban spaces. The proposed buildings are horizontal, and form at the same time and extension of the courtyard as well as a frame.
Additional credits and links:
Gilles Retsin Architecture: Gilles Retsin, Lei Zheng, Dongwhi Kim
Engineering: Tim Lucas, Price & Myers Consulting Engineers.
Visuals: courtesy of Gilles Retsin Architecture.