Pandora, Pandora, Pandora

Advanced Architecture Studio 5

Fall 2012

Yehuda Safran, critic, with Silvia Perea

This advanced studio embraced Le Corbusier’s understanding that architecture is the practice of a gift above all. Not only in the potlatch sense of North American Indians who were prepared to sacrifice all for the sake of rank and posterity, but as the way to fulfill one´s vocation, one’s love of architecture.

Our site was Alphabet City. Writers, poets, artists and Jazz musicians together with drug addicts and homeless made this part of Manhattan an island within. We proposed the Pandora House as a place of hedonistic cult. We developed a new typology to provide a social condenser, not in the Constructivist sense that was still in the shadow of production and utilitarian view of mankind, but in an expanded sense of George Bataille’s earlier, pre-World War II writings, as a vision of excess, the notion of expenditure.

We examined a great number of prototypes illustrating a so-called hedonistic program in order to invent and shape an unprecedented prototype for the future, engaging all our inalienable gifts; the gift of pain and pleasure, the gift of language, the gift of rational insight and the gift of color, among many other gifts.

Juan Francisco Garces A/B
Sarah Lyons C/D