Achieving A Timeless Architecture of Light
Specks — specks all over the third panel, see? — No, that one — the second one up from the floor and I wanted to point this out to someone yesterday but a photo shoot intervened and Yaki Nakamari or whatever the hell the designer’s name is — a master craftsman not — mistook me for someone else so I couldn’t register the complaint, but, gentlemen — and ladies — there they are: specks, annoying, tiny specks, and they don’t look accidental but like they were somehow done by a machine — so I don’t want a lot of description, just the story, streamlined, no frills, the lowdown: who, what, where, when and don’t leave out why, though I’m getting the distinct impression by the looks on your sorry faces that why won’t get answered — Now, come on, goddamnit, what’s the story?
[Lunar Park, 2006 – Bret Easton Ellis]
Who influences you graphically?
This is a good question. Moreover, a very difficult one. Thinking back on our last project, we do have all of course different graphical images which are somehow stuck in our heads, but in the discussion we focus more and more on classical art, Piranesi, old books, the abstraction and precision of ancient temples, Japanese shrines and Japanese jewelry shrines, which we also started to collect since 2010. In general, you could describe our graphical fascination in the creative and abstract reduction of metaphysical systems. Systems, signs and symbols, which structure daily life. We think for our group, we like to think different somehow. Maybe in similar images, or we have similar influences, but that does not matter, or it does. Because in the end, when we end up doing a project together, we talk about our daily influences and we talk about things that matter, to understand the evolving character beside us – and of course to learn from each other. Therefore, we get new inspirations, new influences almost on daily basis. But of course there are always constant lines, which lead us through our architectural thinking. We always think with references in our mind, the challenge of each reference is to understand it. This is an everyday challenge. So we cannot say that we like one style of references, it changes. However, it is not limited.
Therefore, our fascinations and imagination constantly changes, while we always are fascinated by signs and symbols. Almost all of our communication is based on signs, signals and symbols, which not only structure most of our aspects of our daily architectural routine but are also most often carriers of metaphysical systems. Driving a car for example is only possible, because of rules. Rules and regulating effects of traffic signals, signs and again symbols, like for example the stop sign. Without those symbols and allegories, driving a car would be a most likely a deadly experience. Those symbols can be described as a mystic interpretation of a penetration of mind. To express something abstract, we need to use symbols and allegories. A house form stands for home „Uncle Sam“ stands for America. An arch will always be abstract. Just like a dam or a road. They all imply a single function in a perfection of simplicity and abstraction.
What is the reason behind the use of monochromatic images? What is the result in terms of atmospheres of the spaces created?
The process of creating and working in monochromatic images is for us a transition from an only pragmatic approach to a more creative and more imaginative process of thinking. With using only one form of colour, one form of material, we are forced to concentrate on the core and the purity of architecture. When we design, we have a very strong picture of space and how it will be organized. We then look for a balance of proportion, light, scale and geometry. The aim is always to create simplicity in an artefact, which is reduced to an object, which of course requires a lot of patience and effort. Using monochromatic images in this sense, forces us to discipline and focus on one main theme.
An architectural representation should focus on the architecture; transport the feeling and the idea of the project. Our architectural vision is defined through the precise visualization of a certain image. An image should focus on the product: Architecture. Everything else can be a distraction. We want to show timelessness through a focus on architecture itself. In this way, we don’t try to be modern or en vogue, we rather are now. In the end, every image we create is just a process. A presentation of a momentum. It is not the final stage. The final stage is and will be built-architecture. The moment, when you would walk through the object and discover it. In addition, this image would change every day, through the flow of the people crossing it during the day.
You play very precisely with light, how is this tool used as a means to explore the architecture and capture specific moments and features?
We think of our architecture as a natural architecture, not primarily in any biomorphic or mimetic sense, but more as an architecture. That evolves in a constant dialogue. When we work together. Creating architecture in this sense could be only possible with the use and control of natural light.
You juxtapose the varying elements through the use of dark and very bright light, how does this emphasize and/or hide certain parts of the image?
In the beginning of every project, we are looking to solve the project in an abstract way – aside of place, time and light. Later after our solution, we involve time space and the light. – This changes everything!Out of the pure radical idea or thesis we developed before, we must develop a project which outgrows itself. In this process, the light is essential! How can we develop spaces, sequences of rooms, thresholds, situations, all of this benevolence? It demands yourself to think further.
Without light, everything is plain and white.
Most of the time the glow appears as exterior natural light, does this play a significant role?
We think it is just natural that we want to create a visual connection between the inside and the outside. For us light plays the main role in creating architecture. Light is and should always be a material to think with. Basically all our life is growing around the light, similar to water. That is why architecture is about light. So yes, it is important that our projects are playing with the exterior light. They are demanding for different solutions, while maintaining and focusing on the light.
Kollektiv A represents the cooperation and our way to create a shared passion: Architecture. They met for the first time 2008 in Munich know and formed a common desire to make architecture. A collective is made up of the following peeople: Benedict Esche, Lionel Esche, Lena Kwasow, Jonas Altmann, Blazej Peter Trybala, Dao Thai Hung, Aron Udjbinac.