Master of Architecture
Town, Interrupted breaks tyranny of place with an architecture of measured instability. It introduces a dynamic building with a new aesthetic and housing type in the stable and homogenous townscape of Marfa, Texas. Marfa In this remote desert town, a central border patrol facility operates alongside a vibrant art community. Marfa is simultaneously sophisticated and rough, constructed and raw. Reified into and art institution, it is becoming victim of its own success, editing out a rich diversity of lifestyles that is specific to the West Texas enclave. Marfa has an eclectic community, but the legacy of Donald Judd perpetuates an aesthetic orthodoxy of beige, symmetrical and bare boxes. With single family homes as the only housing type, the growth pattern of Marfa's urban fabric is also boxy and consistent. Interruption In Girl Interrupted at her Music (1660), Johannes Vermeer used interruption in the subject of his painting as a device to capture movement in a static form of representation. Town, Interrupted embeds movement in -inherently static- architecture, to produce formal and social associations that constantly fluctuate between the individual and the collective. A "disciplined play" on seriality destabilizes part-to-whole relationships. Six slightly rotated towers puncture a horizontal mass. From different perspectives, they merge and separate. The rotation opens up the form and creates dynamic circulation. Four distinct unit types are aggregated to shape courtyards and create interconnected sub-hierarchies. Enhanced by Marfa's dramatic light changes on reflective and translucent materials, the repeated misregistration of identical parts produces a flickering effect.