A B I T A R E
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenija
Furniture? Practical companions in life, objects of desire or merely tools to defy and resist the forces of gravitation. The year 2001 is nearing. Odyssey 2001. Where or what went wrong? The daily politics, the lobby of the dated but still profitable technology. Prognosis? We should be modern nomads, we should so-to-speak colonize the universe. All should be in one, should be one. Sophisticated. Clothing, chair, mode of transport, bed, working position… None of it. We live in cubes, cuboids, some of us in babels, tents, caves… We still use practically the same pieces of furniture as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans… The contemporary residential culture (again) doesn’t treat furniture only as useful items, but considers its added value and sometimes fetishist power. But that is all.
Project task and questions as well as goals:
What should the place to sell furniture be like considering the imminent prophetic year 2001? How is it possible to minimalise the laws of statics visually, to fake them in a symbolic way? To simulate the space of weightlessness and play with furniture that should present something new or modern despite its Roman origin. Using light and colour I blur the two spatial planes thus reducing the subordination to the G force in a visual way. I lighten the borders so that the vertical and the horizontal are merging – not joining. The borders of the space merge below the “flowing light” and…
The retail studio is conceived as a contemporary bourgeois apartment and not a retail warehouse featuring e.g. four kitchens, five bedrooms, eight living rooms… Its function is to show the display items of Poliform furniture in their actual role as actors in the ambient design of living environment. Thus when entering the showroom we enter the extroverted daily living room of the apartment (placed in the display window). This is followed by a connecting hallway shaped as the working cabinet in the apartment, serving as the technical support of trade in Abitare studio. This is the space that I provide with basic equipment (working semi-armchairs, a desk and a free-standing computer unit). Upon the end of the hallway the ambient turns into a more introverted part of the apartment with an intimate daily living room, which at one side continues into a bedroom with a changing room and at the opposite side into the dining room and kitchen.
Situation, original state of the space in question:
The interior is situated in old part of the town, beside the Ljubljanica River. The space was used by one of the city bakeries as a small production unit and a shop. Before the intervention into the premise its area and its real volume were unknown. Approximately a quarter of the space was taken by built industrial ovens and another quarter by various functional divisions. The space has three windows at the backside, oriented towards the inner (unfortunately not arranged) yard. In the place of today’s display window of Abitare studio there used to be entrances to the shop and bakery. The bakery entrance today presents the main entrance. Due to a historical layering of the building the premises feature several construction systems. Various construction materials have been used: stone, wood, brick, concrete.
Polyester, carbon, aluminium, glass.