A new pavilion is opening in Seoul on 25th April 2009.
The first exhibition in the Prada Transformer is Waist Down – Skirts by Miuccia Prada, showcasing a collection of skirts ‘in motion’ ranging from the first ever Prada show to the present day. The venue will also host a cinema festival, a contemporary art exhibition and other fashion related events in the next five months. The Transformer, designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA combines the four sides of a tetrahedron: hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle into one pavilion. The building, entirely covered with a smooth elastic membrane, will be flipped using cranes, completely reconfiguring the visitor’s experience with each new programme. Each side plan is precisely designed to organize a different event installation, creating a building with four identities. Whenever one shape becomes the ground plan, the other three shapes become the walls and the ceiling defining the space, as well as referencing historic or anticipating future event configurations. The structure is located in the front yard of Gyeonghui Palace in Seoul.
Alvaro Siza’s recently completed snaking path museum in Brazil might be of interest to KNOT people.
The French engineer Marc Brunel revolutionized tunneling with an invention based on the observation of nature. He studied the tunneling of the ship worm Teredo Navalis – a pest that ate the wooden hulls of ships. He noticed the tough shell on the end of this worm, used to cut through wood, and that the rest of the worm was a long tube used to dispose of the wood shavings. Brunel conceived of a “tunnel shield” that turned miners into a huge human worm digging under the Thames. He devised a 120 ton cast iron structure, twenty-two feet tall, nine feet wide and divided into nine areas, on each of the squares Brunel attached iron sides three feet deep. A miner stood in each of these opening, which were closed with fourteen three inch thick boards. The miner removed a board, dug four and a half inches into the soil, replaced the board, then removed the board below and dug four and a half inches again. When the miners were finished, workers standing behind the shield turned huge screws and drive it forward four and one half inches. As the miners began digging bricklayers covered the newly exposed earth, building a permanent tunnel. Brunel hoped his human worm would burrow three feet a day, but he had to settle for one foot a day and it took eighteen years to build the Thames tunnel completed in 1843. The tunnel is still in use as part of the London Underground system.