Featured Student Project: Kleptomaniacalism by Ian Masters and Adam Ferrari
Architecture Student Portfolio
Kleptomaniacalism by Ian Masters and Adam Ferrari
Entitled “Kleptomaniacalism,” this project plagues Prora, an existing building in Northern Germany designed by Adolf Hitler himself. Although never fully completed, Hitler had planned to use this proposed three-mile long building as a supposed vacation destination to secretly brainwash German citizens into adopting his beliefs. Now on the historic preservation list, this building is crumbling apart and in desperate need of a new program and aesthetic to leave behind its troubled past. Our project attempts to completely redefine the space, and serve as a possible typology for managing unsettling architecture.
Kleptomaniacalism experiments with the layered reconfiguration of subsequent grids produced by the original Prora facade, as an opportunity to create a more dynamic correlation between building and landscape, conducive to individual user experience. Such grids can otherwise be considered ‘twins’ that are “the product of simple kleptomaniacal [and whimsical] acts, which employ an obvious inversion to distract from true initial action.”1 In the context of this project, an ‘evil twin’ is constituted through the rotation, resizing, mirroring, and multiplication of Prora’s generic framework, to enhance human interaction in the site by promoting alternative methods of circulation and by producing a unified environment. The projected application works as a surgical road map to begin defining, and ultimately shift and remove volumes from the base form of Prora.
The ‘whimsical twin’ grids — projected from North to South, East to West, and front to back — cast grids upon the landscape and inside and outside the building that, not only visually blend the natural and built environments, but also begin to create an extensive typography of way-finding systems and sculpted interior spaces. Whereas blue ribbons cater to tiered and fast-paced movements, purple and red ribbons encourage more leisurely and exploratory movements around the site. The evil twin re-enters the design through the flat reading of the building’s elevations, an allusion to Prora’s original facade, similar to the intention of Instagramism: distorting the familiar by flattening the “image.”
Byrony Roberts states that typological cannibalism is the “increased spatial engagement through volumetric interlocking of new and existing architecture,” which creates a rivalry between parts that ultimately develops a more invested urban composite.2 Our project strives to overcome the flatness of ‘facadism’ and develop a logic that interlocks a variety of similar spaces, both internal to internal and internal to external. In addition, Roberts would agree that our project opposes postmodernism because the projections and subsequent obscure spaces and perspectives they create promote experiential qualities of communicating design.
The concurrence of the built and natural environments are best exemplified in our interpretation of a park: a neutral agora populated with objects that create a myriad of opportunities to interact with the building and landscape, as interpreted by the individual user. Although the objects are designed to the specifications of common park typologies, they are deliberately designed with enough looseness to be interpreted beyond their assumed purpose. The labyrinthian design of the landscape reclaiming the building creates maze-like experiential spaces without a designated beginning and end, that truly promotes a freedom-of-use/find-your-way formal strategy. The architect does not dictate the final perception or performance of the space; instead the designer simply provides the vehicle for user experience.
1 Garcia, Debbie. “The Evil Twin.” Offramp. SCI-Arc, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
2 Roberts, Bryony. “Why There’s No Postmodernism 2.” Anyone. Anyone Corporation. Print.
Name: Ian Masters and Adam Ferrari
Instagram: @shoobie_snacks/a> and @imm.arch/a>
Project name: Kleptomaniacalism
University: Syracuse University School of Architecture (@syr_arch/a>)
Course and Year: Visiting Critic Studio, Spring 2017
Tutor: Maya Alam (@exquisite_corpse_arch_syr/a>)