Tbilisi architecture biennial

Panel Church

online

03.11.20

Kyiv, 1934. Religion is officially prohibited, churches are levelled, priests and believers are prosecuted and terrorized. Still, children are baptized in secret, at home, in a new Plattenbau, representing the party´s new way of providing housing to the masses. The rooms are tiny, highly standardized, walls getting in the way. This almost obsessively functional architecture could not be far away from the traditional sacral buildings of the east, where the one single room, grown over decades if not centuries represents a holistic view of the world, not imposing any physical barriers to movement with the standing congregation not even needing pews. What happens if those two typologies are combined? Mass-produced symbols of power? Organically grown high-rises? Are the apparently obvious differences even substantial?


Let’s conduct an experiment and compare these two floor plans. We take the outer shell of a church, combine it with the inner structure of the panel building and then repeat this combined element as often as possible until it becomes almost absurd. One element is layered over the other up to the height of a church, until a panel church arises. 


The project studies differences between two typologies, only to realize that, firstly, there aren’t as many differences in representation of power as one suspects initially. Secondly, it becomes clear that our reality has had Siri’s voice for a long time, its face is a glowing screen that is complete with advertising. Artificial intelligence, that’s what we do have in common. And that’s what the project is contrasting, asking a question: do we have a choice?


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