Dom Sylvester Houédard
Morphosis, Artspark Performing Arts Pavilion, (1992)
"The challenge in the Los Angeles Artspark Performing Arts Pavilion competition was to formulate a methodology for placing a dense cluster of cultural facilities in a peripheral, suburban area of Los Angeles, as opposed to the typical integration into the urban core. Our proposal for the performing arts pavilion focused on setting man-made objects in a suburban park. The site is one of the last large regional park facilities in the area. We believed that a subterranean solution was critical for achieving contextual compatibility and questioning how one perceives buildings that house the arts.
Articulated elements of the structure are visible to passersby, and thus invite further exploration. Because the power of the arts is subliminal — it is about what happens inside the place that houses them and what occurs at a deeper, even hidden level — the elements are treated as sculptural, kinetic pieces emerging from the earth to begin to reveal what lies below. Buildings set within this two-hundred-acre park become functional sculptures embodying the overall concept of the Artspark.
The orthogonal order of the building complex directly relates to that of the surrounding suburbs. The x-y axis generated from their Jeffersonian grid extends into the park as an organizational device for pedestrian access, vehicular passage, and parking. With the majority of the main proscenium theater underground, we could consider the entire site as a field punctuated by solids and voids. The public section of the complex reveals itself as a procession. We conceived of the landscape as an overlay that would extend the character, but not the form, of the architecture, throughout the remainder of the site. This allowed us to design objects small enough to blur the boundaries between landscape and architecture.
A tower and the roof of the larger theater protrude above ground as transitional objects in the park. A public outdoor “room” carved out of the slope acts as a human-scale intermediary before the entry into a subterranean foyer that services two theaters. As part of the earth, the theater complex has historical roots in Delphi. The foyer connects an eighteen-hundred-seat proscenium theater with a five-hundred-seat, multiuse black-box theater. It extends to the backstage and performance support areas, providing public access to the inner workings of the theater. This unmasking charges the design with a psychological energy to challenge the status quo.
Coop Himmelbau collaborated with us on this project. They balanced our carved-out, below-grade complex with a sweeping arc cutting diagonally across the top and creating a dialogue between ground and sky. Their calculated intervention, a sky-walk, provides an overflow foyer and atrium for public events. Views from this structure reveal both the separation and the connection between the order of the park and that of the suburbs at its periphery.”
Some of my unit-mate (and former deskmate) Chris’ work from last year. Check his tumblr (below) for his current thesis work.
Kunstakademiets Arkitektskole, Afd. 2
An orchestrated promenade, akin to a seaside pier, passes through blurred boundaries, crosses abrupt climatic thresholds, climbs to all levels, offers broad orientation and reveals unusual visual connections. It not only curates the atmospheric landscape but offers a valid infrastructural route, connecting into Berlinʼs existing transport network.
It is the sequential exploration of various climatic types that offers the most heightened experience of atmospheric qualities and encourages bizarre and unfamiliar relationships to occur.