Evan Jon Wiskup
From Subjectivity to Objectivity
The crisis in the discourse surrounding monolithic architecture is within the subjective nature of its very own defining characteristics. Since its first inception by Rudolfo Machado and Rodolphe el-Khoury in 1995, monolithic architecture was established as a set of contradictory forces and paradoxical relationships. This essay posits the possibility that the defining variables of monolithicity can be clarified through an objective set of relationships rather than subjective opinion. In doing so, a case for the parametricization of monolithicity will be made through a close reading of Wang Shu's Ningbo History Museum.
Before his well-known Ningbo History Museum, the Pritzker Prize winning architect designed a wide range of projects. Most of Shu's other work can be described as an interrogation of a part-to-whole relationship. Wang Shu's interest in the part-to-whole manifests itself into two distinguishable, and separate forms in his early projects: 1) through either an aggregative wall tectonic or 2) through the stacking or piling of larger building volumetric components. In either case, whether it is through the planar stacking of dissimilar planar materials or through the composition of masses, a set of ambiguities are created through the blurring of the distinction between the parts and the whole. These ambiguities are what give Shu's work 'monolithic-like' qualities.
Advanced Design Studio: Eisenman
Our project analyzes homogeneous and heterogeneous, virtual and actual contexts of Rome in the space between Termini and the Baths of Diocletian to create heterogeneous space which is indexical of the urban condition.
This project aspires to re-engage Coney Island to its historical roots. Once a place to go to lose oneself, to blend and meld into the public realm in excess and grandeur, Coney Island has lost its identity as a place of escape from the traditional public/private dialectical condition of Manhattanism. This project proposes a megastructure consisting of 60' square microtowers that lift the amusement region off the ground while simultaneously protecting existing assets. By breaking the towers into smaller units and through a variegated stratified structure, new urban relationships form with both the existing ground plane and in the new lifted public realm. Typifying the spirit of Coney Island is the coloring that is used to act as a wayfinding device.