Il gio­co del­le sfe­re

Ga­me of Sphe­res

Abitare - - Sommario - txt ste­phen zacks pho­tos iwan baan

Ac­can­to al­la ca­sa per va­can­ze di STE­VEN HOLL c’è la gue­sthou­se do­ve il mae­stro ospi­ta i gio­va­ni ar­ti­sti in re­si­den­cy: un pa­di­glio­ne ispi­ra­to al­la ri­cer­ca di Pe­ter Slo­ter­di­jk sul­le im­pli­ca­zio­ni me­ta­fo­ri­che del­le for­me sfe­ri­che. Il cri­ti­co new­yor­ke­se Ste­phen Zacks l’ha vi­si­ta­ta per Abi­ta­re Near Ste­ven Holl’s ho­li­day ho­me is the gue­sthou­se whe­re the ar­chi­tect ac­com­mo­da­tes young ar­tists in re­si­den­cy: a pa­vi­lion in­spi­red by Pe­ter Slo­ter­di­jk’s re­sear­ch in­to the me­ta­pho­ri­cal im­pli­ca­tions of sphe­ri­cal forms. The New York cri­tic Ste­phen Zacks vi­si­ted it for Abi­ta­re

LE ESPLO­RA­ZIO­NI NEL MONDO DEL­LA GEO­ME­TRIA DI HOLL SER­VO­NO DA GUI­DA AI SUOI COL­LE­GHI DI CHEL­SEA PER TRA­SFOR­MA­RE CON­CET­TI IN MO­DEL­LI AR­CHI­TET­TO­NI­CI E CO­STRUI­RE STRUT­TU­RE HOLL’S DREAM-LI­KE GEO­ME­TRIC EX­PLO­RA­TIONS GUI­DE HIS COLLEAGUES IN CHEL­SEA AS THEY DE­VE­LOP CON­CEP­TS IN­TO AR­CHI­TEC­TU­RAL MO­DELS, AND EVENTUALLY BUILT STRUC­TU­RES

A RHINEBECK – DUE ORE DI MAC­CHI­NA lun­go l’au­to­stra­da a nord di New York – Ste­ven Holl tra­scor­re i wee­kend nel­la sua ca­sa di va­can­ze, e da qui si re­ca fi­no a un ca­pan­no sul­le ri­ve del Round La­ke a di­pin­ge­re ac­que­rel­li. Que­ste oni­ri­che esplo­ra­zio­ni nel mondo del­la geo­me­tria – pre­sen­za co­stan­te ne­gli al­bum di schiz­zi che por­ta sem­pre con sé, in­sie­me a li­bri di poe­sia e fi­lo­so­fia – ser­vo­no da gui­da ai suoi col­le­ghi di Chel­sea per tra­sfor­ma­re con­cet­ti in mo­del­li ar­chi­tet­to­ni­ci e co­strui­re strut­tu­re. So­lo que­st’an­no, il suo stu­dio inau­gu­ra una scuo­la d’ar­te per il Mu­seum of Fi­ne Arts a Hou­ston, una bi­blio­te­ca a Hun­ter’s Point Queens, un pa­laz­zo di 94 ap­par­ta­men­ti a Hel­sin­ki, un am­plia­men­to del Ken­ne­dy Cen­ter for the Per­for­ming Arts a Wa­shing­ton DC e un pa­di­glio­ne per la Ne­cro­po­li di PaoSan a Tai­wan. Ma la Ex of In Hou­se ha se­gui­to un iter inu­sua­le. Nel 2014 Holl ave­va let­to la tri­lo­gia Sfe­re del fi­lo­so­fo te­de­sco Pe­ter Slo­ter­di­jk, in cui bol­le, sfe­re e schiu­ma so­no vi­ste co­me me­ta­fo­re per ela­bo­ra­re teo­rie sull’in­di­vi­dua­li­tà, l’in­ti­mi­tà e lo spa­zio pub­bli­co. All’epo­ca sta­va pro­get­tan­do una sa­la d’ar­ri­vo per il san­tua­rio di PaoSan a Tai­pei e, do­po aver di­se­gna­to ol­tre tren­ta con­cept, fi­nì per

ABOUT TWO HOURS’ DRI­VE along the bu­co­lic sta­te par­k­ways nor­th of New York City, ar­chi­tect Ste­ven Holl hi­kes out on wee­kends from his sum­mer hou­se in Rhinebeck to a lit­tle shack on the ed­ge of Round La­ke to paint wa­ter­co­lors. The­se dream-li­ke geo­me­tric ex­plo­ra­tions – his con­stant com­pa­nion in the sketch­books he car­ries wi­th him at all ti­mes, along wi­th vo­lu­mes of poe­try and phi­lo­so­phy – gui­de his colleagues back in Chel­sea as they de­ve­lop con­cep­ts in­to ar­chi­tec­tu­ral mo­dels, and eventually built struc­tu­res. This year alo­ne, his of­fi­ce is ope­ning an art school for the Mu­seum of Fi­ne Arts in Hou­ston, a li­bra­ry in Hun­ter’s Point Queens, a 94-unit apart­ment buil­ding in Hel­sin­ki, a Ken­ne­dy Cen­ter for the Per­for­ming Arts ex­pan­sion in Wa­shing­ton DC, and a pa­vi­lion for the Ne­cro­po­lis of PaoSan in Tai­wan. The Ex of In Hou­se, ho­we­ver, was unu­sual. In 2014, Holl had been rea­ding Ger­man phi­lo­so­pher Pe­ter Slo­ter­di­jk’s Sphe­res tri­lo­gy, whi­ch in­ve­sti­ga­tes bub­bles, sphe­res, and foam as me­ta­phors for theo­ries of sel­fhood, in­ti­ma­cy, and the pu­blic realm. At the ti­me, Holl was de­si­gning a moun­tain­si­de ar­ri­val hall for the PaoSan re­li­gious sh­ri­ne nor­th of Tai­pei. Af­ter dra­wing mo­re than 30 dif­fe­rent

fo­ca­liz­zar­si su sfe­re che si in­ter­se­ca­no qua­li sim­bo­li uni­ver­sa­li del­lo spa­zio sa­cro. Pro­se­guen­do le ri­cer­che fe­no­me­no­lo­gi­che sul­la for­ma ar­chi­tet­to­ni­ca che han­no ca­rat­te­riz­za­to tut­ta la sua car­rie­ra, Holl ap­pro­fon­dì il te­ma del­le sfe­re intersecanti e de­gli spa­zi in­ter­ni che es­se crea­no. In­sie­me a un team ri­stret­to gui­da­to da Di­mi­tra Tsa­chre­lia, die­de av­vio a un pro­get­to di ri­cer­ca chia­ma­to Ex of In: uno stu­dio di quat­tro sfe­re intersecanti stam­pa­to co­me un mo­del­lo 3D – una sor­ta di dia­gram­ma di Venn tri­di­men­sio­na­le – ca­po­vol­to co­me se si trat­tas­se di un cal­co di ges­so e ul­te­rior­men­te di­stor­to con l’in­se­ri­men­to di un ipercubo. Nel frat­tem­po la ca­sa a Rhinebeck ave­va con­ti­nua­to a espan­der­si ben ol­tre la pic­co­la strut­tu­ra di pie­tra ac­qui­sta­ta nel 1995. Ini­zial­men­te Holl ave­va ag­giun­to un’esten­sio­ne di ve­tro e ac­cia­io, da adi­bi­re a la­bo­ra­to­rio di pit­tu­ra, e col­ma­to l’ap­pez­za­men­to ac­qui­tri­no­so sul re­tro con un la­ghet­to ar­ti­fi­cia­le cir­con­da­to da se­die a sdra­io di­se­gna­te da lui. Nel 2010, ag­giun­se una strut­tu­ra a gal­le­ria a for­ma di T e isti­tuì T Spa­ce, spa­zio espo­si­ti­vo di­ven­ta­to poi una sor­ta di in­ter­na­to esti­vo do­ve ar­ti­sti e ar­chi­tet­ti co­me Ri­chard No­nas, Pat Steir, Neil De­na­ri, Ta­tia­na

sche­mes, he fo­cu­sed on intersecting sphe­res as a uni­ver­sal sym­bol for the sa­cred spa­ce. Back in the of­fi­ce, he wan­ted to further in­ter­ro­ga­te intersecting sphe­res and the in­te­rior spa­ces they crea­te, part of his on­going phe­no­me­no­lo­gi­cal in­ve­sti­ga­tions of ar­chi­tec­tu­ral form th­rou­ghout his career. He and a small team led by Di­mi­tra Tsa­chre­lia be­gan a re­sear­ch and de­ve­lo­p­ment pro­ject they cal­led Ex of In, an ex­plo­ra­tion of four intersecting sphe­res – a kind of th­ree-di­men­sio­nal Venn dia­gram – whi­ch they prin­ted as a 3D mo­del and inverted, as if ca­st in a pla­ster mold, then further distorted by inserting a hypercube. Mea­n­whi­le, his sum­mer hou­se in Rhinebeck had gra­dual­ly ex­pan­ded far beyond the small sto­ne hou­se he pur­cha­sed in 1995. At fir­st, he had ad­ded a mo­dern glass and steel ex­ten­sion for a pain­ting stu­dio and fil­led in the swam­py pat­ch in back wi­th an ex­ca­va­ted pond, sur­roun­ded by cu­stom deck chairs. Then, in 2010, he ad­ded a T-sha­ped gal­le­ry buil­ding and foun­ded T Spa­ce, an ex­hi­bi­tion pro­gram that soon tur­ned in­to an an­nual sum­mer re­si­den­cy whe­re ar­tists and ar­chi­tec­ts li­ke Ri­chard No­nas, Pat Steir, Neil De­na­ri, Ta­tia­na Bil­bao, and Agnie­ska Ku­rant crea­te works for the land­sca­pe, gal­le­ry, and

IL PRO­GET­TO DI RI­CER­CA EX OF IN È UNO STU­DIO DI QUAT­TRO SFE­RE INTERSECANTI STAM­PA­TO CO­ME UN MO­DEL­LO 3D, CA­PO­VOL­TO E DI­STOR­TO CON L’IN­SE­RI­MEN­TO DI UN IPERCUBO THE PRO­JECT CAL­LED EX OF IN IS AN EX­PLO­RA­TION OF FOUR INTERSECTING SPHE­RES WHI­CH THEY PRIN­TED AS A 3D MO­DEL AND INVERTED, THEN FURTHER DISTORTED BY INSERTING A HYPERCUBE

Bil­bao e Agnie­ska Ku­rant crea­no ope­re da espor­re nel pae­sag­gio cir­co­stan­te, nel­la gal­le­ria e in mo­stre iti­ne­ran­ti. Nel 2014 Holl de­ci­se di ac­qui­sta­re un vi­ci­no ap­pez­za­men­to di cir­ca 11 et­ta­ri che il pro­prie­ta­rio in­ten­de­va sud­di­vi­de­re e de­sti­na­re a pro­get­ti re­si­den­zia­li. L’ar­chi­tet­to vi creò la ri­ser­va T2, pae­sag­gio spe­ri­men­ta­le in cui col­lo­ca­re in­stal­la­zio­ni per­ma­nen­ti e strut­tu­re, uti­liz­zan­do in un pri­mo tem­po il ca­pan­no di cac­cia del 1959 co­me re­si­den­za per ar­ti­sti. In­fi­ne, nel 2015, ha pre­so il via il pro­get­to del­la nuo­va dé­pen­dan­ce per ar­ti­sti Ex of In. Na­sco­sta nel­la ri­ser­va na­tu­ra­le non lon­ta­no dal­la ca­sa di va­can­ze, la Ex of In Hou­se ac­co­glie gli ospi­ti in un am­bien­te di le­gno, con spa­zi for­ma­ti da sfe­re che si in­ter­se­ca­no. Co­strui­ta a ma­no dal car­pen­tie­re del luo­go Ja­vier Go­mez con una pic­co­la squa­dra di aiu­tan­ti, la ca­sa ha rap­pre­sen­ta­to un’im­pre­sa non da po­co da­ta la qua­si to­ta­le

tra­ve­ling ex­hi­bi­tions. In 2014, Holl di­sco­ve­red that the ow­ner of a 28-acre tract of wil­der­ness up the road in­ten­ded to sub­di­vi­de the land for hou­sing de­ve­lo­p­men­ts. He de­ci­ded to pur­cha­se the si­te him­self and de­di­ca­te it as the T2 Re­ser­ve, pre­ser­ving it as an ex­pe­ri­men­tal land­sca­pe for per­ma­nent in­stal­la­tions and pur­po­se-built struc­tu­res, and using its 1959 hun­ting lod­ge for ar­ti­st re­si­den­cies. By 2015, he was rea­dy to build the re­sul­ts of the Ex of In pro­ject on the si­te as a gue­st hou­se for vi­si­ting ar­tists. Ne­stled in­to the pre­ser­ved na­tu­ral land­sca­pe do­wn the road from his sum­mer ho­me, the Ex of In hou­se em­bra­ces guests in an all woo­den en­vi­ron­ment for­med by the in­te­rior of the intersecting sphe­res. Com­ple­ted two years ago and built by hand by lo­cal car­pen­ter Ja­vier Go­mez wi­th a small crew, it is a considerable feat gi­ven the al­mo­st to­tal lack of right angles. Its sphe­ri­cal th­re­shold in­vol­ved ben­ding th­ree layers of quar­ter-in­ch boards and nai­ling them

CO­STRUI­TA DA CAR­PEN­TIE­RI DEL LUO­GO, LA DÉ­PEN­DAN­CE È STA­TA UN’IM­PRE­SA NON DA PO­CO DA­TA LA QUA­SI TO­TA­LE AS­SEN­ZA DI AN­GO­LI RET­TI BUILT BY HAND BY LO­CAL CARPENTERS, THE AR­TI­ST RE­SI­DEN­CY IS A CONSIDERABLE FEAT GI­VEN THE AL­MO­ST TO­TAL LACK OF RIGHT ANGLES

as­sen­za di an­go­li ret­ti. Per il suo in­gres­so cir­co­la­re, per esem­pio, è sta­to ne­ces­sa­rio pie­ga­re tre stra­ti di as­si spes­se mez­zo cen­ti­me­tro e in­chio­dar­le a un te­la­io in­cur­va­to. Ol­tre l’in­gres­so, l’area li­ving su due li­vel­li ha una co­per­tu­ra pun­teg­gia­ta da lu­cer­na­ri ro­ton­di, rea­liz­za­ti ad hoc da un fab­bri­can­te lo­ca­le di ve­tro. La pre­sen­za di fi­ne­stre e lu­cer­na­ri su tut­ti i la­ti evi­ta di do­ver ac­cen­de­re la lu­ce an­che nel­le gior­na­te più nu­vo­lo­se. Un si­ste­ma di scam­bio di ca­lo­re geo­ter­mi­co ali­men­ta le ser­pen­ti­ne ra­dian­ti in­cas­sa­te nei pa­vi­men­ti e re­stitui­sce l’ener­gia in ec­ces­so tra­sfor­man­do­la in elet­tri­ci­tà. In un an­go­lo del mez­za­ni­no una vec­chia se­dia è ap­pol­la­ia­ta su un pa­vi­men­to se­mi­cir­co­la­re di ve­tro e si af­fac­cia su una ve­tra­ta ro­ton­da: qui gli ospi­ti pos­so­no se­der­si per sen­tir­si pro­iet­ta­ti nel­la na­tu­ra in­con­ta­mi­na­ta, un’in­te­ra­zio­ne che è cen­tra­le in mol­ti dei pro­get­ti di Holl. La geo­me­tria del­le sfe­re intersecanti im­mer­ge co­sì gli ospi­ti in una con­tem­pla­zio­ne or­che­stra­ta di pae­sag­gio, lu­ce e for­me.

to a cur­ving form­work. Beyond the th­re­shold, a two-sto­ry li­ving room is cap­ped by cir­cu­lar sky­lights specially cut by a lo­cal glass fa­bri­ca­tor. The abun­dan­ce of win­do­ws and sky­lights on all si­des mean that even on a clou­dy day, the­re’s no thought of tur­ning on a light. For ener­gy, a geo­ther­mal heat ex­chan­ge sy­stem ge­ne­ra­tes elec­tri­ci­ty from the ground, sup­ply­ing ra­diant hea­ting coils em­bed­ded in the floors and re­tur­ning the ex­cess sup­ply to the elec­tri­cal grid. At the fur­the­st point of the mez­za­ni­ne, an an­ti­que chair per­ches wi­thin a round glass win­dow on a se­mi-cir­cu­lar glass floor, whe­re guests can sit su­spen­ded wi­thin a view that pro­jec­ts in­to the sur­roun­ding wil­der­ness. This view, am­pli­fy­ing an em­bo­died in­te­rac­tion bet­ween ar­chi­tec­tu­re and land­sca­pe, is a ty­pe of ex­pe­rien­ce at the co­re of mu­ch of Holl’s work. The geometry of the intersecting sphe­res cul­mi­na­tes in this shift in the per­cep­tual field of spa­tial ex­pe­rien­ce, im­mer­sing guests in a specially engineered contemplation of land­sca­pe, light, and form.

LA GEO­ME­TRIA DEL­LE SFE­RE INTERSECANTI IM­MER­GE GLI OSPI­TI IN UNA CON­TEM­PLA­ZIO­NE OR­CHE­STRA­TA DI PAE­SAG­GIO, LU­CE E FOR­ME THE GEOMETRY OF THE INTERSECTING SPHE­RES IMMERSES GUESTS IN A SPECIALLY ENGINEERED CONTEMPLATION OF LAND­SCA­PE, LIGHT AND FORM

La Ex of In Hou­se è una ca­sa di 280 me­tri qua­dra­ti cir­con­da­ta da un bo­sco di 11 et­ta­ri. The Ex of In Hou­se is a, 280-sqm buil­ding sur­roun­ded by 11 hec­ta­res of wood.

L’in­gres­so cir­co­la­re è sta­to rea­liz­za­to pie­gan­do tre stra­ti di as­si spes­se mez­zo cen­ti­me­tro, in­chio­da­te a un te­la­io in­cur­va­to. The cir­cu­lar en­tran­ce was con­struc­ted by ben­ding th­ree layers of wood half a cen­ti­me­tre thick, nai­led to a curved fra­me.

La geo­me­tria del­la ca­sa è com­po­sta dall’in­ter­se­zio­ne di spa­zi sfe­ri­ci con vo­lu­mi tra­pe­zoi­da­li. The geometry of the hou­se con­sists of the in­ter­sec­tion of sphe­ri­cal spa­ces and tra­pe­zoid vo­lu­mes.

La Ex of In Hou­se è ener­ge­ti­ca­men­te in­di­pen­den­te, gra­zie a un si­ste­ma di scam­bio di ca­lo­re geo­ter­mi­co e a un sot­ti­le film di cel­lu­le fo­to­vol­tai­che in co­per­tu­ra. The Ex of In Hou­se is ener­gy self-suf­fi­cient, thanks to a geo­ther­mal heat ex­chan ge sy­stem and a thin film of pho­to­vol­taic cells on the roof.

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