Sunday, September 30, 2007

CHAC. Tulum Museum. Arquine Competition

CHAC Ornamentation and structure of cities were principles tightly connected to the Mayan understanding of the universe and celestial movement. Through ornament and urban planning the Maya could express ideas and visually construct their spiritual beliefs. The Mayan point of view was that the ancestors, spirits and deities not only resided in the Upperworld and the Underworld, but also shared the Middleworld or Earth.This concept already proposes an architectural sectional idea. In the Middleworld, supernatural beings claimed extraordinary geological features of the natural landscape as their special precincts and magnetized architectural structures that humans constructed for ritual purposes. An investigation of the classic Mayan section, the arch produce a new spatial continuity. This project is an exploration of ornament in the Mayan culture. These conditions of ornament operate at different scales from the exterior landscape to the interior condition.This project will deepen into the subject of skin which is very simple; it is an architectural device whose architectural affects come from its microsection in this case the mural ornament. And a surface which is an architectural device whose architectural affects come from the fact that it erases a tectonic history of the discrete elements of the wall, network or landscape. It has a topological capacity. The Mayan ornament condition is reversed using digital media; creating a unifying system of structure and skin. The basic project goal is to transform the ornament into structure. The focus is to develop techniques and affects and to reevaluate these conditions using the deity Chac as the motivator. This particular deity appeares in most Mayan structures including Tulum. Chac is represented on the mural paintings at the Temple of the Frescoes. Chac becomes the figure which is reinterpreted in different formats 2D and 3D as used in Mayan constructions as exterior stone ornament represented as the “hook” and appears in mural paintings, generally in red chroma. The proposed museum has different sides; The longitudinal side is the extension and dematerilization of the Tulum wall acting as a framing device where the building appears to be contained; inspiring its affect from the classic organization of the Mayan Façade. The surface of the approaching and entering side acts as a landscape occupying the top of the building. Finally, the remaining corner acts as pure ornament similar to how most Mayan structures use Chac as part of this condition. The stasis of the formal object is challenged by the connection between technique and materiality. The transformation of contemporary conditions is derived by exploiting contemporary digital techniques and the potential to create new affects.
Design team:
Gabriel Esquivel
Cody Davis
Rich Buchsieb

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Arquimedes Tower. Polanco, Mexico City

Gabriel Esquivel. Collaborator: Chiharu Sato It is a 22 story tower located in one of the most prominent corners in Mexico City. The idea started as a study of Baroque painting and sculpture in terms of movement and effect of defying gravity. The idea was to explore form and motion as the most important focus of the project. Atmospheres were derived by looking carefully at the emotions, ornament and color within the paintings. In the Baroque one’s nature depends entirely on the forces and malleable, supple forms with which it folds, at every turn unique and unpredictable. Baroque interpretations see forms as made up of many smaller parts and being part of larger systems, always swarming as aspects rather than forms and infinitely multiple. Baroque entities exist within what Deleuze calls a pleat of matter. Leibniz emphasizes that through creating and existing within relations or pleats all form and thus all reality is purely perspectival. Neither form nor substance can be apprehended as a totality. ‘Each body has its degree of firmness and fluidity; it has its fluidity or divisibility of itself, but its firmness from the motion of bodies.’(1) This means that the plagued individuals are themselves constituted differently and as their forms are more and more effected by the otherworldly forms they are further extricated from the human world. In the Baroque, transformation occurs when the affective bodies which constitute the form of the individuals are constructed through limits and firmness found in other structures – other incarnations of matter, via otherworldly versions of form and through other, non-Euclidian physics. (2)
The project provocations were these particular Ruben’s paintings (Rubens the rape of the daughters of Leucippus, Elevation of the Cross). During the baroque; artists used movement of forms and figures toward the viewer, dramatic lighting effects, contrast between dark and light, ornamentation, and curved lines to express energy and strong emotions. This was the premise to understand the techniques to follow, the idea of complex surfaces with two systems interacting where one system is attached to the ground and another one seems to levitate, (see Bernini sculpture) two systems interact; the body and the draping fabric. The other inspiration was the photograph by Nick Knight, the effect is achieved by blurring two systems, producing and atmospheric effect.
1. McCormack Patricia. Lovecraft, Le Fanu and the Fold. Irish Jornal of Gothis and Horror Studies. 2. Ibid. The next idea was to begin to look at films and specifically look at body motion digital effects were the body contorts in unnatural ways and the clothing reaches effects of their own, producing a sublimation of movement similar to the Baroque. In the now classic film ”The Matrix” the way Neo moves avoiding the bullets in slow motion, body looses contact with gravity and coat free flows, similar effect in “Superman Returns” where the cape slightly moves as he levitates above the earth. The conditions are similar to the images of the Baroque, the condition of motion is what becomes the dictating force for the project, how do you produce the same effect in a building that stands within the city fabric. The architecturalization process becomes the most critical moment within the process, it is when architeural materiality and tectonics began to actuliaze the diagram into a the potential of a physical reality that could be constructed. Different studies trying to produce the sensation of weightlessness, slow motion, and experimentation with color and pattern to increase the effect. In terms of the production of affect and atmosphere I looked once again into baroque painting to determine the organizational systems that are part of the particular atmosphere of the painting. The idea for behind looking at these paintings by Rubens was to produce an interior atmosphere where there is a sensation of motion, complex systems surface interact with each other and the dominance of affect of opulence and the dominance of the color red to obtain this particular mood. The single, immobile viewpoint of the classical spectator is transformed into a dynamic process that changes as a result of its three-dimensional capacity to actively engage the spectator in spatial terms.
The architectural systems like the surface slabs begin to produce and effect of motion by thickening certain areas and the surfaces from the interior red volumes interact with the reflective surfaces from the structural curtain wall. The “red’ surface develops affordances that engage other surface systems. It is important to note, that the use of current technology in the creation of this new condition, is critically bound by the fact that the interfaces used to create it are distinctly different from the previous analogue modes; in that, the representation of the human is virtual, and is produced by means that are separate from humanity. The new mode is to reconcile this factor by the introduction of affect.
video video

Club ID. Columbus, Ohio

"Blue Invader"
The cocktail pavillion is part of a dance club that is housed inside of an old soap factory. The project was originally designed in 1992 and redesigned in 2007. The idea is faceted landscape where you adapt yourself to the surface and sit or stand. The material is fiberglass with a a steel structure frame. A great atmosphere to hangout and listen to music.

Vortex Housing. Columbus, Ohio.

Glass Pattern
Interior Corridors
Final Parametric Skin Pattern
Pattern Development. Petals
Analog Tecnique Model. Motion.
Design Team:
Kivi Sotamaa
Gabriel Esquivel
Cody Davis
Adam Tomski
Chiharu Sato
Clint Zehner
Client: CITY SPACE. JDS Companies. Columbus, Ohio
The Elegant Affect of the Evolved Object
Our task was to design a new type of housing development for Columbus Ohio: A fantastic, dense island of urbanity in the middle of an ocean of highways. Re-imagine the boutique hotel concept in housing: Small sexy apartments with opulent public spaces, a place where individual passion meets urban life. The project is 300+ unit apartment building. The average size of unit was about 650 sq feet. Smallest apartment was 400sq feet, the largest was 2000 sq feet. The apartments are one hand be based on repetitive principles and on the other hand cater for individual tastes. The public spaces include a bar/restaurant, gym, swimming pool, outside public areas. The site has three sides to it: to west Olentangy River, to south Olentangy Road and to east and north the exit ramp on highway 315. The Esquivel & Sotamaa team had to resolve and work on several design problems, whether structural or mechanical, affect of the exterior form or material distribution, in order to retain the architectural & sculptural qualities of the initial design. The development of exterior skins was a very important component of the design idea, which was to produce a pattern that could generate an effect of motion, the decision was made to use a Dupont product called "Expresions Glass", which is a product has image interlayers digitally printed in full-color using, high definition ink jet and PVB interlayer technology. The result is high-quality imagery and design textures in safety glass.
The other skin was made of perforated metal using laser to cut out the same pattern used for the glass to continue the effect. This metal skin was used in public spaces like parking garage, courtyards, sky lobby and corridors. The interior of the apartment units were developed in in terms of different atmosphers, effects, color, fixtures and surfaces.
The structural impact of the project is a critical component in the overall cost. While the design is very exciting it is also minimalist in terms of the aesthetic use of materials. The front cantilever projected towrds the street (46 feet) is quite dramatic and adds to the excitement of this project. This unique design will mean that a great deal of the cost will be driven by the structural solutions. While the project includes repetition that can translate to construction speed, the offsetting of floors and the cantilever will have to account for racking and flex, wind uplift among other structural challenges.

AZUL REY. Architecture Colors Life

The conference looked beyond functionality and program towards color and its power to produce moods and atmospheres. Think of architecture as a stage set or soundtrack that colors your experience of life the way it does a theater performance. The location was in Mexico, because the country is well-renown for its use of color in architecture, and was home to Luis Barragán - a surrealist architect who created dreamlike spaces using color, light and geometry. It is important to redefine the new aesthetic directions that living atmospheres could take once technology is completely absorbed within a living atmosphere. The most exciting new possibilities lie in the research of a younger, digital, generation, who is looking into the use of color as an integral ingredient of a topological surface, not an application or special effect. Greg Lynn was the first one to demonstrate the possibilities of coordinating the effects of color and pattern with those of form in his exhibition at the MAK 2003. The next generation of avant-garde embraced Lynn’s vision quickly. Hernan Diaz Alonso designed a shiny red and white installation of monstrous beauty for SF Moma, Kivi Sotamaa with Gabe Esquivel designed an apartment complex that uses flowing curving surfaces covered in a color patterns that reinforce the sensation of movement. Francois Roche designed a building that would be covered in dust from Bangkok air, Dave Erdman and his group Servo, Mark Gage, designed the gold atmosphere installation for PS1 and Ali Rahim, his incredible vision that incorporates a new sensibility into geometry.They all are interested in the affective powers of surfaces that deploy not only the powers of geometry, but also color. The conference was a meeting between the young international avant-garde and Mexican Architectural community. The intention is both to introduce the research and discourse to Mexico, and to learn and find inspiration from Mexico.