Paris Landmark- Competition design

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Competition for Paris 2012 Olympic Landmark.Project by GEORGE KATODRYTIS / STUDIONOVA: PARIS LANDMARK, 2004:

Advancements in digital simulation enable designers to produce the required results instantly, projecting (Leon Battista Alberti) and mirroring (Jacques Lacan) the future as desire and fear. The world had once been represented through the Albertian frame of perspective or Lacan’s mirror stage theory, which positions the child within a physical and familial space.
The more recent dynamic interpretations of the explosive space of the Futurists, the plastic compositions of the Constructivists, and Modernist model of the open plan, are now replaced by the methods and means of designing through simulation and virtuality.
This creates a new condition: an introverted kind of space, which is deformed rather than expandable, reflective rather than solid, transparent and fluid rather than edited. Though it is interactive, it represents physical isolation and tends toward tele-socialization. (Paul Virilio)

A proposal for a landmark in Paris, made with galvanized stainless steel. Genetic algorithms and programming scripts were used to generate the skin lattice that on one hand appears random but on another it follows a very strict and precise geometry of an envelope.
A perforated metal skin defines another enclosure that contains a spiral ramp leading to the top, at the viewing platform and just as this great ascensional dream, released from it’s utilitarian prop, is finally what remains in the countless Babels represented by the painters, as if the function of art were to reveal the profound uselessness of objects, just so the (Eiffel) Tower, almost immediately disengaged from scientific considerations which had authorized its birth (it matters very little here that the Tower should be in fact useful), has arisen from great human dream in which movable and infinite meanings are mingled: it has reconquered the basic uselessness which makes it live in men’s imagination.

From Roland Barthes, The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1979)