Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Draft Review of 44 Grey

Despite issues with Secondlife that were beyond their control, 44 Grey had a very impressive presentation that demonstrated just how much thought had been put into the details of their design. Their island hotel is intended to be a day spa made up of different microclimates, and had a very well considered interior. Their city hotel plays with the notions of privacy and publicity and considered the façade as a screen made up of many interactive pixels.

Rejuvenation was one of the main points of the island hotel. And internally focused day spa, the island hotel is made up of atriums with differing microclimate. The atriums in the centre of the hotel contain facilities, and none of the atriums contain windows to the outside- this is a very introspective design. Balconies lead between undulating atrium forms and the exterior, filling the voids between the atrium and the façade with useable space. The entrance is hidden: the bottom levels of the island hotel are flooded, and one enters the hotel via boat. This increases the overall privacy of the hotel These were the concepts that 44 Grey showed us, but they certainly hadn't been their only ones. 44 Grey had spent much time discussing their ideas and it showed. They had considered many things, from moving floors and the use of figures as both ornamentation and as structural elements; with figures acting like columns on their interior. The effort put into the idea behind this design was admirable and their outcome was beautifully elegant.

Their city hotel unfortunately didn't really show up on Secondlife due to issues with the server, yet it appeared to be well thought out as well. The city hotel has a massive façade with images covering it like a film strip. These images relate back to the treatment of the figure in Classicism, looking at Romantic paintings and the like. They also helped to portray one of the themes in the building, the thin line between privacy and publicity. When a light is turned on in the building, the image on the façade turns off, like a dying pixel. This means that whoever is in the room is now completely visible to the outside world. The plan of the rooms enhance this notion. Similar to designs by Le Corbusier, 44 Grey had a hallway on every 3rd floor, with rooms above and below this. These rooms have some double-height spaces, and the plan gives the occupant the ability to move on both sides of the building- the public and private sides. 44 Grey did express that they weren't yet entirely happy with the simple, box like shape of the design, but they do seem to have a lot of good concepts to work with. We are very much looking forward to see what they produce in the future.

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