Figural Primitives | zifan LIU

Long concerned with the articulation of form by means of volume to mass, and way beyond a contemporary threshold of hyper articulation, the discipline seems to be at a critical juncture by having to choose between polar opposites: to continue the search for more complexity via the willful sculpting of soft surface, or to return to a fundamental purity by the articulation of simple platonic volumes.

Turning its attention towards both primitive and figure, the studio’s intention is to generate new cumulative mass and interstitial networks. based on a simple logic of aggregation and growth of self-similar primitives, their formal accretion will promote a diversely unified spatial atmosphere that defy the distinction between holistic and discrete, figure and figuration. with emerging and ever-shifting number of massing configurations, group outlines and individual silhouettes as possible outcome.

Consequently, the design aims to challenge classical conventions of typological composition not by completely disregarding type, but by evolving its DNA through mathematically based and intuition driven formal operations. This project is not interested in a dogmatic or pseudoscientific reliance on modular self-similar structures and their consequent formally stable mathematical expression, but in a rigorous and playful examination of these systems and their capacity to instigate the appearance of new, unseen or even rare forms of expressions that are themselves embedded with a deep underlying order.

The project is to instantiate and hybridizes these systems in the design of a new public library for the city of west Hollywood. Adjacent to the iconic pacific design center designed by architect Cesar Pelli in 1975 at the peak of postmodernism, the project presents the opportunity to rethink the role of public architecture in Los Angeles and with its over implicit iconicity. The project includes a children’s library, teen center, career development center, special collections, community meeting room, multipurpose public meeting room, cafe, bookstore and TV station.