White Out

The proposal asserts its presence by formally negating its figure. By voiding its image, it foregrounds its background: Helsinki.
 

Guggenheim View 3_VF_02
 

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The proposal consists of a cobblestone plinth and a white fabric object. While the plinth negotiates all ground requirements, the white object mediates the context in which the art is shown. The building takes its cue from the harbor it has settled in. It is both urban and maritime.
 

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THE WHITE OBJECT
The removal of the subject/figure reinforces the environment. Anything placed in front of the white object becomes the focus of attention. The building is an abstract representation, an exacerbation of the white box, an undetermined shape or event, a John Baldessari cutout, a white-out. The white object is simultaneously iconic and subtle; it is explicitly present, yet yielding to its surroundings. The missing figure forms a strong presence through its absence. What initially seems like a non-descript form reveals itself as a finely tuned performative surface. Through its use of PTFE white fabric, the envelope acts as a light diffuser to the interior galleries. The structure enables large, flexible, column free spaces. Deep floors and ceilings allow for all mechanical infrastructure. The top floor is a series of vierendeel trusses from which hangs possibly the largest single solid cross laminated Finnish timber plane. The wood plane is suspended by very slim carbon fibre cables forming the floor of the suspended gallery and the ceiling of the invisible gallery.
 
The building recognizes lightness as one of the most overlooked approaches to architectural sustainability. The weight of a building is directly related to its carbon footprint. During construction, and possible demolition, lightness will dramatically reduce carbon emissions associated with the amount of manufactured material as well as from moving and installing building material. Because of its pervasive use of fabric, and Phase Change Material for insulation, the proposed building is significantly lighter than one using traditional materials.
 

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“The Thing” is a black box where architecture is turned into a black void. Any object that is placed with this field is precisely illuminated without excess light fall-off. Objects are detected by infrared (IR) beams and illuminated according to their presence and location.
 

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The invisible gallery space is encapsulated in white fabric. Rounded corners generate a type of visual ground zero, a white-out. Here, the ubiquitous white gallery wall typically used for the display of art has become the space itself. The hovering uninterrupted timber plane, the museum goers, and the art itself gain equal conceptual focus…
 

Exploded Axo_isolated
 

Carol Moukheiber, Christos Marcopoulos. Team: John Natanek