Submitted by WA Contents

New London Internet Museum is built by using assemblage of crowd-sourced processes

United Kingdom - Jun 9, 2016 - 16:22   4861 views

Bee Breeders Architecture Competition has announced 'London Internet Museum2 winners combining a very physical monument with the abstract in the concept of the technology and superhighway. The juxtaposition of these two concepts made for some fantastic and well-thought out projects, with the submissions varying dramatically. The jury panel of judges showed a preference for projects that were not bound by precedents or assumptions, steering away from some of the more typical archetypes associated with contemporary technology, such as Apple-esque glass ultra-modern buildings.

The winning project by 404:Not Found is as abstract and against the grain as an architectural idea could get. The project looks at architecture as an assemblage of crowd-sourced processes rather than the singular vision of a top-down designer. Architecture becomes an act of empowerment and an experiment for the participant, creating a platform and ethos of collaboration that legitimizes and enacts the desires of the user.

The second place winners, Transistor, took a different approach, almost critiquing the disposability of modern technology and its inherent ability to replace the old with the new, which itself quickly becomes old too. The scheme consists of a series of linear sky-lit corridors adjacent to programmed spaces punctuated by courtyards. Third place was awarded to a project distinguished by the clever association of the London Internet Museum as a digital monument. The concept involved a holographic representation aboveground, and the suppression of museum function below ground.

One of the more interesting outcomes of an architectural competition lies in the prospect of imagination, to speculate both the fathomable and spectacular. The competition for a London Internet Museum stages such prospect, considering what seems at first rather tenable — the museum — merged with something historically profound and typologically unprecedented — the internet. The relationship is dichotomous: the museum historically posed to objectify and celebrate cultural and physical artifact, and the internet, a technological horizon perhaps as profound as fire and electricity, fueled by information and algorithm and existing almost entirely in the abstract.

The internet as a technology, has arguably occupied various typological precedents and forms: from the car garage where the internet startup was born, the ubiquitous cartesian data center, suburban office park campus, of historical renovations where the Googles, Facebooks, and Ubers call home, to the glass Apple stores and modern monuments to consumerism. As one might expect therefore, submissions to the competition varied quite dramatically. Many of the entries tended toward technological positivism, idealizing the internet without precaution. The jury showed preference to projects not bound by precedent or assumption — of conventional museum typologies, generalizations of what the internet is and isn’t, and contemporary architectural tropes. Selected projects demonstrate a certain tenacity and ambition, inherent in the internet’s advent — of social collectivism, network theory, and virtuality. While retrospective as a museum, submissions collectively project various architectural and tectonic trajectories, following the internet’s historic wake.

The competition selected 3 winners and 6 Honorable Mentions. You can see 3 winner's projects below with jury comments and explanations:

1st prize winner: Shaun Mcallum+ Aleksandra Belitskaja, UK (University of Dundee)

404:Not Found is distinguished by its resistance to authorial architecture and in its acceptance of the logic of the crowd. The project looks at architecture as an assemblage of crowd-sourced processes rather than the singular vision of a top-down designer. Architecture becomes an act of empowerment and an experiment for the participant, creating a platform and ethos of collaboration that legitimizes and enacts the desires of the user.

The user-defined building block is the generator of the architecture. In an app-based process of form-assign-upload-share, the block is propagated, manipulated, and multiplied, creating a rich aggregation of heterogeneous textures, materials, and spaces. 404:Not Found favors the glitch, the mismatch, and the transgression, creating a new typology of museum that rejects the authority of the white box in favor of the participatory.

Basic circulation

Exploded plan renders

Exploded section

Options diagram

Phone app diagram

Total assemblage of crowd-sourced processes

2nd prize winner: Ryan Anthony Ball, US

The success of the second place proposal, Transistor, lies in its indifference to the contemporary digital discourse in architecture, favoring instead a strong typology that relates to its historic industrial context, and adapting this typology to critique the cycle of obsolescence of our digitally saturated world. The scheme echoes the foregone industrial rail terminal as its source of parti, consisting of a series of linear sky-lit corridors adjacent to programmed spaces punctuated by courtyards. These extrusions aggregate and escalate to engulf the existing Italianate styled North Woolwich Station, presenting a sequence of blank façades to the river and city.

The nuance of the proposal manifests in the repetition of its interior, revealing a veiled critique of the infinite reiteration and subsequent obsolescence of the new and the simultaneous cannibalization of the out-of-date. Importantly, the proposal presents an architecture that could as easily house fine art as it could entice the public with virtual reality immersive environments. Side-stepping the programmatic pitfalls of digitally enhanced museum technologies, Transistor transcends the now, bypassing the architectural gimmick through adept typological critique.

3rd prize winner: Michal Daniszewski, Poland (Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University)

Third place is awarded to a project distinguished by the clever association of the internet museum as a digital monument. The solution is two-fold, the selection and representation of a hologram above ground and the suppression of museum function below ground. Monumentalized as an object within a larger plaza, the hologram is thoughtfully situated and juxtaposed to the adjacent existing North Woolwich Station. The primitive shape of the hologram and its sheer scale evoke both wonder and otherness, a new landmark in an historic city. Located underground, the museum embodies geographical placelessness, relating to the virtual nature of the internet. The individual spaces of the museum itself are designed for the particular devices one engages the internet through rather than particular views or human interactions.

As a monument, the project develops a sense of reverence towards technological advances, both virtual and physical. The strength in the use of the hologram lies in its ability to represent and monumentalize the profoundness of the internet through form. As an object, merging the virtual and physical, the hologram embodies the internet as a technological phenomenon.

Ground floor plan

Ground floor plan

East elevation

West elevation

North elevation

South elevation

Section

See 6 Honorable Mentions below:

Serve The Servers by Cian Tarrant, Hannah Scaife, Marc Golden, Ben Hickey

Big Data As A Lover by Isabella Ong

LIM (London Internet Museum) by Eduardo Micha, Gabriel Merino, Sebastian Castillo, Maricruz Perez /Arqmov

CHAT! by Patryk Krol

London Internet Museum by Ani Zakaryan, Sonny Holmberg

The Node by Witold Opalinski, Katarzyna Opalinska, Szymon Rozanski, Adarian Mieszczak/Pracownia Architektury Opalinski

All images courtesy of Bee Breeders Architecture Competition

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