Coral Floral Corporal

Project Description

We begin with the creation of coral structures through continuous surfaces that folded back on themselves. These become monolithic figural forms that are then carve along straight lines. The cut frames the building within the site. Like a window frame, the building captures a single moment in a landscape or a cut object form. Rather than a discreetly bound form, the cut suggesting an infinite continuation of the object. The interior is carved with boxes to create occupiable space as well as to provide a regular geometry to read against expressive form.

Our surface treatment for the coral structures is inspired by Otto Wagner’s floral motifs and his treatment of ornament as continuous surface patterns, uninterrupted by architectural elements. As opposed to the classical model of ornament, which embellishes structural elements, Wagner treats walls as textiles. We introduce Wagner’s vertical landscape to our reinterpretation of the secessionist building as the ornamental system.
Our final system is a membrane structure that lives within the body of the cut mass. These flexible gallery spaces expand and contract to accommodate changing exhibits. Conceived as a singular entity that procreates through cell division, these spaces suggest a literal corporality – the inhabitation of the body itself as opposed to the classical notion of scale and proportion in relation to the body.