Waterscape_Where Blank Space Becomes the Modern Golden Frame

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Perspective View, Plan, Section, Students

Waterscape_Where Blank Space Becomes the Modern Golden Frame  

Piotr Lange


This master thesis project, located in the newly developed Stockholm Royal Seaport, is a proposal of a new way of approaching the water in the city. Contrary to the common usage of water as an element of infrastructure, I propose to include it into what Leon Krier calls “res publica” – the common thing, meaning the public realm of institutions, welfare and leisure. All around the world investors are very efficient with using water for their economic needs, by creating floating housing, barges with bars and restaurant. I believe that city should be also an active player in using the waterscape for the needs of its inhabitants. This is especially important in the situation of ever increasing city debt. The possibilities of creating architecture without the need for owning a lot of land, and without all the problems accompanying, such as taxation, and the costs of buying or renting land. This is also a different approach to building, where the structure with it functions are not assigned to one place, but can answer dynamically to changing conditions. Moreover, the costs can be shared between different stakeholders. Even the process of creating a building can be outsourced to diminish both the costs and the noice that usually accompanies construction sites. After all, we can stop thinking of buildings as something constant and fixed to one place. Currently the estimated lifetime of a newly constructed building is just 20 years. Why not move them instead of destroying and building anew? Using the waterscape can be a solution for cities struggling with low saturation of public functions and high inhabitant density. It can be a chance of creating public spaces where otherwise the financial costs would be too high.



Who influences you graphically?

I believe that the graphics and the ideas that are expressed through it are mutually intertwined so closely that it will make no sense to talk about any of them separately. For this particular project I was inspired by the architecture of Aldo Rossi. This obviously implied particular methods of expressing the idea. Therefore the scope of direct inspirations ranged from renaissance paintings of  ideal cities to Hockney’s swimming pool. Indirectly I have been (and still am) under great influence of Fala, Viar Estudio and OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen, works of which were one on the main impulses to move away from photorealism. Once again, as those things are inseparable, they inspire me architecturally as well.


What is the effect and purpose of the white frame?

In modern days, as I believe, free space is a luxury. Not to talk just about space in our appartements or our cities. We are being bombarded from every side by commercial images, paid by the area they take. Therefore, not filling the whole available (and paid) area becomes a luxury, that not everyone can afford.  Blank space becomes the modern golden frame. It not only does increase symbolic value of the image itself, but also establishes an another sort of relationship with the recipient, more focused as I believe.


Recently there has been an a growth in the appropriation of figures from Vettriano to Hockneys paintings, why so? What is the reason of using these silhouettes within your images? 

Most of the stock images available on the internet represent unspecified fun through themselves. Websites such as Skalgubbar lead to unification of figures on the views. Search for different message seems to be a natural counteraction to those. Melancholy takes place of the previous fun. One can even say that it becomes more realistic, more down to earth and closer to the images we see every day on our streets. In a way oil-painted silhouettes can be more realistic than photos

For me personally using silhouettes cut from paintings has the added value of being able not to only manipulate the mood of the perspective, but also to establish connection with the rich deposits of symbols and references created through centuries. For an observer that is a chance to draw a connection between image and the source material, adding new meanings during the reading.


What dictated the way you chose to frame each image? Are there any specific parameters? 

This particular images were created with the expected output on a small format, in a form of a horizontal booklet.  This created tension between the limitations and the need for every picture to be cropped in the most suitable way, that would fully express the idea. Creating images freely and putting them into a very restricting setting results in an unexpected outcome. I find this effect very appealing, as it gives a tiny element of chaos to what otherwise would be too orderly.



Piotr studied and worked both in Poland and Belgium, where he is involved in a broad range of different activities, starting from furniture design to big scale architectural proposals.


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