ARCHITECTURE GENERATES TERRITORY

One: The border as a volume. The tower is a residential cantilevering sidescraper hanging along Billionaires Row on 57th street in Midtown Manhattan, a street known for its set of ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers. At the heart of the action, the sidescraper is a tower that does not require any lot on the floor and relies solely on unused air rights from its neighbors. It is a typology born from the extreme shortage of available lots in New York City’s prominent districts. The project aims to uncover unusual spatial conditions while preempting existing laws. The inner courtyard is updated to become a more spatial courtyard, not sitting on the Planet Earth’s ground surrounded by the back sides of buildings but it is now suspended in between roofs, bottoms and walls. The suspended sidescraper also uncovers a new façade: the bottom of the building, now visible from the street.

Two: Point Architecture. It represents a point that is so strong that it attracts other elements towards itself. The resulting aggregate forms a radial territory where it is not clear where it ends. The boundary is a gradient, as with campfires. To cite Reyner Banham about the area surrounding the campfire he says that “The direction and strength of the wind will decide the main shape and dimensions of that space, stretching the area of tolerable warmth into a long oval, but the output of light will not be affected by the wind, and the area of tolerable illumination will be a circle overlapping the oval of warmth.” I would argue that this is a simplification of reality and that the oval of warmth doesn’t end up as a strict line, but gradually.

ARCHITECTURE GENERATES TERRITORY. Film, 2020.

APPARATUS ARCHITECTURE

This work advocates the notion that architecture is produced by the interaction of political, economic and technological developments. These developments combined, form mechanisms, which the French philosopher Michel Foucault
called apparatuses. Further, Architecture can be read as the result of a conflict of various apparatuses. Each of these apparatuses is trying to enforce its own agenda, while the others have to react in order to keep up. This conflict manifests itself in our built environment. The resulting buildings are full of political tension, compromise and contradictions. This work elaborates on this reading of architecture, by investigating the conflicting apparatuses and the buildings they produce. The shown buildings are designed to emphasize their involvement with the apparatus. But they are not the exception. Instead, in our globalized world of today, in which apparatuses are more numerous and pervasive than ever before, probably any building is in some form a part or the result of one or multiple apparatuses. Even the most generic architecture is consciously or unconsciously interwoven within a net of political, economic and technological developments.

Additional Artwork by Nathaniel Nutt.

APPARATUS ARCHITECTURE. Film, 2020.

TAX HOLIDAYS

Tax Holidays investigates the flow of global capital and speculates on the possibility of re-channeling money from corporate profit shifting schemes into carbon sinks and nature conservation through the modification of the tax law.

In this scenario, the function of the tax haven as the final step in multinational tax avoidance strategies has been replaced by a new form of extraterritorial space. This space exists as a large-scale landscape project where money is stored tax-free in hills, valleys, creeks and forests. By ensuring tax relief, this project incentivizes investments from international companies aiming to reduce their expenses while it simultaneously erodes the economic base of the tax haven. In this process, the model establishes appropriate habitats for new native species and advances the project’s ultimate objective of creating carbon negative landscapes.

Additional Artwork by Jakob Sieder-Semlitsch

Exhibited at A+D Museum, Los Angeles in 2019

TAX HOLIDAYS. Film, 2019, Exhibited At A+D Museum Los Angeles.

CRUISING TAXES

In a response to urgent sea level rise, this proposal questions the modern policy of national space. Where a country’s identity can disappear rapidly due to natural causes, it is important to start questioning the future of displaced population.
A 2018 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that rising sea levels would completely submerge the Marshall Islands by the year 2055. While the nation currently has approximately 181 km2 of natural land, the 3636 registered vessels that occupy the majority of its commercial trade, create an occupiable space that covers 30% of its mass. As a radical way to adapt to climate issues and to preserve the existence of the Marshall Islands, this proposal suggests that commercial vessels registered to the Marshall Islands should legally become Marshallese floating possessions, so ships can actually be an extension of the Marshall Islands. This way, the currently 3636 registered ships would become part of the nation and used by the population throughout and post-climate change. This would enable populations threatened by climate change to maintain statehood and sovereignty while on board of vessels carrying their Marshallese flag. Through this new legal definition of which territories are eligible for “coastlines”, every ship now, as a sovereign state, carries its own maritime rights and EEZ adjacent to its “land”. With the 3636 ships and their EEZ area together, the Marshall Islands could then see themselves being in control of the entirety of the current international waters’ ocean bed, body and surface. The banner of the Marshallese flag will change under these circumstances, and with it a new definition of their coast by the creation of these  manmade land masses supported solely by the efforts of its own economic growth.

Exhibited at A+D Museum, Los Angeles in 2019

CRUISING TAXES. Film, 2019, Exhibited At A+D Museum Los Angeles.