Instructor: Iñaki Abalos, Alexander Jacobson (research associate)
Students: Caio Barboza, Sofia Blanco Santos, Erin Cuevas, Tamotsu Ito, Jeronimo van Schendel Erice
When Le Corbusier published the book “Une Maison, Un Palais” – Which is per se a methodological manifesto, deeply rooted in the academic tradition – he was addresing the belief that all the complexities of institutional buildings were contained in the most elemental shelter or hut. More interestingly, he suggested that Architecture appears only when one is able to link the most simple pavilion or hut, with a palace.
“Dualisms: A House, A Palace” is the title of a research and design studio taught in the Fall of 2015 and Spring of 2016, that marked the beginning of Harvard GSD’s new Superstudio program. Taught by the Architecture Department Chair (2013-2016) and studio professor at the school, Iñaki Ábalos, the studio addressed the relation between form and performance in ways that are at odds with the bureaucratic understanding of sustainability, as well as with the formal mimetic of all the clichés in use. We looked for a new idea of beauty, based on this dual approach to form and performance that we familiarly call our nice monsters.
The success of the studio has been predicated on the relentless understanding of Architecture through research and prototyping of climate, material culture and program -flow, matter, form. The work displayed represents either the house or the palace of each of the student’s selected research projects. They exemplify the many dualisms that each one established within their own context, as well as further advance the discourse on thermodynamics.