The Technique as Limit
Interview for NWTWN
Who influences you graphically?
Drawings of Saul Steinberg are something I always go back to. They are simple and childish but say so much. Also, I just recently discovered Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt. She created series of drawings during the 1980s using typewriting machine as a tool. I think there is something in limiting yourself on using a certain technique, color or material, and that affects and directs your work in an interesting way. Paul Klee, Jonas Wood, Rose Blake, Junya Ishigami and many others. Friends as well.
How does the shape respond to the size and type of contemporary art?
The storage offers places for small and medium size art pieces, there is also a space on the ground level which is for pieces that need a higher ceiling. In terms of the type of contemporary art, I think that it might go beyond of what this storage can offer. Today there are no rules for size, material or smell for an art piece so I wouldn’t see NWTWN as a storage that could preserve just any contemporary piece, I see it more as designed for specific collections and collectors.
What dictated the choice of materiality?
I believe the program did. The whole project started with a very simple sketch of how to organize the spaces within the storage. I saw circulation as the most important thing but it was difficult to design it because the shape of the plot we were working on was, in a way, inconvenient. It is very long but on one part of it gets really narrow, that is why not a lot of things could happen there. Also, we were working with the building codes from the location which was another limit.
Designing the circulation through a plot specific as this one shaped the project. That is how the wall happened. It is made out of concrete on which other things are hanging via steel beams. These attached boxes could be made out of anything that doesn’t let the sun, rain or snow inside, I still don’t know from which material they are.
How do all these functions come together?
The wall is the element that connects them all. Starting from the organization and circulation point where it is seen as a street for distribution, up to the construction.
Due to the overwhelming amount of art being produced, more art is in storage/transition than on display- how can this problem be addressed?
It has been more than one year since I finished working on this project and when I go back to the design process and questions I raised I remember approaching it in a way that I was treating art just as any other item that needs to be stored. For me it was the same as if it was storage for peaches.. just as they have their own necessary conditions that need to be fulfilled, the same was with art. I believe that this saved me a lot of time and allowed me to approach the task from a different angle.
Now when I think, I think that the problem is the overwhelming amount of art that is being produced. We are in the moment when art is being produced in large numbers and by many but in ten years from now the situation could be much different. It comes and it goes.
Maybe we shouldn’t build places to display the art anymore or the places to store it, maybe there should be something in between both, like transitional storage that is constantly moving and displaying.
NWTWN, New York
NWTWN is a straight answer towards an extremely longitudinal location. Compromising with the strict rules of regulation, the object is spread along 240m long waterfront close to downtown New York.
The art being stored in the air is enabled by the wall, hose main function is construction and therefore it does not offer any other situation than the movement of art being stored. The long concrete hallway with revealed repetition of steel construction mesmerizes the viewers by the strong image the space creates.
The object consists of four parts. Firstly, the administration box that contains art reception and offices. The second part is the universal storage, which enables storing from various sides. The third part is segmented in two-it hosts an auction house plus showing rooms as well as private units. Lastly the Wall.
Concrete Island, Tel Aviv
Where we live, how we live and the conditions we are ready to accept have changed. Cities we live in represent our homes. Public areas are replacing spaces that our apartments used to have, the city is now the one that supplies us with places to eat, study, exercise, storage our belongings, while apart- ments are released from this function, shrunk to its minimum. Concrete island represents re ection towards these new conditions.
Ayalon Highway is a boundary between two cities, Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, that are merging into one. A long and thin plot is located inside this purely infrastructural context. Unapproachable from any side, this wasteland has a status of an island. Proposed structure on this land consists out of 16 modules, each one touches the perimeter wall, whereas the plot gets wider the structure goes deeper into the ground. Three types of units (1-3, 3-12 and 12-24months) are gradually organized from the top, down to the bottom of the building, where inner courtyard are located. This graduation is re ected on the dimensions, as well.
The user of the building is in a continuous connection with the city, where his bedroom is located not that far from the train rails within a space that became a part of the city’s infrastructure. Seemingly, this space exudes with rough character but it manages to create it’s own realm of comfort, inside the naked, concrete structure.
Rockaway for Sam Chermayeff office
House placed close to the shore of Rockaway, New York, is an ongoing project of Sam Chermayeff Of ce in Berlin, where living is happening on the steps. The outline of the house represents a legal boundary of the step system that, even though not seen, continues outside of these limits. These images try to create the atmosphere of the strange and unique context where the house is located, as if not being an hour away from the center of Manhattan, but somewhere else, much further.
Petar Petricevic was born in Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree at Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, he goes to Dessau for his Master studies at Dessau International Architecture school. During his studies, he takes an exchange semester at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. While living in Germany, he worked as an intern in June 14 of ce in Berlin. Petar is currently based in New York.