Jury feedback summary
The second prize is awarded to a project distinguished by succinct, profound clarity. The project is described through objective form, the primitive geometries of a sphere and plane, diagrammed a circle and line. The proposal is actualized through a buoyant, spherical balloon which holds aloft a steel roof. The glowing orb floats high above the plaza, framed against the sky, while below, visitors meander beneath the tenuous weight of the suspended steel canopy. This suspended ceiling defines an empty terrain in a public space, which has the potential to serve as a collective platform for social engagement, or a space of individual contemplation.
As a pavilion, the archetypal figures of a sphere and plane render meaning through analogous contrast: between one another as objects, and the site and viewer as subjects. Through this dichotomy the project engages both the metaphysical and metaphoric — the lightness of an ideal, and the weight, burden, and responsibility of its reality. Importantly, the proposal seeks a certain monumentality, recalling visions of the French enlightenment architects like Étienne- Louis Boullée and Claude Ledoux. Through universal form, and with gravity as its medium, the proposal monumentalizes an enlightened ideal while paying homage to the sacrifices made by those who have pursued it.
Jury feedback summary
The success of the first place proposal lies in its careful selection, organization, and representation of autonomous archetypes, liberating the pavilion from politically biased signifiers oft assumed through architectural form. The positivity of the architecture and representation creates a sense of no-place (Utopia), allowing the pavilion to proclaim itself in any environment, culture, and situation as a platform for liberated speech.
The easel is the principle component of the pavilion. Organized in a striated, but ordered field condition, the easel provides canvases for individual expression. Nodes of concentrated activity are carved out of the field to create larger social platforms for collective discourse and dialogue. Despite the openness of the relative field, the easel is deployed as a series of walls without ceilings. These barriers simultaneously enclose the individual while relating them to the whole. Tectonically, and through representation, the project embodies a virtue of innocence, inherent also to the ideal of free speech. Instead of memorializing imagery as an archive, the architecture itself embodies and perpetuates the spirit of expression Charlie Hebdo fosters.