The Sphere and the Labyrinth

Its interesting being given a building type and thinking of a concept or idea as a way to inform your design. Now in 5th year we are given the opportunity to develop our own brief and our own project following our own architectural investigation of any given building type.This in itself poses new and difficult challenges that push our understanding of what we consider architecture to be or what its limits are. The following is my 4th year manifesto and images when asked to consider the mixed use development of a parcel of land on the Gosford waterfront.


Using architectural language in ways that transgress and destroy traditional boundaries The Sphere and the Labyrinth is the juxtaposition of architectural types and collision of activities. The two structures are recognised as powerful clear forms of their divine world and exist in huge contrast to each other, yet at the same time hand in hand, provoking each all the time to new and more powerful figures in order to perpetuate for themselves the contest of opposites. The complexity of form offers deeper philosophical meaning and interpretation of the mixed-use program that can stimulate a more socially responsive society within a rich tapestry of life.
Just as reproduction depends upon opposed sexes, their continuing strife and only periodically occurring reconciliation, we can understand the bonds of duality through Nietzsche’s profound writings on Apollo versus Dionysus.
Ruling over beautiful appearance Apollo, represented by the Sphere, is associated with higher truth, perfection and the divine – the image of Apollo, calm and wise, he must be viewed within the boundary of moderation as not to deceive us our crude reality.
It is through intoxication, of which all people speak, or the powerful awakening of spring, which derives joy within all nature, that Dionysian excitement arises. The complex nature of the Dionysian can be found in the dynamic spaces of contemplation, deep within the Labyrinth, always changing and never stagnant. Above all this is a place of emotions that are experienced in their entirety, a structure for mental organisation and creative luminations, wanderings and errors, open and closed, of solitude and inclusion.
The liberating act of walking the Labyrinth in order to experience it is associated with the unexpected activities, distractions and sequences of events as explored by Walter Benjamin through his notion of the flâneur, here the Dionysian spaces develop significant understanding of the complex nature of society. Further the plurality of moments celebrates a projected importance onto society, exploring combinations of social activities and events that are the radical antithesis of modernist ideologies.

Notes from the Flâneur
An intoxication comes over the person who trudges through the streets for a long time and without goal. The going wins a growing power with every step. Ever narrower grow the seductions of the stores, the bistros, the smiling women; even more irresistible the magnetism of the next street-corner a distant mass foliage, a

Page 417   The Arcades Project   Walter Benjamin

No comments:

Post a Comment