HQ Architecture + [Tom Wiscombe Design]

Mosca, Russia: National Center For Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe Design
National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

This proposal is a continuation of a body of work we refer to as ‘objects wrapped in objects’, which deals with discrete, chunky objects gathered and squished together in a sack.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

This strategy creates complex interstitial spaces and deferred interiority, making the contemporary museum a space of surprises and discrete experiences rather than an endless continuum of paths. Tristan Garcia, the object-oriented philosopher, talks about the infinite regress of things inside of things inside of things, except the world, which everything is inside of and therefore cannot itself be inside of something else.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

For him, the concept of a ‘sack’, literally, is a diagram of the conundrum of how things can simultaneously be autonomous from one another but also contain other things. This conundrum is the core of our proposal, in that the building should appear simultaneously as multiple autonomous objects but also as a larger, emergent object with its own properties.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

The vibration between these two ways of existing creates a visual indeterminacy that is alluring and durable. On the south side facing the Park, the sack is sliced open to reveal a public space nestled inside. An inner liner delaminates from the sack surface creating space for permanent and temporary gallery spaces in between.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

The building is re-enclosed with a glass membrane which is not coincident with the sack silhouette, creating an indeterminacy of enclosure and interiority. Black jack-like objects squish out into the sack from the inside or push into it from the outside. They are therefore either tucked between sack and liner, entirely outside the sack, or partially covered by the sack.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

One internal jack disappears altogether, opening up vast interior spaces between sack and liner. Interstitial spaces between discrete objects become the primary circulation of the building. the jacks house various support functions such as theaters, research area, library, and offices.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

The sack is articulated with architectural tattoos that subvert subdivision logics in favor of the freeform figuration allowed by composite construction. Tattoos are executed in such a way as to blur the edge between discrete objects and visually re-establish the larger object, as if qualities from the black objects begin to loosen and drift onto the sack.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

Finally, the building is squished into a ‘ground object’ which is in turn squished into the land. the looseness between building and ground object allows for passage underneath the building. the looseness between ground object and land emphasizes the object-hood of the building complex. This move contrasts with exhausted ideas of buildings becoming landscape or otherwise disappearing into context. Description from Tom Wiscombe Design.

National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe
National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe
National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe
National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe
National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe
National Center for Contemporary Arts by Tom Wiscombe

Location: Moscow, Russia Architect: Tom Wiscombe Design Year: 2013 Status: Competition Client: Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

8.3/10 (818)