Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Barnesworth's Pre-fab[ulous] Homes and Furniture








Turning our attention now from a build that responds to the natural context, Barnesworth's Pre-fab[ulous] Homes and Furniture in Barcola (83,159,25 - view on map | direct teleport) similarly responds to an 'urban' context in a manner that blurs the distinction between private and public space as it appropriates the materiality and scale of an adjacent pedestrian plaza by manipulating a single surface into an up-to-date container for retro merchandise.

In some senses the build evokes similarities to the abundance of rounded-corner 'soft box' architecture in Avalon, however it represents a departure from the somewhat self-referential qualities of these builds by engaging the plaza not only on the level of surface manipulation but also as a distinctly unique object relative to its surrounding structures, as opposed to the more subtle thematic variations to be found amongst the collection of Avalon builds. The store acts as a bookend to the outdoor mall that comprises the Barcola Riverside Commercial District (which as of this writing is still under construction), with views to the water and the nearby SLOPCO facility.

With all the attention that has been focused on the Larsen Shops lately (also by Barnesworth Anubis with Jauani Wu) it would seem appropriate to highlight the effective potential in builds such as this one that take advantage of their presence in virtual space not just to skillfully mimic real world structures (although complicated ideas of continuous surface manipulation nee the Deleuzian fold have been clearly pinging the radar of the RL architectural vanguard for over a decade) but rather to take advantage of the virtual context to create a structure that is abstract and yet gains meaning by remaining engaged in a dialogue with architectural realism.

The forward-looking quality of the build does however seem to present a juxtaposition with the retrospective nature of the merchandise inside. This contrast would appear on the whole to be a positive thing, serving to emphasize the goods for sale rather than to hide them, however it also suggests that if one is to hold up the merchandise to the tenents of the Modernist movement that spawned it, the manner in which the goods are displayed is perhaps missing a certain degree of clarity, rigor, and logic. One might also suggest some additional opportunities to fully utilize the various pockets of space created by the interaction of surfaces in a manner that might play up the potential ambiguities between the interior of the store and the exterior plaza condition.

These negligible issues aside, having picked up a couple of chairs and a chaise for the old cabana there is something to be said for the pure joy in purchasing virtual furniture, namely not having to arrange for delivery, or rent roof racks, or scratch the floors on the way inside, or bash one's knuckles as a consequence of undersized Allen wrenches and the necessity for self-assembly. With the apparent ease of a single swooping gesture, Barnesworth has created a spatial compliment decidedly on par with the retail experience.

4 Comments:

At 3/02/2006 3:06 PM, Blogger Barnes said...

You should also post these in regular english so products of the american school system such as myself can understand it.

I think it can be broken down to "Barnes > all", which I tend to agree with. Hardy har har

;)

<3 Barnes

 
At 3/10/2006 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're letting academic jargon and buzzwords get in the way of getting your point accross. Most university profs would dock points for this.

 
At 3/10/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger Chip Poutine said...

Agreed. The funny thing is, I am a University prof. Well, a sessional instructor, anyway...

 
At 3/17/2006 12:14 AM, Blogger jauani said...

give me a break, "anonymous." juxtapose means to place side by side.

i don't think buzzwords are the problem. the problem, chip, is that you aren't spoon feeding your readers, but instead challenging them to think. that is incredibly unfair proposition for a generation that regards the tv guide as the standard for good writing.

you have a choice: agree and post really dumbed down blogs, get bored yourself, and drop the project, or continue to challenge the virtual architect community to consider the meaning of their work.

i encourage the latter. except take of the kids gloves, please! lets hear what you really have to say!

 

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