Architecture as Flexibility
An architecture that fits into another architecture to create a new narrative – to perform a new program – must be flexible in many ways. A prison can become a stage for openness.
To achieve this intent, there is the tension one must safeguard regarding the existing context: what do you allow to come in, what do you underline, what do you suppress in a very diplomatic dialogue with a prominent building.
There is the adaptation one has to achieve, building a skin that is loose enough and yet a form of dress that is significant in itself.
There is the need to address very different problems: how to create a welcoming narrative in that void that used to isolate the prison; how to turn a simple garden passage into a tunnel that now compresses the spectator into the exhibition’s own world; how to revive a cold, harsh panopticon with a new storytelling device…
Organic geometries, polygonal boxes, stage lighting and banal yet versatile construction materials offer the answer for such a challenging narrative. Fortunately, architecture is still about flexibility and feasibility.