DATE: 2010

“Once the dwindling form/imprint/gesture has been rendered impotent/invisible, the proposition has/will have some chance to become dazzling.” Daniel Buren
The Festival of Ideas for the New City will be hosted in something that positions itself within itself. This self-reflexive situation presents us with an opportunity to look inward on an architectural typology while also actively participating in the discussion of the New City.

This is about New City = Neutral Primitives.

This is where an economy and simplicity in the resolution of form and materials creates a habitat for cultural engagement, one that consciously steers away from gratuitous formal manipulations and complexity and speaks to the times.

We choose stripes as a neutral from which thousands unfold. Similarly, we choose pyramids and cubes as neutral forms. Pattern and form reflect the urban fabric, they give us something we can identify with, bite into. Yet the successive repetitions in both form and pattern allow the festival site to disappear in its own multiple being. We take the stance that the Festival should, as Daniel Buren suggests, “have some chance to become dazzling.”

It remains a loose field of possibilities that open rather than close a discussion of what could be. In doing so the Festival is hosted in a proposition that embraces possibility through minimal design decisions. A stretched continuous moment of architectural static becomes the encounter of the New City.

This environment is independently immersive, yet connected as a progenitor to its urban context. By eroding what can sometimes be an opaque threshold between the cultural institution and the public, we foster social and dynamic exchange and thereby dispell the myths and mystique of form and encourage broad and diverse participation.

This project was a collaboration with Jenny Myers.