Shaped by established social conventions, rationality is the determining factor of urban man. Civilised are those who follow reason and morality.
But it is also excess, ecstasy and wildness that always go hand in hand with man as sources of lust for life. This exuberant energy, therefore, needs valves, places and communities in which it can temporarily discharge itself in a socially acceptable way.
The following work is a search for characteristics and strategies to draw a first fine contour of this energy and the spaces it requires. It is certainly not an attempt to capture it holistically. The assumption of being able to make a universally valid statement is simply not possible with such subjective challenges.
By wandering through the thematic contexts of the Dionysian, the mystical, the liminoid, ecstasy, tumult, play, abject, anti-structure, masking and heterotopia, parallels and characteristics of that wildness are identified and the concept of the “off” is introduced as a category of spatial theory. In this context, the off can be read as the spatial counterpart of excess energy. Both can be understood as rebellion and breaking out of the usual, commercial urban spectacle.
In order to correspond to the polymorphous meaning of the off and the energy of excess in the architectural form, the design techniques of bricolage and détournement are used as essential design tools.
The resulting architectural design is conceived as a spatial configuration of the off, an enabling space for the discharge of outlined wildness. The design oscillates between the defined and the neutral, the experiential and the enabling space. It is within this field of tension that Temple Off finds its place.
The urban context of Paris is chosen as the field of experimentation – a city that, due to its density and current transformation processes, offers a dynamic breeding ground for the development of the Off as a spatial-theoretical examination and architectural typology. The Temple Off finds its place near the Boulevard Périphérique on a railway wasteland surrounded by urban development processes, infrastructure construction zones and an elevated garage.
A truly wild place for a wild design.