R&Sie(n): fragments of the building that never dies R&Sie(n): fragments of the building that never dies
sep 07, 2010

R&Sie(n): fragments of the building that never dies

image © designboom

R&Sie(n)‘s apparatus simultaneously intrigues, attracts and repulses the spectator. francois roche‘s and stéphanie lavaux’s installation at this year’svenice architecture biennale is a fragment of the design of ‘thebuildingwhichneverdies’, a structure of 12 x 2 meters, carrying 50 units of ‘afterglowing glass’. it is a research laboratory of light intended to analyze human beings’ physiological (and ocular) adaptation to the dark and reveals the solar activity and its degree of dangerousness as well as the evolution of the ozone concentration in the stratosphere.

image © designboom

the arsenal installation is both a prototype and a ‘cabinet of curiosities‘ for an architecture which becomes a marker of the mind and environmental mutations. it articulates the dangerousness of the nature and the post-effect of human scientific development (ozone weakness which increases the UV intensity on the earth surface). this lab is aimed at the moon when it’s above the horizon, to take advantage of the one-lux minimum moonlight and even amplify it.

at night, this lab restores the light intensity of daytime by discharging UV sensor units located on all the exterior surfaces. thus, their phosphorescent components – isobiotopic (uranium) oxide pigment -, populated on all its exterior surfaces, report on solar activity, its degree of dangerousness according to its variations of intensity and specific nature (UV – A,B,C).

image courtesy R&Sie(n) – françois roche and stéphanie lavaux

the ‘chandeliers’ populating the surface of the ‘building’ lets out an afterglow as a signal of the mutation of our environment. their phosphorescence components (isobiot®opic oxide pigment) are working as UV sensors to indicate, by night, the intensity of UV rays which affected the zone by day, including people and all species. this way, they reveal the solar activity and its degree of dangerousness and the evolution of the ozone concentration in the stratosphere.

‘thebuildingwhichneverdies’ is a research laboratory of light intended to experiment and prove human behavior and adaption, in order to be able to reduce urban light pollution.

images © designboom

scenario – construction of a laboratory of light to test: – UV markers to show the weakness of ozone layer, – the dark adaptation to reduce urban light pollution – the melatonin effect with oled lamp to test the human metabolism circadian cycle. – defining an astronomical astrolabe shape by creating a correspondence between the location of the building and its celestial position – dedicating the observatory to: -the moon, by tracking its position through the rotation of the observatory itself; and -the sun, by collecting energy with phosphorescent pigments and photovoltaic cells.

image © designboom

outdoor – detection of the intensity of sun radiation by the after-glowing external surfaces, influenced by the seasonal and daily emission of the sun, through the surfaces touched directly by its rays. the phosphorescence components are working as UV sensors by detecting and indicating by night the intensity of UV which affected the zone by day, including people and all species. these glass components are by this way revealing and making visible the dangerousness of the sun’s and the evolution of the ozone concentration in the stratosphere.

indoor – testing and studying human physiology and aspects by the minimum perception of light and adaptation to darkness, and how, conversely, bright light intensity affects our metabolism.

isobiot®ope powder is jailed in a molded glass component (during the casting and glass) and reveals with the intensity of its phosphorescence the intensity of ultraviolet rays which cross the atmosphere, and specifically the stratosphere. image © designboom

the 50 ‘green components’ with 10 kg of isobiotopic substance react to sun light (UV rays), created in the arsenal building by an artificial LED flash (ca. every 5 minutes). the components glow as a detector, an architectural marker of the mutation of our environment and occur as a signal of UV human pathologies. the level of UV which has crossed the ozone layer is only revealed with a time gap, after the people are plugged into the shadows of the day, in the death of the sunset … read more

image © designboom

in the ‘thebuildingwhichneverdies’ a natural stone contains a radioactive natural element at the level of 0.88 micro sievert / hour (controlled by a geiger counter). images © designboom

a natural stone is on the middle of the installation, a radioactive natural element at the level of 0.88 micro sievert / hour. in ‘thebuildingwhichneverdies’, the french team uses a geiger counter to harness it. the natural radioactivity of venice is 0.16 microSV (in the installation the alpha rays do not travel more than 15 centimeters and are filtered by human skin barrier).

image courtesy R&Sie(n) – françois roche and stéphanie lavaux

image courtesy R&Sie(n) – françois roche and stéphanie lavaux

making of the glowing light units image courtesy R&Sie(n) – françois roche and stéphanie lavaux

still from the video which explains the project, shown in the arsenale image courtesy R&Sie(n) – françois roche and stéphanie lavaux

‘it is not a catastrophic report, or a ‘green washing’ report, but more a recognition of a transition, a translation between past and future, between psychology and physiology, where nature & science have to be reconsidered, renegotiated through a ‘safe and unsafe’ aspect.‘ françois roche and stéphanie lavaux tell designboom.

bubbles from R&Sie(n)

the 50 ‘green components’ with 10 kg of isobiotopic substance image courtesy R&Sie(n) – françois roche and stéphanie lavaux

credits architect: R&Sie(n) creative team: francois roche, stephanie lavaux, kiuchi toshikatsu with sandra meireis, ulrike marie steen, hamish rhodes, sina momtaz light engineer: benoit lalloz glass craftsmen: stephane rivoal, pedro veloso key dimensions: 1000 m2 client: zumtobel

  • when I saw it in the arsenale, I didn’t get the scientific research behind it.

    mnggg says:
  • is it only too complicated for me or is it really complex?

    jan says:
  • rare and unique research
    Is architecture a object or a subject…R&Sie(n) manipulates complexity as a miror of our own reality.
    But architect want just iconographic Totem, and simplification…to feel more secure in a naive soup.
    I have to reconize that Im surprised that architecture could emerge from a scenario…

    Torsad from UK says:
  • well, it seems the only anomaly in this 2010 biennale.
    Do we need to promote or erase anomaly. It depend from where you are talking.

    zarkoff says:
  • ?? Not understandable, but the work of R&Sie(n) is always at a border of pataphysic (Roussel, Jarry…) using apparatuses to de-fold the un-reality of the appareance.
    Here the paranoia seems operative if you preliminary accepted to reach the game. If not, it s just nothing, just green luminescence and you can pass your way.

    lord says:

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