panta rhei

The design conceptualizes and proposes to create urban farming land art for and during Documenta, a hybrid between art pavilion and agricultural field, Anyone can plant and harvest but also create and present works of art. Food and art are brought in close relation. Art is understood to be essential, mundane, is meant to be experienced directly instead of being an inapproachable something, which is framed, placed on a pedestal, and carefully preserved within a white cube. As such, the concept also contents the polarity between art and nature, between artificial and natural. Ten funnels make room for collecting art objects beneath and rainwater atop, inspiring and irrigating the surrounding context. These also contain the entire facilities, from seminar room to press centre. Trout swims in the collected water and is intended for consumption. The funnels’ tentacles function as irrigation and information system. Their ends are wardrobes and displays, which greet the visitors entering the area from the subterranean parking garage and the streets. They also function as a central control system for orientation between the various satellites. The fields can be used by the visitors for art production but also for cultivation of vegetables. Both can be collected in the funnels. The collective preparation and consumption of food promotes communication about the art that has been produced. Throughout the exhibition, the realised project mirrors the constant change of both: art and nature. Vegetables grow and are consumed following predefined rules. The shiny, polished stainless steel panels of the pavilion gathers patina and rust until it is finally dismantled. Similarly, the art objects grow in a process-driven way and acquire importance until the visitors are saturated. Art and nature both live and die. Nothing is timeless, nothing perennial. Everything flows.


Press release from September 28, 2011 at "Biotech Lab is ArchitectsJury Winner Budapest, September 28, 2011 – Christoph Müller, a fifth year student at the Technical University in Vienna, is the winner of the first semester 2011 ArchitectsJury competition. Designed with ArchiCAD, his design of a biotechnology facility was chosen by his student peers from among hundreds of submissions in the semi-annual online competition. According to Müller, although biotechnology is a well-developed field in Central Europe, the laws governing biotechnology research are very stringent and the population tends to be prejudiced against genetic modification. In order to overcome these prejudices, Müller set out to design an open, public space that would also serve as an information center, a market place, and a museum. “My goal was to create a design that functions like an organism made up of a modular system of ‘cells’, limited only by the boundaries of the building site,” Müller said. “Each ‘cell’ has its own function, which is adaptable and changeable,” he continued. The building is exposed from above using light wells, allowing natural light into the space. As a result, it can be extended as far as the boundaries of the lot dimensions allow. Deep ‘cuts’ in the skin of the façade make it possible to look not only at the buildings directly across the street, but into the street and along the rails as well. To make this space as flexible as possible, the laboratory above is held only by four staircase-columns. To allow for the maximum deviation of 35 meters and to transfer the weight to the ground, the diameters of the staircase-columns increase as they near the top."

new beletage

The basis for this project was the Schindler Award 2012 competition call. Beyond „universal design“ the task addresses the competition site’s adjacent social assistance facilities for drug addiction, homelessness, and poverty. Due to the city centre’s high rent and lease costs, these institutions’ removal to the suburbs had been repeatedly debated. Furthermore, the “Reitschule”, a community centre of left-wing activists, is also located in immediate proximity of the site and bothers the city, its inhabitants, passers-by, etc., such that it had been suggested to similarly relocate it away from the city centre. However, both social assistance facilities and political exchange are necessary precisely in the city centre. Hence, the concept proposes a long-term solution facilitating and retaining the existing diversity in the city centre via cross programming involving architectural cash cows. This happens via a simple systematic section: commercial functions and conventional public space are planned on street level; the floor above contains the new layer “new bel étage,” which houses the social facilities and supplies space for the “Reitschule”’s dedicated users; the floor at the top houses luxurious apartments, start-ups, and hotel rooms. Even though the architectural system of pathways and routes divides the various functions distinctively such as to avoid conflicts, the concept also creates the possibility of communication via the order of functions, which target everyone. In the long run, the minimization of physical distance between the inhabitants within the city structure will also lead to mental proximity. The “new bel étage” incorporates the idea of a new public space, one that addresses conflicts and synergies one that proposes an updated urban and architectural typology involving the cohabitation of highly varying social groups in future metropolises.

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© Univ.Lektor Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Christoph Müller BSc