The Architecture of Power
|Type:||Walking tour, Research Project|
|Collaborators:||Merlin Fulcher, Sorcha Mcgarry-Hunt, Klaus Platzgummer|
On the walk, which connected the tripartite of Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Wesminster and Trafalgar Square, we discussed the ambiguity and complexity of land ownership and told the story of the uneasy contract of power that has evolved over time between monarchy, parliament, church, private sector and public.
We viewed Westminster as a gestalt, a sequence of constructions, destructions, inflections and duplicities: altogether a demonstration of Venturi’s complexity and contradiction and reading of architecture as media and symbolism, function and performance.
To help communicate this complexity we devised a series of two-sided playing cards with a specific location and an “ownership suit” on one side, and its location on the overall map on the other, creating a simple puzzle. Within the narrative of the walk we introduced metaphorical themes, specifically the vase metaphor and the parchment metaphor (or palimpsest), which relate to symbolism versus functionality (or dysfunctionality) and a way of interpreting the city as a perceptible layering of its history.