The Architecture Foundation recently announced that they’ve called off plans for construction of a permanent London address. Program development will continue, but due to the current economic slump, their new Zaha Hadid-designed home was scrapped — and Life Without Buildings couldn’t be happier. Nothing against the AF or Ms. Hadid, but the aggressive design left us wanting, and paled in comparison to the sexy simplicity of Lacaton Vassal’s proposal.
Yes, it’s another Giant Woman Friday.
To get started, I’ll let the architects introduce the project:
The building is at home, almost ordinary, on its site: transparent, open, evolutive, undemonstrative. Inside, a statue twenty times bigger than life-size occupies the entire volume. It creates a second, unexpected architecture that is out of sync with its context, which detourns and transforms normality and creates the exceptional, as called for in the program.
Why so much love for this proposal (besides the obvs)? Well, by presenting the human body at an unfamiliar scale their giant woman creates an awareness of how our bodies occupy space — how anything occupies space, really. This concept seems to be missing from a lot of architecture. It’s not necessarily about the building — a simple, almost miesian glass shell — it’s about what it contains. And I like to think that the statue comes across as a bit of a wink at Corbu’s Modulor. Love it. There’s actually humor here! Humor in architecture! My god what would the Modernists think? What would almost any contemporary architect (excluding Will Alsop, FAT, and too few others) think ?
Pretty great section, eh? And now some closing words from Lacaton Vassal, who inspire hope for the future of the industry.
Contemporary architecture acquires meaning in its ability to blend realism and the imaginary , to transform the ordinary, to generously permit of different usage, to create the unexpected.>
· The Architecture Foundation
· James and the Peach Giant [Life Without Buildings]
· New Uses for Ceramics [Life Without Buildings]
· New to Me: Lacaton Vassal [Life Without Bulidings]
[images via the excellent 2G book on Lacaton Vassal]