We spent a long time debating back and forth on how to begin such a project – a kindergarten – and what the generative principle could be, if the focus should be on the structure of the Stadtpark, or if “kindergarten” was sufficient to define a project.
One of us then sent a spinning top on a gentle, lightly swaying dance on our drawing board, and then another spinning top whose dance was more jittery and faster, and which turned on its head (shaft) before the rotation ended due to its special construction.
Turning, swaying, tilting of the rotational axes, rising, falling from the table, spiraling in two and three dimensions, finally tipping over – rotations and gyrations thus became the stimulating, generative associations for the project.
We like to use the term generative associations. We don’t call them generative principles. This project (like many of its predecessors) is based on areas of association that are not precise, but indicate a region, a general environment, though not exclusively. From spinning top to vortex, from vortex to container, to rotational body, to spinning vases – solid bodies became hollow bodies.
Spinning tops, vortices, rotational bodies, containers, vases.
In the architectural project, these concepts became hollow. The concepts became shells we can enter and walk around in. Spinning tops and containers make reference to “small things”, and if they can now be entered, they open up that fundamental irritation and nesting of spaces and sizes that Lewis Carroll verbalized (put into words) and Jan Švankmajer later imagined (made into images).
When we begin with a project, we have a space allocation plan. That plan rarely seems to indicate more than the sizes of spaces – we say it “seems” because each space allocation plan naturally suggests unspoken spatial systems, and of course, a “group room” for a kindergarten indicates pedagogical, spatial and structural notions that can be assessed, controlled and may be preconceived.
So we left the “group room” behind and danced with spinning tops, containers, rotational and hollow bodies, and proposed a structure that can also be used as a garden by the children. We wanted one, two, three, many alternative spatial structures.
On November 20th, 2009, Helmut Ploebst wrote in the introduction to a critique of TrikeDoubleThree, performed by Christine Gaigg and Bernhard Lang at Tanzquartier Vienna:
“A society that disdains experiments will be suspicious of its own potentials and hostile to all things other and new.” The case he makes for experimentation should preface all writing on architecture, as a reminder and a challenge.