Architects need to be clear about space first, before considering the architectural whole; a notion forgotten too quickly in the act of building. Space–in day-to-day building practice–normally means something three-dimensional: on the one hand tangible and sensory, on the other bound by regulations, planning requirements and budgets. Patalab proposes to imagine a sphere where this idea of space is freed from the bonds of the operational.
In this spirit Patalab conducts their fundamental spatial research. Here speculative and prospective projects are regarded equally to initiate a deep questioning of accepted principles. This activity may demonstrate a new potential for architecture, beyond its role as a generator of truth. Instead, the proposition here is one that is irregular, dynamic and idiosyncratic.
Pataspaces is constructed around three interlinked fields of work:
– The Lost Spaces of Stiller scrutinises the nature of identity through space fragments used to approximate an invented personality. The trigger for this field is the novel 'Stiller', by the Swiss author Max Frisch–common reading for adolescents in the German-speaking world.
– The Poet's Garden imagines a cybernetic hortus conclusus of 'sensitive machines', where objects and shapes are absent making space elastic, ephemeral and vagrant.
– Realised Projects is Patalab's built portfolio, encompassing work completed for residential, commercial and government clientele.
This output is then organized within a site-specific presentation structure that is itself fragmented and approximate; restricted neither by the traditional methods of display, nor a clear definition as architecture, art or something outside both.
Patalab (based in London and Konstanz DE) are an architectural practice founded by Uwe Schmidt-Hess and Markus Seifermann in 2009. While their main focus is the realization of buildings and interiors, these pursuits are enriched by their design-based research. Previous exhibitions include Raumepisodes at Architektur Forum Ostschweiz (St Gallen, Switzerland) in 2010; and The Lost Spaces of Stiller at ETH Zurich in 2009. patalab.com
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