dialogue #25

The problem of duration: Archeology of everything

We could make a conceptual remark, arguing that all is built on top of a previous state of space- whether it be the cityscape or a landscape. If we adopt this notion of relative newness, where context is always a given, obligatory attribute, all frustration of duration, structure and solidity of an object of architecture disappears. While remembering the book by Marshall Berman All That Is Solid Melts into Air, we become aware that sooner or later what is considered new is soon to become the former, the context itself.  Now it seems that, voluntary or not, all (built) architecture always reflects the context. Because the act of building imprints the context from which this architecture originates. Therefore, in the scale of the city, the context is a given attribute, and the notion of before/after becomes irrelevant. The only true duration that remains important is the half-life of nuclear waste that measures in different scale of time altogether.

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Thoughts on site

I am in Taipei at the moment and visited the building site of the Taipei Performing Art Centre, a design made by OMA and building started around five years ago. According to my brief research the design is of course much older than that and they have had massive problems with the construction and the whole project is behind planning but they are optimistic and aiming for a opening on the 4th of February 2019.

In the pictures that I included you can see the current state of the building (2 and 3) but more interesting are the renderings and suggestions of the projects in the images (1 – 6). They show signs of time as they have become faded images. Faded dreams and suggestions of a future to come. Weather and time have played there role on them and what remains is nothing more than form as you can see in image 5… two squares and a circle. This leads me to thoughts about duration; what is the meaning of duration in architecture and in building?

In performance I can say that duration is a important element… the duration of a piece but also the duration of the gaze, the action or just simply the walk around the space. And how do you implement the thought of the contemporary in a project and how can it overcome the sign of the time. When building and design is such a slow process?

  • Author: Ravian van den Hil
    In: dialogue #25

  • Keywords: duration, round II

  • Medium: Photography

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