Reto Geiser (ed.)

Archetypes documents full-scale architectural mock-ups as they are found on construction sites and testing facilities around the globe.

A form of proxy architecture, the mock-up is frequently comprised of disparate elements from a single building project. Windows, curtain wall systems, or material samples often find themselves coupled together in an assemblage that bears more resemblance to public art installations than to architecture. Built to a scale of 1:1 and assembled to assist with particularly difficult construction details, the mock-up aids in the overall understanding of how a building's components will appear or function.

The mock-up's temporary status, combined with its lack of spatial articulation—the mock-up is most frequently built to test surfaces and materials, not spaces—puts it in league with another better known architectural typology: the film set. To this end, this project utilizes direct, dramatic lighting to isolate the mock-ups from their often haphazard construction site settings, permitting a more focused reading of the structures, paradoxically rendering these para-architectural objects more ambiguous.


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