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Decadent Split

Critic: Max Kuo
Harvard GSD // M.Arch Core I // Fall 2016


Decadent Split

A building commissioned by a professional art thief who seeks to hide her stolen paintings. The reason she steals paintings is the key to finding the hidden room: an obsession with the surface of a painting, its ability to feign depth, dimension and perspective, while at the same time obscuring the actual depth of the space between the canvas and the wal upon which the frame hangs. She cannot escape the allure of this simple double trick - the reason she steals is partly to ensure she always knows what lies behind the sneaky surface. 

There are a multitude of ways in which a surface can be “sneaky,” all of these stem from the fact that surfaces exist in three dimensions, yet our perception defaults to thinking about them in two dimensions. The building takes advantage of this condition: wall surfaces delaminate and hide interior spaces behind the seemingly two-dimensional, and surface subdivisions shift and swell to mislead the observer from what lies behind the building facade.

Can you find the hidden room?