2020 Pella Prize Finalists Recognized
May 3, 2020
Xinyi (Cherry) Chen
Meandering, in any city, reveals the city’s essence through a perspectival view; one is pulled through space by elements at all scales and accompanied by stimulated senses. God’s city, a Benedictine monastery in the city of NY, embeds the law of meandering in its map, where a hierarchy of lines, arrows, signs, and shapes arrange dynamic yet structured sequences of spatial experiences for both the devout community of monks and the New Yorker. Meandering in the city of God, whether heedless or mindful, straight or wavering, processing or strolling, seeing or being seen, as one or as a collective, is underpinned by principles of order tuned to the role of the ambulant observer.
‘Archive’ refers to both the set of documents and the building that houses them, with an ambiguity to which precedes the other. Slow manual retrieval set in a rapid attention economy and fragile documents set against concrete create an atmosphere that solicits care and attention for the content. Slowness as a way of drawing led to slowness as a program. This archive begins with the drawings that made it, and speculates that it will be filled, examined, curated, and refilled as a living device. Lifted foundations cradle bays of the mechanical instruments to physically engage the visitor in the documents’ slow unveiling. The speculative archive is a reformulated typology with a new optimism for growth, creativity, diligence, and oversight in its place.
My thesis investigates a new approach towards thinking spatially and tectonically about issues of architecture. It does not, per se, aim to create an artifact called ‘architecture.’ The intention is to rewire my design methodology. Typically, there is a linear architectural model: analysis and ideation, followed by synthesis and validation. Naturally, there is a dichotomy between process and project. However, in my thesis they exist in duality. Here, the process—the realm of the architect—is foremost. It isn’t simply a justification to lead towards a project. It is the project. Apart from the scientific art of construction, my thesis focuses on the expressive art of creation. Apart from closure, my thesis looks for a new beginning. With the act of making, filtered through my two dearest passions—WRITING and DRAWING—this thesis explores the creative possibilities that explicate architecture.
Xuanyu (Jinko) Li
In today’s corporatized metropolises, the 99% toil across the majority of their lives in servitude. Every day, most execute the same activities: wake, eat, commute, work, eat, work, commute, eat, sleep. The majority are alienated, being mere cogs in the engine that runs constantly for the productivity of the capitalist machine. New York, one of these metropolises, is the ideal site for a current-day “Ark”: an architectural project to transport refugees from urban alienation. The autonomous edifice in the heart of the city inserts itself within the existing urban fabric, offering curative spaces for the subjugated. The one-mile long structure is punctuated with programmatic nodes aimed at sustaining and nourishing the physical and psychic needs of the body and the spirit.
A 'Horologium for Einstein’s Dreams' is guided by the engagement and materialization of time through architecture. The project is a complex of three interconnected programs: a watch workshop, a watchmaker’s residence, and an archive. This settlement and its programming, siting, materiality, and details embody four different conceptions of time (mechanical, bodily, fluid & natural) and therefore construct its polyvalent nature.