Wilhem Hammershoi Re-Interpreted
Stefania Boca & Catalin Pop
The HUB is a project based on Wilhem Hammershoi’s work, on his paintings. We tried to capture the atmosphere, the simplicity and modesty of his subjects, in a really contemporary way. The working space has evolved around some spatial connections which are present in every piece of work he has made.
Another thing that drawn us to his work, is the quiet-like atmosphere rooms; we most typically see the subjects turned around, we are facing their backs, like we were not supposed to be there, in the first place, like we are invading their domestic life. But the subjects are going on with their life, and we can see this whole theater show, the scenography skills of Willhelm are mind-blowing, the compositions, the light and the sequences were something that really inspired us. So our project is based on this aspect too, the scenography of the working place, the windows are like framed pictures, or paintings, where you can really see a potion of the working life in the HUB, like you can observe an anthill. But there is the mystery too, behind the walls that you can’t see trough.
The hub needed that atmosphere.
Aside from Wilhem Hammershoi, who influences you graphically?
We like to mix things up and we try to introduce an element of novelty regarding the graphic expression of every project. So it depends. For us, using the same chromatic palette, the same expression and the same atmosphere in each project is a little boring, so we try to experience as much as possible with our drawings. We don’t want to be categorized by our drawings, or by our expression, or technique, what we want is to transmit a vibe, a feeling to people and make our project talk through this form of art. Right now we are in love with the ludic-utopia kind of vibe we get from watching Wes Andersen’s films, the images, the one point perspectives, the chromatic palette used as something so symbolic and beautiful are incredible for us. Also, being an architecture student is quite challenging, and this form of art is our own little rebellion. We’ve always been inspired by various forms of art.
To what extent do you see your method of representation as a development of his in our digital era?
In our era the masses are bombarded with information, with text, and images, that can be overwhelming. We like to think, as future architects that we can make people stop from whatever, and invite them reflect on something else. Something that has a great deal of personality in it, a reminder, or an image that can make you to dream. We try to do that in our drawings, to capture a scenery that can take you somewhere else, make you reflect on the simplicity of life. We took from Vilhelm Hammershoi’s atmosphere and visual language and translated it in our own naive language, for the same reason; to get people to stop and reflect. Adapting the old will never disappear, we will always be inspired and fascinated by old images, objects and atmosphere.
What defined the thick white frame? What is the effect of this for the image?
Zooming out of the pictures and seeing it at a smaller scale is what we wanted, like a miniature world, where everything looks and feels so animated and lively. We were really inspired by Gilles Deleuze, the French philosopher, who talks about the utopian islands, where he describes the oceanic island as the essential island, which is a miniature world to us, then he describes every single detail of it. This helped on a philosophical and creative level to understand better the idea of utopia.
What was your work process in terms of images created? Did one lead to the other- did you work on some contemporarily?
The concept was that every drawing was supposed to tell a different story, because the HUB has a lot of different spaces, openings and little corners, nonetheless one drawing led to another drawing. We needed to focus on each drawing, to get the right amount of light, to get the textures right, and we needed the same visual effect on each one to tell the story of the HUB.
What dictated the various drawings forms and views?
The views were dictated by the concept. We tried to represent that contrast between shadow and light, smaller spaces and bigger ones. Because the HUB has this duality in it, there is the “wall” around the atrium, where you can find individual or smaller groups work places, and then there are the wide open spaces, around this “wall”, dedicated to the bigger groups. In terms of drawings we tried to do the same and also we wanted to make it a little juvenile. We don’t have all the answers and we are still searching. This process plays a big part in every project. So we wanted the project to be naive, but also sincere.