of MARGINAL INTEREST
Advisor: Andrew Zago, Special Advisor: Elena Manferdini
The project takes up an investigation of weak and marginal architectural effects in a context of strong form. The project is a competition for a new central library for the city of Helsinki Finland. In the center of the city, the site sits adjacent to important projects by Eliel Saarinen, Alvar Aalto and Steven Holl, and the Finnish Parliament. Architecture’s effects operate largely at the center of visual interest. It is in the central cone of vision (the fovea) that perspective is created and in which architectural assemblies are imagined. One consequence of the sectional object, a long-standing series of investigations which seeks to confound the hegemonic dominance of objects by making them an interior condition, is that the occupant is shifted from a privileged position in the center of the interior space to its margins. This decentralization may also find its parallels in the visual field. In the mature painting of Mark Rothko, for example, the activated field of the painting is at the periphery. But unlike the strategy employed in the sectional object in which the object at the center has great visual interest, the center of these paintings create a blankness. This atmospheric voiding of the center in deference to the edge is their primary, and unsettling, effect.