Saturday, September 09, 2006

Building Program :: Brodsky and Utkin

Image from Whitman-Zen

I swear I’m never going to speak damningly of anyone ever ever again. I have just discovered that an individual I have in the past dismissed as possibly the most boring man in the world and certainly the most boring person in NZ,* has displayed unsuspected vision and imagination. In 1992 (1992!!), he exhibited the works of Russian architects Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin. The very architects that I am currently considering employing as adjuncts to my family architect, Herr Steingruber! (And if he doesn’t get a wriggle on -– he is already three months late with his initial floorplans after all! – I’ll simply replace him with them). These two are no slouches; they have produced piles and piles of fanatically detailed but never constructed plans, elevations and perspectival views of various utilitarian and monumental architectural projects. Not to mention rooms full of sculptures and scale models.

But it is their aesthetic that really speaks to my display, storage and domestic requirements for the permanent Museum of Dust. They magpie bits from Egyptian tombs, Ledoux’s visionary architecture, Le Corbusier’s utopian/brutal cities, Bentham and Piranesi just to name the most obvious sources. And they think of everything! Consider, for example, the two projects below.

The Island of Stability

This image, in enchanting detail, presents possibilities worthy of consideration for MoD’s Back Garden… An open-sky museum of stone sculptures converging on the eponymous ‘island of stability.’

Villa Claustrophobia, 1985-90, from Projects 1981-1990

Villa Claustrophobia was created for "A Space with an Atrium," a competition organized by Japan Architect. The residents of B&U’s villa occupy a cylinder of tightly packed windowless apartments (also referred to as cells, or wards). A funnel-shaped 2-way mirrored-glass atrium provides the only view out. The mirrored windows provide a view to the sky only, isolate the residents from their neighbors by preventing a view into other living spaces, and support undetected surveillance of persons in the common space of the atrium.

Whilst I stumbled across B&U through Whitman-Zen's photostream, The Nonist of course got there first…and has more pictures >>
Pruned also covered it natch >>

First to find B&U or not, it got me thinking… why IS it that the Russians have such a strong tradition of Utopian, visionary and just plain un-buildable architecture? So I went out looking for answers… and found a world of evidence to support my contention... although few answers to my question that didn’t involve vodka. In industrial quantities.

Russian Utopia -- a Depository : Museum of Paper Architecture >>
“The Russian Utopia is represented by a compact depository of 480 architectural projects from the last 300 years of the Russian history that have never been carried out. They constitute but a fraction of the pool of ideas with a claim on the architectural reorganization of engsia - a collective Russian dream.

Each of these ideas was in its time directed into the future, near or distant - a time which, as of today, has already passed or is still to pass, and has survived as its authors dream.”
The projects are stored and displayed in a bank of blue filing cabinets, and includes a room of animated digital reconstructions of key works. It has been exhibited everywhere from the Venice Biennale 1996 to St Petersburg Russian State Museum in 2000.

*Okay it IS possible that I was exaggerating slightly due to the teeniest possible little feelings of competitive rivalry.


Anonymous Viagra Online said...

many new concepts come to my mind, but the more enigmatic of these designs is the Villa Claustrophobia, it's a little bit bizarre.

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