A House for Pink Floyd
 


The amplitude of Pink Floyd's music and themes made us write several invitational texts for this competition. You can read them below. Thank you.



Dear Architect,

On August 28th, nine days before his 70th birthday, Roger Waters (who, as a student of architecture was one of the founding members of the celebrated group Pink Floyd, and who continues to be a major force in music) will give a concert in Bucharest, Romania, as part of his THE WALL TOUR.

On this occasion we are launching now the international competition: A HOUSE FOR PINK FLOYD, which will culminate with an exhibition in Bucharest, at the University of Architecture and Urban Planning "Ion Mincu," (UAUIM) a prestigious architecture school, the oldest and the most important in the country.

In association with UAUIM and ADEP (Atelierul de Proiectare) ICARCH is proud to announce an event that it hopes will impact the world of architecture in similar ways the music of Pink Floyd did.

Of course, it is an ambitious goal and one we certainly cannot reach without you.

We will advertise this event through all the channels at our disposal.

This is about architecture, yes, but it is about an architecture that is not self- referential and autonomous, but an architecture that might even depict the wheels of an army tank square (if we are to paraphrase Louis Kahn), if it is to protest war.

An architecture that will even renounce "beauty," if it is to tell the truth.

An architecture that will refuse to become the slave of social, economic, political, cultural or spiritual conditions it does not believe in.

In other words, just like Pink Floyd's music, we want this event to address many issues, many of them being commonly ignored by both architecture and music.

You can find in the attachments several suggested ways to approach this complex subject: Pink Floyd.

From a protest against excessive introversion, sclerosis and ultimately death, the music of THE WALL, in its largest meanings, forces us to scream against the abuses of Consumerism, Imperialism and  Capitalism, whose main value in life is Money, Money, Money. Through the constrictions of the relationship between a lonely son and his lonely (widowed) mother, a castrating mother at that, it seems, to the difficulties of a sexual life that strangely and powerfully metamorphosizes itself into abusive postures "later in life," thus connecting Eros with Thanatos, through the Imperial dreams of madmen "in power" (except power over their own inflated egos), through explicit excursions / incursions into Cosmos, yes, Cosmos (Psychedelia - the workings of the mind), since there is this aspect in Pink Floyd's music too, that Cosmos which is much more than "outer space" since it is also psychological, through plunging into that darkness that it alone, perhaps, can make us arrive at that TRUE LIGHT that TRUE ART IS, Pink Floyd invites as through music and questions to explore many, many issues.

A protest against Authority is obvious.

A protest against the abuses of those in power.

Let's protest together with them, even as architects, which is also unusual.

But let's also create BEAUTY, that is, THAT beauty that is not afraid of "ugliness" as well, if without it TRUTH cannot be reached. That more complex sense of beauty is not easy to reach, but the Gothic builders did achieve it, to mention just an example, by depicting through their buildings not only angels and whiteness and purity, but also their very opposite: devils, darkness and the scandal for the intelligence that the labyrinth represents.

So we invite you now to design a symbolic and concrete, at the same time, HOUSE FOR PINK FLOYD.


Thank you,
ICARCH

The House of Walls


Of course, any house has walls… but these walls very rarely assume a function that exacerbates their raison d’etre.


A wall separates.

It can also function as a structural element, in architecture.

The Berlin Wall had the first function. It delimited one area against the other: East against West and vice versa.

The Berlin Wall fell and it is good it fell. It was an idiosyncrasy, testifying about the chronic human inability to achieve peace and harmony.

But was the poet right to say that we replaced The Berlin Wall with The Berlin Mall…?

Letter “M” is indeed a “W” upside down.

Did the fall of the Berlin Wall achieve nothing else but replace its restrictiveness with the more seductive, but essentially empty restrictiveness of unending consumerism, epitomized by the Capitalist Mall…?

It seems that when the Berlin Wall fell, people were climbing its remnants only from one direction to the other… from East, to West…

Indeed, the seductiveness of the Mall is / was hard to resist.

Then, as now!
Shopping “therapy” does make victims, and Capitalism knows it all too well.

As for the wall, what can we say…?

If Peter Eisenman was right that the “media” eroded the wall, what is the relevance of “walls” today…?!?

In the past, more or less remote, the wall was solid, thick, heavy, convincing.

Now the walls can be quite light and thin, to the point of almost disappearing.

So how would THE HOUSE OF WALLS look like today…?!?

Would it be a sum of irrelevances, thin and light weight, almost non-existent…? Or would it still value weight and thickness, terrestrially separating and enclosing…?!?

Would THE HOUSE OF WALLS still be THE HOUSE OF SEPARATIO…?!?

If good fences make good neighbors, as Robert Frost said, then maybe good walls might still have a similar function, no…?!?

We ask you to investigate the value of walls, at a time when the “media” erodes them. In the eternal struggle between transparency and opacity, openness and closeness, maybe the walls still have a vital role to play.

Thank you,
ICARCH 

A House for the Eclipse


The Eclipse is the last section of the album THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.

The one where Pink Floyd actually states that there is no dark side of the moon, really, since all is dark.

ALL IS DARK.

Even the rainbow...?!

Yes, maybe even the rainbow.

The paradox is, somehow, that this very section of the album, that contains perhaps the "darkest" message, is also the most beautiful, we feel.

What if we contrast it with the Moon Sonata by Beethoven...????????

So let's imagine A HOUSE FOR THE ECLIPSE.

A house barely lit.

A house in darkness.

A house in a way the very opposite of Le Corbusier's "magnificent play of the volumes in light and shadow"... only in a way though, since Corbu knew something about darkness too, even first hand, so to speak, and "physically," since he actually saw with only one eye, after he lost sight in one eye in 1918...

Yet, it is true, there is no moon circling around the earth in his drawings... only the sun, only the sun...

Yes, the Life Giver, since Echnaton's time, if not from much earlier, even if "unsang" as such, until then.

But to return to Pink Floyd and the Moon.

Acknowledging the moon, acknowledging darkness, Pink Floyd was actually looking for a different kind of light.

The inner light, perhaps.

And for the inner light, the eclipse is necessary, even "total eclipse."

Design A HOSUE FOR THE ECLIPSE!

For the last section of the album "The Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd.

Plunge into darkness, dear architect.

Save some money in the process, since thus neither Con Edison (in the US), nor Electrica (in Romania) would make any money.

ACCEPT THE ECLIPSE.

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH IT.

ENTER BACK INTO THE CAVE.

YES, descend into the cave.

Into darkness.

A different kind of light might emerge, from within...

As Goethe correctly discovered that if we look at an intense spot of red and then move our eyes towards a white wall, we see green (that is, the opposite color) and if we look at an intense spot of blue and then we move our eyes towards a white wall we will see yellow (that is, the opposite color), then the same might happen when we are surrounded by darkness.

Surrounded by darkness, there, in the depth of darkness, a different light might emerge...

Thank you,
ICARCH

A House for "Breaking the Wall"


Without doubt, Pink Floyd does not refer to a specific "wall" and maybe not even to a concrete one.

The "wall" is a symbol of the divisions, the separations human life is so full of.

It could also symbolize that ubiquitous "box" many architects are notoriously trying to break...

And not only architects...

If is very well known the expression: BREAK THE BOX!

In other words, BREAK THE WALL!

But a paradigmatic "break into the wall" was Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, the most famous penetration of the famous wall that separated East from West.

Stangely maybe, before the wall was torned down, at Checkpoint Charlie there was this sign: "You are leaving now the American Zone"... but after the wall came down and Checkpoint Charlie became irrelevant, a symmetrical sign might have been appropriate: "You are entering now the American Zone," since that area adjacent to Checkpoint Charlie that belonged to East Berlin si now the epicentre of an "urban development" that consists of  Manhattan-style tall buildings dedicated to commerce and financial speculations, the American Business Center being just one of them.

The fact remains, Checkpoint Charlie still retains its "aura," which manifests itself mainly through its absence and through memory.

We feel this place has paradigmatic qualities and it is very relevant to the topic of "The Wall" by Pink Floyd.

Being that it seems Berlin is still unable to take a decision about how to memorialize the former Checkpoint Charlie that stood there, we feel now it is a good moment to address the issue, even more so since next year there will be 25 years since the wall came down.

We feel it is an excellent moment to make proposals for some kind of memorial / structure / monument that expresses the historical, political, social, cultural even spiritual characteristics of this highly charged place, not just in Berlin, but through its implicatons, for the whole world.

The fact that before this was a place through which one was leaving "the American Zone" and now it is a place through which one ENTERS the American Zone, seems relevant to our theme and worth contemplating and reflecting on.

It is hard to find a place in the whole world that epresses better, even in paradoxical terms, the tensions of any THRESHOLD.

A THRESHOLD is at the very same time something that UNITES and SEPARATES.

And CHECKPOINT CHARLIE was THE THRESHOLD PAR EXCELLENCE, almost in mythical terms, and certainly in historical ones.

The paradoxes mentioned above are even more enhanced by the fact that it seems there are people today who would like at least a portion of thi wall to stand... they oppose its removal... please read through the links below:

http://www.berlin.de/orte/sehenswuerdigkeiten/checkpoint-charlie/index.en.php

http://www.western-allies-berlin.com/installations/checkpoints/charlie/charlie

But all in all, we feel that CHECKPOINT CHARLIE does deserve an architectural expression that should try to equal the importance, concrete and otherwise, of this place.

And again, the connection with the message of THE WALL by Pink Floyd is self-explanatory.

So we ask you to imagine / to design ANY KIND OF STRUCTURE that would act as a memorial of the former Checkpoint Charlie and as an architectural expression of the tensions and complexities related to this paradigmatic "break in the wall."

Thank you

ICARCH

A House for "The Dark Side of the Moon"


Most of the time relegated to a second position, in relation with its counterpart, the Sun, the Moon kept nevertheless a significant position in the “mental landscape” of the human kind.

It was often a WOMAN.

The Moon was most of the time a Queen.

While the Sun was the King.

But how beautiful, mysterious and ever affecting us, and life in general, this distant Queen…!!!

The Queen of the Night.

The Night of the Poet.

Here it is a beautiful poem by Lucian Blaga, a Romanian poet obviously under the spell of the Moon, in his famous poem:

I Do Not Crush the World’s Corolla of Wonders


I do not crush the world’s corolla of wonders
my mind does not kill
the mysteries I meet
on my way
in flowers, eyes, on lips or in tombs.
The light of others
strangles the spell of the hidden,
unpenetrated in depths of darkness,
but I,
I with my light increase the secret of the world –
as the moon with her white rays
does not diminish, but shimmering
intensifies night’s mystery,
I do myself enrich the dark horizon
with shivers, great shivers of sainted secret,
and what’s not comprehended
becomes even more incomprehensible
under my own watching –
because I love
flowers and eyes, and lips and tombs.

We invite you to design THE HOUSE OF THE FULL MOON.


By the way of the album “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.

Most architects only considered the movement of the sun, in their architectural investigations. Even Le Corbusier, in his famous definition of what architecture is, or should be, mentions a light that is obviously solar.

But the Moon, though somewhat neglected, is still there, still watching us, even if, voracious in our unending quests, apparently we did place a human foot on its surface.

Was it sacrilegious…???

Maybe for the poet and the saint, yes.

But we feel the Moon didn’t exhaust its mysteries because of our “conquest.”

Indeed, could a real Queen ever be conquered…?!?

So please express your feelings, your thoughts, your “darkest” or most luminous intuitions about the Moon through a great:

HOUSE OF THE FULL MOON.

Thank you,
ICARCH 

A House for "Ça Ira"


"CA IRA" is the name of the opera Roger Waters composed, inspired by the French Revolution.


And the picture displaying the people of Berlin neantifying the infamous Berlin Wall by sitting on it, while "the authority" looks on, powerless, is equally full of hope.

BEAUTIFUL.

THIS IS WHAT WE LONG FOR.

CA IRA

THERE IS HOPE.

But monsters are still lurking.

We read on the website of THE BERLIN WALL FOUNDATION that when CHECKPOINT CHARLIE was destroyed, that very point through which one left "the American zone" to enter East Berlin, that very place became the place through which one didn't leave any longer the American zone, but entered it... since on the other side, that previously belonged to East Berlin there are now American skyscrapers dedicated to commerce and money.

It IS worth reflecting on this.

Indeed, it does seem that we replaced THE BERLIN WALL with THE BERLIN MALL.

The fight must continue.

Yes, we demolished the Berlin Wall... but we built in its place The Berlin Mall, that is, we replaced the tyranny of Communism with the tyranny of Capitalism.

Roger Waters was quite aware of this...

His fight against the monsters lurking behind The Brave New World is explicit in almost all his music... The Wall, Animals, The Dark Side of the Moon, etc...

Yes, we demolished the wall of communism, but is THE WALL OF PLEASURE, pleasure for its own sake, vulgar and misleading, any better...? Dedicating one's life to often senseless production whose aim is a senseless consumption is not a legitimate raison d'etre for human life.

Yes, CA IRA... there is hope.

But we need to envision A NEW HORIZON OF HOPE.

Producing senselessly in order to consume senselessly is an anomaly.

And it does not offer hope, only a postponement, a covering of the deep angst within our chest covered with the thin veil of vulgar pleasure.

As someone said on PAPER TIGER TV in New York, "we want to change the world, and because we can't, we change our socks."

This is what Capitalism does... it deludes us in believing that if we change our socks, we change our world.

BUT WE DON'T.

WE ARE STILL TRAPPED INSIDE THE WALL.

WE ARE STILL BRICKS IN THE WALL.

WE NEED TO BREAK THE WALL.

And we cannot do it through producing senselessly in order to consume senselessly.

THE CONSUMER (WHAT A VULGAR WORD) IS STILL A BRICK IN THE WALL.

BREAK THE WALL, DEAR ARCHITECT!!!

BREAK THE WALL!!!

Afterwards we can talk about HOPE.

About CA IRA.

If you want to participate in the competition “Breaking the Wall – A HOUSE FOR PINK FLOYD,” please send us your architectural meditation on the subject by August 10th, this year. To register and to read all the requirements for this competitions, please visit: www.adep.ro/contest or write to us at [email protected]


Thank you.

ICARCH Gallery

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