“You can’t know who you are until you know where you are”.
The project departs from the realisation that place is gone!
The world as we know it today is a scene of endless displacement.
It no longer matters where you are because you feel like you can be anywhere at anytime. Place was what once defined who we are, where we are and what we are doing and it has now lost its meaning.

As architects – place making and place loving creatures, we must bring back place and put it back on the map.

Place has been replaced with space!
While space is decentralized and infinite, place is centered and finite; it can ground us.

The Map of Brackey archipelago

This project will explore the idea of place and its construction through stories and drawing via maps.
We shall embark on a treasure hunt to find and restore place and for that we must follow this map to its edges and keep going.

Entering the map

Once upon a time there was a ship sailing unknown waters. This ship was full of architects that had been kidnapped from Venice by a fundamentalist villain.
The villain wanted to rid the world of architects.
The villain explodes the ship. But something went wrong: one of the Architects survived. And here our story splits in two.
On one side we follow the adventure of the architect, deserted on an island and on the other we follow the villain seeking a place to own.

The architect on the deserted island

The architect swims to the nearest piece of land and finds himself on a deserted island. On the island and amongst the shipwreck he finds a book that he begins to read.
While stranded and deserted it is in our instinct to do everything we can to get off the island and back to the continent and for that we must create.
Creation is not optional but a matter of survival.
Unable to leave, the architect instead begins to reclaim land in hopes that he can grow the island and build a connection back to the continent. This is not a territorial act; rather he grows the land under his feet to keep walking.
The Architects creation is not concerned with changing the world but rather finding a way out of it.

How I stole the Duke of Wellington and got away with it

One day in 1961, the villain was passing by the National gallery and saw an open window. Conveniently a ladder lay nearby. Had the window been closed, or the ladder not been near, this story may well have gone a different direction. However, that day, a man saw an opportunity: one that allowed him to climb and break into the gallery by crossing that window: a threshold between spaces and morals.

The proof

A real theft is appropriated into a fictional narrative first by Ken Adam, and now again, by me.

The villain re-enters the map

The villain holding the painting, re enters our shipwreck map. We move from a real to fictional place.
So once back in this map the villain heads toward the island.
This island is Crab Key. It is a place by itself because someone else has constructed it before.
As any good architect one must explore the site before acting on it so the villain sets out to explore this island.

The Map of Crab Key

This is an imagined island designed by Ken Adam to be the lair of the first ever James Bond Villain, Dr No.
The film medium allows for a continuous narrative and an illusion of a parallel continuous geography. The film cut permits this illusion of continuity.
The map is set up to re-create this illusion and subvert it simultaneously. The fold acts as the film cut. Each time the map is unfolded, it opens into another world, and another narrative, and another scale of the movie.
The map fold is always operative and this one tells us on which ontological level of the island creation we are.
We start by being located within a world we know only to then unfold and zoom into Pinewood Studios in the outskirts of London, where parts of the James bond world where built and filmed, then zoom further to go to Jamaica where the external shots where done and ultimately we enter my own view of this place: the Bond world Ken Adam invented where the villain hid the Duke of Wellington that was stole from the National Gallery.

Villain's Lair

Uprooted, our villain on is now deserted and isolated from all contexts but his own: he built himself a circle from inside out.
There is no way in, and no way out.
Inside, however, there are still hints of the past: the scale-shifting aquarium of Dr. No's Lair.

The villain's lair that inhabits 2 narratives

The object becomes part of the story as a transformation of the map and it also contains the devices to scale-change and jump narratives.

The Map of Deception Island

Our hero restlessly grows the island, and finally arrives at a point where he can see where we started our journey.
We realise we were but an small inset in a much larger map.

When we move from a place where we know where we are and what we are doing, to find ourselves lost and deserted. It is like we passed form a relatively simplicity to a complexity that its irreducible and ultimately incomprehensible (being lost on a deserted island)
We meet not only the desertedness of the island and ourselves but also the limitation of our own knowledge, intelligence, character and strength.
To do this is to accept place as an influence. Place as a determinant of our architecture.