SS-2016 – Professor Joris Fach and Ignacio Bóscolo – 2nd. Supervisor Roger Bundschuh
Mankind’s chosen few always lived in luxury. More importantly for architecture, luxury has continuously spawned many of its finest beacons we still admire today. Renaissance palaces, grand hotels and many modernist villas are all inconceivable without an unsettling lust for representational extravagance. However, luxury’s more typical symptoms are blunt excess and exorbitance that all too often result in products of utter tastelessness. Those built exaggerations are not set apart by distinguished aesthetic, but rather mundane parameters: sheer size, stunning views, astronomical building costs, or dozens of superfluous bathrooms.
However tasteless, luxurious edifices are almost always exclusive, providing distinguished classes with a protected environment just for themselves. Security and separation are valued qualities, especially in dense urban environments and have become much more sophisticated than, say, standard gated communities. Finally, luxury sells. Especially in Western cities, luxurious developments generate much higher margins, sell faster and increase in value more rapidly than standard property. Beyond moral judgments, this studio will calibrate specific definitions of luxury in relation to a self-chosen context. How does contemporary luxury materialize and comply with contemporary urban ways of life? What is the right balance between comfort, convenience, and distinction? Instead of indulging in comprehensive excess, what are more subtle, more focused ways of pronounced luxury? How can we use the relative freedom from reason and economy to architecture’s advantage?
Selected student: Bojana Bjelic