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Perforations of Transparency

Part 2 Project 2005
Laurie Marlow
University of Brighton, UK
A ‘machine’, a process rather than an object, was conceived and used to generate multiple surfaces. The initial step was selecting and making a scaled drawing of a found object, a loom. Combined with research into how other disciplines use graphical methods to display data, composite drawings were formulated and analyzed through specific strategic processes. This spawned the ‘surface’ drawings.

Mis-readings of H.O.K’s proposal for the Royal London Hospital were developed within the language articulated by surface drawings. This allowed a new architecture to emerge, one based on qualities of transparency and visual distortion contained within image.

Laurie Marlow

This proposal for the controversial Royal London Hospital project is uncommonly clear-cut, but the poignancy of its confrontation with architecture’s increasingly ephemeral surface and its revelation of the flagrant passivity of PFI projects is timely. Even if the Government won’t sanction a project resonant of post-war Beirut it is incontrovertible that by isolating the generic facade from HOK’s proposal Marlow’s urbanite comes face-to-face with architecture’s potentially brutal Piranesian materiality, re-awakening architecture’s daunting space-making capacity. Marlow erases architecture’s late Modern formalism with a Mannerist-like dismantling of HOK’s project. The negative rampart mediating between the city and patient demands to know whether the NHS is a fortress or an accessible institution as we are given to believe.

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