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This Side Up

Exploring the realtionship between architecture and “shape” as the main driving factor, through an Arts Library and Gallery in Sao Paolo, Brazil. An initial flat shape would develop into a dimensional building.


This studio is guided by three words –shape, orientation, ground- and attempts to explore the qualities of their “commodities” – as Bob Somol would say- in architecture today. In a world where architectural success is based on complexity, this project dwells on simpler times when architecture didn’t hurt. The project is based in Sao Paolo, Brazil and proposes a new Museum of Art over the current one by Lina Bo Bardi. The layering of these two ideals regarding the ground produce s a reactions that defines the areas new ground politics. The project is based on shape’s graphic qualities; it performs because of its “defective” conditions: crude explicit, fast, material. The mirror symmetry of the project makes us of shape’s qualities to create a visual tension that is intersected with a ground plane creating an awkward situation that provokes a new awareness. This focus on the new ground plane determines a hierarchy of elements, which super positions the new ground plane over the city ground. The implications of this action result in public attraction by generating a visual desire to see through and into the project. The ground is then folded into the Z plane to become the main façade and performs the dual role of connector and curator within the project. The vertical continuation of the ground is then pierced to emphasize a sense of curiosity towards the inner aspects of the volume introducing a theatrical effect between spectator and performer. These openings are projected into the ground to bind the volume as one and create continuity within the vertical and horizontal grounds. The consequence of this act produces a relationship between the architectural project and the spectator. The deed of trying to peek into and past the vertical barrier physicalizes the “creative act”. It unravels a series of interpretations that encompasses the process of the creative act, and so architecture is allowed to be –once again- part of the realm of art. Allowing shape into the field of architectural design conspires to cool down the discipline by simply existing; with shape, you never have to say you’re sorry.

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