Atmospheres Of The Sin
Nieves Andrea Calvo Lopez
“Atmospheres of the sin” develops as an intense phenomenological and urban analysis of the context of Bordeaux city upon which a field of personal experimentation, with regards to the French culture of seduction and transgression, is added. This context provides many references for the notion of “The Temple”, a concept through which one can dive into a new semantic and formal game creating a new hybrid identity.
Based on these insights, and by identifying a careless space built from a few Second World War submarine hangars, a new path is opened for the development of these cultural layers. The submarine base of Bordeaux, located in the harbour of Bassin à Flot, is at the end of the process of urban regeneration that has turned Bordeaux into an “Urban laboratory “. It is precisely this large-scale space, one that assembles a very “French sensibility” for large projects where the project is located introducing a small experiential program with spectacles from nomadic urban interventions. These interventions are moved using barges, “Barges of the sin” which are lodged in the hangars in winter, and also provide them with scenic content. Thus, the project is constructed in three scales, with the rehabilitation of the Submarine Base as hinge.
Using these three strategies, a piece with historical relevance to the city is recovered; a rejected building for many inhabitants and whose demolition has been under consideration.
The project brings to light, not only the material heritage of our cities, but also the intangible. Throughout these three “Atmospheres of the sin” a new project is created, a project that can be everything or nothing. As ‘everything’ it can generate the most important city events in the shores of the Garonne and, later, in the submarine base finally disappearing within hours without leaving traces of its intervention. However, it is also nothing because both, its construction and structure are ephemeral, mobile and work in most occasions as elements of a scenography rather than traditional architectural pieces.
The presented atmospheres try to capture the immateriality by using networks, fabrics, plastic, textures, nebulas… looking for a proposal that contemplates the need of an interdisciplinary architecture, one that questions concepts of permanence, resilience and dynamism, in a changeable architectural present.
“Atmospheres of the sin” suggests movable urban strategies creating changeable spaces and temporary appropriations, recovering a ruin whose rehabilitation is key inside a neighborhood that is constantly conforming. In addition, it stresses the need to generate spaces of fantasy, evasion, emotion, seduction… Definitively, a space of perception.
Who influences you graphically?
Architecture is frequently nourished from many disciplines to create its aesthetic and imaginary world. In the case of ”catching” atmospheres, the challenge consists in analyzing, trying to imitate intangible appearances. In this case, most of abstract art and artists who work with stains and fogs are tremendously inspiring. Gustav Klimt enriching aquatic universe clearly attracted me. His golden forms, textures and feelings, have had a great influence in my drawings. Other authors, such as Tomas Saraceno, have contributed to catch graphically a research process and a fantasy reality.
What defined the method of representation of the project? How is the notion of ‘atmosphere’ translated within the drawings?
Each representation works with the notion of atmosphere in a different way. The project itself has defined its representation method. Certain parts of the project needed to be solved with an axonometric perspective for its understanding. However, other situations were better understood with a floor plan. Some others required a dark base in order to transmit a sense of darkness and mystery of the pre-existence. The elevation needs to breath with a white base scarcely treated. The representation of the sky and the atmospheric elements of the surroundings where essential. Sometimes, you have most of the atmosphere done by drawing and representing how you see and understand the surroundings. In every case, this is about the representation of an accurate moment, catching a single second of the cosmos and showing it for its comprehension.
Resolving the water and fog drawing was especially difficult. Different fogs, clouds and stains often appear where they should not be. They are not directly perceived by the eyes, but they help to create a general sense of water color and tangible texture.
What programs did you use?
Most of my drawings were created with Autocad and Photoshop. Sometimes, it was necessary to build a previous model with Rhinoceros. Some of them were completed with a Vray rendering which allowed to adjust the shadows and some textures. The lines drawn with Cad even in axonometric and perspectives were fundamental, so as the “atmospheric” post-production using photoshop.
What is your take on colour?
The atmosphere of mystery, temple, and sin wanted in the project was resolved with black and white colours. Most of the pre-existence (no to say all of them) was represented like that. The colour and the range of magentas, with a symbolism of transgression, passion and contrast, appears with the sin. The time of the year I could visit the pre-existence of the submarine base clearly influenced in the way of representing everything: cloudy, gray and rainy. In this reality, the proposed structures would highlight over the surroundings with a transgression and a typically French sin culture.
How could the format of the drawing be played/challenged around with to enhance the notion of perception you talk about?
What drawings allow to us, over the direct contemplation of reality, is to represent what we were interested in and in the way we intended to. In this case, the elongated and horizontal structures of the submarine base alveolus invited us to large formats where we could represent what was happening. This perception from the interior space was very difficult to achieve. My eye would never perceive at one glance the reality in the way I represented it; so elongated and horizontal. However, it is necessary this kind of drawing to understand the real space and the perception of this place.
It was interesting thinking that we were trapping a particular time from an imaginary reality to introduce it in an accurate enclosure (a board in this case). This idea made me think I was almost capturing that moment with my hands and placing it so the viewers could watch it. But just this moment, not anything else.