Another Raumplan + Sociopaths
2017, Chicago, IL
For: Chicago Architecture Biennial
At the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial in the Horizontal City room, we were asked to use a model to respond to an image of an interior. The image we chose was Adolf Loos' Muller House, realized in Prague in 1930. There are two primary reasons we decided on this image. Voyeurism, and the Principle of Cladding.

The abominable snow-creature we created is titled "Another Raumplan". We took this opportunity to consider the status of architecture as a machine for voyeurism. We wanted to find a way to further elaborate upon our reading of Beatriz Colomina's reading of Loos' work, and spend time on furthering this architectural diagram. To say that an architecture could be a machine for voyeurism is also to say that there is a spectator-spectacle relationship between multiple players inside a continuous interior. If we consider architecture as a stage that builds characters, there are the players that play their parts, and there will be the viewers who becomes an audience.

A further reading the Muller House reveals a clear division between two parts of the same house: one side of the house that views, and another that performs.
The great hall, or something like a living room, looks back at four other programs: a kitchen, a entryway corridor, a "children's room", and a "lady's boudoir" - meaning, the gaze of the living room is in control of the other four characters - the kitchen, or a servant, the entryway corridor, or, the stranger, the children, and the ladies. The voyeur is not only an audience, but a person in control over the other four characters in the house through the act of seeing.

Because we also saw the flipside of voyeurism as being narcissism. In our model, we installed one-way mirrors for the four characters who are being watched from the living room. We installed buttons on either ends of the podium that the model sits on. From the living room side, the act of turning on or off the internal lighting meant whether or not the four portals are revealed. However, the buttons on the side of the servant, visitor, children and ladies do not work. We created a built-in false-hope that any self-help is functional at all.

The Principle of Cladding is the second reason we chose the Muller House as our test subject. Principle of Cladding is an essay written by Loos in 1898. In it, Loos talks about the status of a "livable material". The carpet, or animal hide, is a livable material. Loos argued that the act of covering oneself with animal hide was the first architectural detail.

If not for the Lina Loos bedroom alone, we cladded this furry beast with a livable material. In the making of this abominable snow-creature, we even gave it other qualities that would enhance its readability as a character. Every view port, for our internal purposes, was referred to as an orifice. We casted lips for all of the orifices. We went through a medical supply store to find a rubber that most resembled human flesh. A most supple, flexible cast that would create a condition when an architecture kisses back.
Team: Jimenez Lai, Joanna Grant, Sohun Kang, Sarah Wagner, Jake Parkin, Jeffrey Liu, Clara Pugsley, Dinara Vasilevskaia, Erin Day, Maya Reyes, Sam Rubio, Alicia Jones, Colette Aro, Injinash Unshin, Sophie Pawlak
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