Daniel Peter Jacobs
Because of Houston’s tactics of territorial annexation and leap frogging developments, the outer loop is a patchwork of linear gaps and interstices, empty spaces between places, excluded as other and outer. These spaces functions as buffer zones between suburban enclaves, belonging to neither and therefore maintained by no one; ownership is both contested and blurred. We are proposing the archetype of the wall as a typological solution for these linear domains and a space in which to restructure the project of domestic inhabitation. Opposed to the autonomous unit of the home, the linear archetype is instead a homogenous bar with an open and negotiable interior, countering the paradigm of partition and subdivision within domestic space.
The inhabited wall becomes a cabinet for the body, containing in its poche the spaces for reproduction and thus freeing the space of the dwelling for living and working. The necessary infrastructure for living–bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, storage–are embedded within wall niches and alcoves in measured intervals. By compressing all of the functions of living into the wall, the resultant spaces are allowed to be empty, freed from domestic infrastructural requirements, clearing space for the self-employed, the freelancer, the entrepreneur. We are reclaiming the generic character of the home and reorganizing it into a highly specific cabinet of living and labor, which introduces the body as a centerpiece for a restructuring of domestic space.
The post-industrial prairie-scape between the Farmington Canal and the New Haven reservoir provides a fertile landscape of oppositions for proposing a new live/work paradigm. The programming of the site evolved from a small-scale community foundry to an agricultural landscape of Amaranth, producing the pink-red dyes for use in an associated fabric dyeing facility. Inhabitants of this world operate along the lines of the crop rows bracketed by monolithic walls - hung with drying fabrics and replete with deep red soaking pools – concealing concrete, cubic, perforated, shells which contain private dwellings and public spaces within. This series of thresholds involves the spectator (the cyclist on the path, the driver on the bridge, or the passing pedestrian) in these layers of public and private life/space and allow for a glimpse into the metronome of the working residents. The primary public gathering space is located far from the urban paths, comprised of a threshing floor where the heaps of Amaranth are gathered and a covered space where the plant is processed with water from the reservoir. Adjacent to the covered space, and within the raised pine forest, a path leads to an isolated descent down a staircase culminating in a landing with two large rooms, providing the working residents with access to the reservoir.
4 Walls 5 Zones 10 Thresholds
The Storefront for Art and Architecture by Steven Holl and Vito Acconci exposed New York City to a new threshold. Are they doors? Are they windows? Private space not only captured the sidewalk, but it disrupted its pedestrians. In such spaces, new potential human contact and interaction can occur. This exhibition seeks to make one room into many, to intertwine spaces that unfold perspectives and reveal new discoveries. While the Storefront achieves multiplying readings through moving apertures, the thresholds in this exhibition are static planes. It achieves the same multiplicity through precise aperture dimension and control. Material differences as well as exhibition media allow for a constantly changing environment in all dimensions.