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Wall Court Play

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


Wall Court Play


“The church interior, the baroque style’s greatest achievement, revealed a completely new conception of space directed towards infinity: form is dissolved in favor of the spell of light, the highest manifestation of the painterly.” 
    -Hubert Damisch, A Theory of /Cloud/

The project is a cricket club, situated on a nine-square grid of columns, on a steeply sloping terrain, using a fragment extracted from a baroque precedent church. The close analysis of the selected precedent, Michalangelo’s Sforza Chapel, revealed a highly interesting moment: a collision point between a thin, curving wall and the thick, regularized walls of the chapel. At this point, the curving wall tucks behind the exaggerated, protruding form of the poche. The resulting effect is one of implied continuity beyond what is visible; what Hubert Damisch describes as the baroque conception of “space directed towards infinity.”

The curving wall acts as a backdrop on a stage set, while the massive poche plays a role similar to that of a proscenium. Together, the elements frame the cricket players, mediating the viewing experience of the spectators watching from the sidelines. 

On the exterior, the fragment is inverted. The curving wall becomes a massive window through which the spectators observe the game on the outdoor playing field. At the terminus point of the panorama wall, what used to be the massive poche in the baroque fragment is now only its exterior skin, transformed into a crenellated band of multicolored glass. Light coming from the exterior is filtered through the colored, crenelated glass surface, and is cast onto the curving panorama walls on the interior.

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Featured on Koozarch, April 05, 2017.