Following our exploration during weeks 01 and 02, we have continued our individual research under the umbrella theme of the ‘architectural monster.’ Through the similar construction of that of the Exquisite Corpse, a paradoxical confrontation between the elements of speech, we have sought the unlikely juxtaposition of unlikely objects and their alliance of disparate worlds in creating an architecture that is both hybrid and in manipulation (doppelgänger).
Progressing from the previous weeks, I tried to move away from void and solid. I considered other ways of commemoration and came upon the theme of the doppelganger.
There are examples of copying/ tracing a building as a way of commemoration such as the Lacaton and Vassal Building in Dunkerque France (Fig. 01). The Halle AP2 is a singular and symbolic object, the concept behind the project was to create a double of the Halle, of the same dimension. The duplication is the attentive response to the identity of the Halle. The Halle (original building) remained a completely available space and therefore, the functioning of each of the buildings is separated, or combined.
However, it is noticeable that other types of doppelgangers are existent, for example when there is a copy of an original in a different context and time.
A few examples where this happens is:
- Entire Town of Hallstatt, Austria – Luoyang, China
- Eiffel Tower, Paris – Hangzhou, China
- “Thames Town” – Songjiang District
- Maxi Museum – Museum of Liverpool
- The Real Ronchamp Chapel- Chinese copy
- Collier Hardware Building, California- Cuba
- Piazza Batumi, Georiga- San Marco piazza, Venice
Piazza Batumi was the one I decided to base my research on since our site is in Georgia.
Before deciding finally on a drawing, I researched in more depth on doppelgangers in architecture and the act of Pastiche. Firstly, the original myth of the doppelganger is when you find your “twin” you must kill them before you they kill you. Therefore, does the myth haunt the discipline? Does its doubling create an evil twin? Or conversely, might architecture find a productive relationship with the culture of the copy?
Secondly, considering the act of Pastiche, which is characterised as a method of imitation of the building styles created by major architects. The term itself is not pejorative (expressing contempt or disapproval), however Alain de Botton describes pastiche as “an unconvincing reproduction of styles of the past”. Hence, when designing a building an element is not just taken and used somewhere else, the act of doubling of the original is taking place.
Through sketches I have started to explore the themes and the best way to present them. Using the generic form of the clock tower and exploding the two facades (Piazza Batumi and San Marco Piazza Clock Towers) from it, the drawing will attempt to demonstrate the differences while keeping them in the same scale, however this has opened up an idea of rejecting the generic form and mapping out the elements that have been copies. Therefore, Elevations have been drawn and an isometric has been started to explore these differences.
My main investigation has been into the metamorphosis of the Iveria, my interests focused in on its ability to become ordered by the different elements of its context:
– as a Soviet Hotel
– as a vertical refugee camp
– as Soviet achievement
– as an economic object of privatization
In this sense the Iverias transformation into the Radisson is a transformation from a Soviet production into a Utopian production. Though different machines, they both aim towards the reproduction of the State.
In this reproduction of State, though demolished, the Iveria, as a material object had multiple fates. The carcass of the socialist building remained in place becoming the skeleton of an entirely new and Western-style Radisson Hotel but the stripped away materials of the Iveria gave life to new buildings such as the bazaar stalls of the IDP’s as well as an annex of the Shavnabada Monastery.
Through its multiple lives, the Iveria is a ‘habitable collage’ where human matter and building matter are recombined to create monstrous structures that form a part of a continuum of architectural bricolage.
Examining Mark Fisher’s ‘The Weird and Eerie,’ as well as the processes behind ‘the Exquisite Corpse,’ I aimed to create monstrous collages of habitation in representation of the Iveria and its multiple fates. An architectural monster of counterfactual history. In doing so, these collages would become architectural hybrids that much like the Exquisite Corpse, pay little attention to normal contours.
Translating ‘Weirdness’ as existing at the edge between worlds and ‘Eeriness’ as that which radiates from the ruins of lost ones, my monsters were made with sensitivity to the architecture that structures Georgia’s sub-worlds yet remained grotesque in the proper sense, synthesising human and non-human form into an architectural whole. A tissue of allusion.
Iveria as a “skeleton” //sub structure in axo (as it comes from Jude’s research) and using as a key technique the exquisite corpse. We designate a façade to each to create a variant of a doppelganger “an evil twin”.
Jude’s façade will create a doppelganger using the original elements of the Iveria and their changing states in a creation of a doppelganger of itself.
Maria’s façade will create a doppelganger using traditional Georgian architectural elements in a creation of a copy of the Iveria as its future self.