Soraya Hayatullah & Katarzyna Kacik
The main objective of the competition was to establish a proper response to the needs of communities living in Modra (Slovakia).
The project of Dolna Street’s development involves a transformation of an old rural axis to an alley to form an interesting touristic concept. The aim of the project is to create another, engaging city center near the fork of Dolna Street. Subsequently, new rearrangements of the functional zones create a linden alley leading to the nearby lake and provide for the inclusion of public use of the island separating the two lanes of the street. The planned square provides resting places for passers-by. Furthermore, the planned center is designed with tourist’s information, wineries offering local wine and workshop pavilions with locally handcrafted ceramics.
Signs leading to the new city center are disposed throughout the city creating an information system. Thereby, the previous city center would form the heart of the city only in a formal sense. The historic crafts would be recalled by the mosaic stretching along Dolna Street.
Inspired by colors of some local, handcrafted pottery we have placed some traditional elements on our graphics. The ceramic industry and majolica production influenced us with its passion for detail and meticulous craftsmanship to create images rich in themed trinkets.
Who influences you graphically?
In the past, we had no specified clear direction during the creation process, as a consequence designing was generally an operation of experiments. When trying to find consensus we often came across many influencing and talented people. This time was quite different, by the time we had learnt about this competition, we had already very defined ideas. Works of Filipe Magalhães, Ana Luisa Soares and Ahmed Belkhodja allowed us to perceive the graphic design of architecture graphic design from a different point of view. Planar image has its origins in ancient history and its undeniable strength derives from the possibility of arbitrary interpretation.
How important was it to embed the context of site through the graphic language?
To communicate with people’s perception, architects must learn how to find the common ground between the community they are referring to, the context of a place and the graphic language of which the main aim is to explain ideas. Even unconscious acknowledgment of symbolic forms used in a picture could fiercely alter viewer’s impression. Many artists are using in their works the same sort of ploy to introduce the observer to the right path of interpretation. Showing gloomy, obscure and grayish surroundings leads to sensation of sadness. Nonetheless, when the graphic focuses our eye on one dynamic and dominant object which is surrounded by fading, murky background, a viewer’s reaction is positive. Our job is to create the most visible connection between the new idea we are designing and possible improvement for the surroundings. This means that creating even sensible project without any respect for the context of site leads to misapprehension.
What is the effect and purpose of the white frame?
When you start your adventure in architecture or design school you are told to locate in your works a specific place, commonly named concentration point. Sometimes it is quite time-consuming, because it is also undeniably arduous to create whole graphic at the same level of intensity. On the other hand, Mother Nature creates everything in mathematical law of Golden Section which is far from equality and symmetry. White frame focuses vision on graphic and forms the best background. There is nothing purer than white canvas.
There is also another purpose of the white frame; it allows the viewer to see the common denominator between all of the pictures.
What dictated the views through which you reveal the proposal, were there any parameters you respected?
In this competition the most important part was to create a new working model of a city center. After careful analysis we have noticed distinctly identifiable pattern. And that is, there was no urban life in the most beautiful areas in the town, such as the lake, linden alley or vineyards. The ageing population was actually engaged in social life in some circles, but younger generation didn’t see the potential in their own tradition. In order to show the potential of the place we have created few possible scenes from the town life in various configurations. Charming areas, local tradition and people presented on graphics aim to gain respect for already existing sites.
How do the generic silhouettes inform the image?
We used outlined human figure in an attempt to emphasize the proportions of the surrounding area. However, we applied delicate texture shaped in human forms to avoid their domination over other elements of the graphics. This approach allowed gentle transition from the figures to the rest of the scene.
How was texture used? To communicate what? atmosphere vs materiality?
In graphics we used different types and shades of textures, but all of them were inseparably connected to colors and characteristics of Modra city. We created new collages of real town shown in our graphic language. Every single texture used in this project is inspired by natural colors of pottery, roof tiling or walls already existing in Modra. Textures appearing on the graphics relate to emotions and impressions. Deep, modified blue shadow is a response to a typical for this town color of grapes which is visible around the vineyards. This effect allows the viewer to sense the atmosphere of wine paths, alleys and benches bathing in afternoon sun and to smell the sweet aroma of pubescent grapevines.