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  • Real Fictions II: Pier Gardens

    Angela HUANG & Alex TAHINOS, "Real Fictions II: Pier Gardens." Model.
    philadelphia PENNSYLVANIA

    University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign

    critic: Ferda KOLATAN.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Angela HUANG & Alex TAHINOS: Our addition to the Real Fictions Cairo project looked to interrupt current norms of…

    … occupying the Nile River corniche through the architectural and urban hybrid. Our site is situated at the western landing of the Qasr al Nil Bridge in Cairo, Egypt. More specifically the site exists above, below, and in-between the existing infrastructure of the bridge landing itself. Subverting the norm of the current context surrounding the bridge landing, the project moves towards an in-teresting hybridization of landscape, hardscape, and architecture. We looked to create a famil-iar architectural formal language which is deployed in unfamiliar ways. Creating new typologies of architectural space, the small boutique pavilions stand as signifiers of the existing within new landscapes of foliage, concrete, and infrastructure. The public garden areas hybridize multiple conditions of traditional park spaces but never solely become classified or recognizable. Artifi-cial rock-scapes float above glass-boxes which house contemporary office spaces. Existing piers are utilized as the main structural elements and self-sustaining irrigation systems begin to fur-ther hybridize between elements both new and existing. The water circulatory system becomes the consistent link between each typological object within the site. This ranges from large ex-traction tanks below the surface of the water, to fountains at the center of plaza areas, to hid-den purifiers and storage systems within the roofs of pavilions. The infrastructural systems begin to express themselves in unique ways that blur the boundary between form and function of a typically behind the scenes system of elements. Ultimately bringing the urban textural qualities to the forefront of a formalist discussion. What or who influenced this project?: Urban infrastructure, mechanical objects, Egyptian architecture, The Nile, the city of Cairo, Tony Cragg, Pierre Matter, landscape photography, Parisian parks, John Lautner’s home design, En-semble Studios’ construction techniques.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    AH & AT: Urban infrastructure, mechanical objects, Egyptian architecture, The Nile, the city of Cairo, Tony Cragg, Pierre Matter, landscape photography, Parisian parks, John Lautner’s home design, En-semble Studios’ construction techniques.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    AH & AT: Reading: Timothy Morton, Slavoj Zizek, Graham Harman. Listening: Frank Ocean.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?:
    AH & AT: SU11, Young-Ayata, MFGA, RUR, Daniel Libeskind, Morphosis.

    Additional Credits/Links:

    www.alextahinos.com