Infinite Motive

John Hill
5. November 2015
Photo: Courtesy of House of Art České Budějovice

As part of their Finite Format exhibition at the House of Art České Budějovice in the Czech Republic, Chilean architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen, working with students from the Faculty of Art and Architecture at the Technical University of Liberec, have built a scale model based on overlapping circles.

Infinite Motive, as the model and accompanying drawings are called, is a formal departure for Pezo von Ellrichshausen, whose completed buildings – mainly houses and pavilions – are almost purely orthogonal. Yet the circles of the installation still resonate with their designs, which involve complex spaces created through the manipulation of squares and other simple geometries at various scales. Their early Poli House is a good case in point: it is a cube that is punctured by square openings and carved by smaller cubic voids, resulting in a number of unexpected vistas across the house.

Unlike the Poli House though, Infinite Motive is purely a two-dimensional exercise, one focused solely on the plan. Nevertheless, the large and small spaces created by the overlapping circles – some of them clearly inaccessible – offer up a complexity that is staggering yet refreshingly free of computers, the usual way for architects to achieve complexity this century.

This study in the one shape as realized by the conventions of drawing and model gains in appeal through the insertion of door-sized openings and scale figures. Although it is free from program, if realized to full-scale Infinite Motive could easily be a museum, an unconventional enfilade of rooms that would be a joy to explore and get lost in.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen – Finite Format is on display at House of Art České Budějovice from 22 October to 19 November 2015.

Photo: Courtesy of House of Art České Budějovice
Photo: Courtesy of House of Art České Budějovice
Image: Courtesy of House of Art České Budějovice
Image: Courtesy of House of Art České Budějovice

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