Wonne Ickx Final Winter Review


401 Advanced Topics Studio  
A Hole in the Ground

The idea to work on a studio called “A Hole in the Ground” starts with the interest that the Spanish sculptor Chillida expressed when he is asked about his project in Tindaya, the huge excavation in a natural mountain. He talks about his interest in “introducing space in the matter”. This studio will research the idea of subtracting instead of adding, an architecture thought in spatial terms instead of an architecture conceived as an erected landmark. The studio will focus on an underground excavated architecture, an architecture without facade.
Students will avoid the idea of the façade as one of the over demanding elements of contemporary architectural practice, focusing on spatial qualities instead. In 2005 Iñaki Abalos wrote the text entitled ‘There is a moment …’ (Hay un momento …). In this article he elaborates how several architects on the moment of highest maturity of their career, are compelled by the call of the cave, ‘the attraction of the abysm of the telluric’ as he puts it. He then exemplifies this with work of Le Corbusier, Juan O’Gorman and César Manrique. 
The studio will explore evocative architectural examples from architecture history, structural and technical principles which will help the students to build their ideas, new technologies, environmental advantages, … and every other issue that will allow them to develop sensitive and engaged answers to the design problem we are inviting them to solve. 
In the first weeks of the studio we will use void models (excavated matter) to explore the possibilities of excavated space. The compositional rules derived from these first explorations will then serve as an initial starting point for the final project. 

Visiting Lecturer Wonne Ickx