That modernity no longer manages to produce ruins, but only rubbish (as recently argued by an ever-more apocalyptic Marc Augé), is a fate that seems quite concrete at the moment. The complexity of our economic and social organisations tends in fact to demand immediate answers to desires in continuous evolution, oriented toward extreme specificity, here and now, every type of production including architecture. The redundancy of material, structure and types that the “lasting” strategies of Vitruvian tradition entrust to face the changes and unpredicted occurrences has therefore become progressively useless. Such that the true monument of our age is a building conceived of as temporary: the Eiffel Tower, a symbol kept alive artificially, (thanks to continual maintenance) of that condition of wear and tear regarding the sense and material physicality that makes up a pervasive and inevitable horizon of Junkspace described by Rem Koolhaas.
The acceleration of the production-consumption cycle leads then to the transformation of waste into “advanced” research material of art and architecture. An activity of physical and conceptual recycling in which stands out a group of French architects R&Sie(n), capable of extracting from the most exhausted and entropic material unsuspected operating qualities. With the project of a biodegradable pavilion, experimented as an installation in a Danish gallery and extended to dimensions capable of hosting an exhibition event as a successive project for Stockholm, François Roche and Stephanie Lavaux significantly invert the process. Their “things which necrose”, produced with polymers of vegetable origin, accelerate the processes of chemical and biological decay, and together, the spiral of fears and wishes, disgust and attraction linked to the relationship between nature and artifice (with the specific advantage of lowering costs and externalities linked to disassembly, storage and disposal). The loss of definition sought, represented and simulated in many of the most interesting recent proposals thus finds its effective realisation in the progressive dissolution of the structure: a literal and phenomenal experiment of architectural decomposition.
“things which necrose”
Denmark 2009 + Sweden 2010
Architect: R&Sie(n)… Paris
Creative team: François Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux
Collaborator: Maxime Aumon-Bemelmans
Contractor: CHD / Christian Hubert Delisle
Key dimensions: 10 m² (Denmark) + 400 m² Stockholm
- Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Kjeld Kjeldsen, Arne Schmidt-Petersen
- Stockholm 2010, Sweden. Jan Aman, Färgfabriken / Jacob Fant, Rewir
Cost: 60 000 euros + 1.5 m euros
Design: Limited time span & biodegradable pavilion + prototype
1) Developing a bio-plastic with hydro-soluble polymer from agriculture.
2) Designing a panel relief, integrating membrane and structure of the building, which could be strategically and slowly “necrosed” by control of the degree of humidity in atmosphere.
3) Developing the injection mould by CNC machine processing, 5 axes
4) Adding some mist nozzle to emphasize or reduce this disappearing protocol, as a dimmer system.
5) Adjusting the life span of a temporary building (one floor for the first experiment), from its construction to its melting down.