‘hardcorism’ by WAI architecture (left) kaa’ba, mecca (middle) etienne louis boulee, newton cenotaph, chaux (right) kefren tomb, iv dynasty, giza all images courtesy of WAI architecture

‘pure hardcorism’ is a paradoxical architectural theory explained by WAI architecture in their latest manifesto, which boils architecture down to its most elemental and ideological essence. omnipresent in form, its purity transcends all prejudices, nationalities and regulations. without ornamentation, concept, organization of space, materiality or detail, only form.

the first hardcorist artist was kazimir malevich. his famous paintings, the black square, the black circle and the black cross, required a long and metaphysical journey to reach the conclusion that the more abstract and complex the struggle, the more concrete its rendition. this defines the exact ideal when pushed to its most extremist and ultimate extent. its strict rigid geometry gives it its infinite flexibility. 

who owns the circle? raw shapes are amongst the most widely recognizable icons on the planet. they are of nobody and for nobody, and as a result belong to all. it is these unbiased representations which we see reappear throughout the world and human history. there is no beginning or end. for this reason hardcorism in architecture exists ubiquitously, representing and being represented as organizations, ideologies, buildings, cities and nations.

four governing principles encompass this doctrine:

‘space is irrelevant’  the envelope of a space is the defining factor in hardcorism, therefore the only space existing is between the observer and the recognition of its shape.

‘image is everything’ form equals image. since hardcorism is form, its image defines its existence.

‘form is absolute’ there are no contextual or programmatic factors involved in hardcorist architecture. all external distractions are stripped away until pure form becomes the end-all to design.

‘architecture is immaterial’ once a construction is truly hardcorist, its materiality is insignificant, leaving only the transcendental image.  

WAI architecture: pure hardcorism (left) palazzo della civilta italiana, giovanni guerrini, rome (middle) haus des gaertners, claude nicholas, ledoux chaux (right) pyramid of cestius, giambattista, piranesi, rome

WAI architecture: pure hardcorism (left) modena cemetary, aldo rossi, modena (middle) spaceship earth, walt disney, imagineering, orlando (right) palace of peace and reconciliation, foster and partners, astana

WAI architecture: pure hardcorism (left) school of management and design, sanaa, zollverein (middle) RAK convention and exhibition center, OMA, dubai (right) le projet triangle, herzog and de meuron, paris