33.0

2010-2011 / Concrete, gypsum

33.0 is a new addition for a robust, roughly built industrial building dating from 1950, with very course detailing and textures. It is an attempt at exploring process within the context of the existing building’s construction.

The original structure was built to accomplish a pragmatic task – to house heavy manufacturing equipment and the people operating the equipment. Very little care was given to aesthetic or cultural considerations when the original structure was conceived and constructed. Our idea, in response to a limited budget, was to apply the same coarse construction systems that were used in the original structure to build the addition (rough poured-in-place concrete with steel windows). We attempted to introduce a sculptural form into this conventional and coarse construction process – without being precious about it – to see how the form survived through the procedures of building. The form was considered relative to the dimensions of the human body in motion, at times accentuating the experience of verticality, at other times the experience of horizontality. In the end, using Kurt Schwitter’s Merzbau as a precedent, we chose to paint the entire assembly exactly the same shade of white as the rest of the building; thus, the reading of the piece becomes somewhat confusing – is it somehow part of the original structure?  Can we add further accretions of this built fabric in an organic manner?

Photography by Gwenael Lewis