Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dandelion Building concept: a self-regenerating, culture disseminating structure.

When I sleep I often dream of architecture.  In these dreams I’m typically wandering around empty spaces of all types, from run-down theaters to unfamiliar homes, or sometimes it might be a desolate gas station or an abandoned office building.  No two structures are ever alike and I only visit them once.   Rarely do I see other people in these architectural manifestations.  My buildings are vacant (except for my participation and observation) and they all tend to inhabit mysterious landscapes as well. 

Not too long ago, as I descended into my dream world in my bathysphere of sleep, I reached the bottom layers of my dream strata and found myself standing before a tall white tower. It reached as high as any skyscraper, and it breathed and regenerated, as if it were a living thing.  In fact, it was a living thing.  The tower grew from within and layers of glass and stone emerged from its surface, ultimately shedding.  As they dried, the near weightless stone and glass fragments fell lightly into the windy current and were carried away. These “seeds” traveled for miles, eventually landing, taking root, and new buildings (even cities) would sprout again.  To my surprise, these exfoliated parts not only held the physical attributes of the structure itself, but they also contained the ideas, cultures, and human experience of the building’s occupants.  This is the truth; I saw it all with my own sleep-laden eyes. 

Architecture can be defined as the physical definition of space, but without human participation, a building exists only as a shell. In a way, we occupants are the souls of buildings and we do seed the world outside with our grand family histories, our diligent work, and with an accumulation of day-to-day experiences.  Our perceptions are born and nurtured in our homes and in our places of work.  We proclaim our own humanity to the world through our voices, our mobility, and of course, through the internet.  The spaces we inhabit are the incubators of our dreams.  These are the environments we build in which to rejuvenate and contemplate our lives. 

The Dandelion Building model expresses this idea of a self-regenerating building.  Internal layers of the building’s core move toward and breach the surface in flat planes, eventually breaking off, and are then swept away with the wind, disseminating all that comprises that building and its occupants to the far reaches of the globe.  The challenge with this design was to depict a sense of motion on a static form.  The chiseled corner and its adjacent narrow side depict the primary source of the building’s exfoliation and striking point of a head wind. This wind slowly erodes the corner, moving the building’s core fragments down along the broad sides where they break off and are carried away to their new destinations.