Pythagorean Art Deco
Good Bank/ Bad Bank
Location: Bank of Ireland, Royal Avenue, Belfast
For this project we were assigned to design a “meanwhile” space, within the former Bank of Ireland Building, locally know as “White Bank”. Meanwhile spaces are vacant properties where you can intervene temporarily until the site is back for commercial uses.
The former Bank of Ireland Building, is a historic Art Deco building. It was build in 1929 – 1930 and designed by Joseph Vincent Downes for the McDonnell and Dixon studio practice.
For this assignment we were asked to design a tempoary interior for the White Bank to be used either as.
a Forum; a place for discussion and events and the sharing of ideas
a Centre for Creative Practitioners.
This project had a lot of research and background thinking. When we were introduced to the project the word “forum” brought in my mind the ancient greek symposiums. My research started with me looking into the initial meaning behind the concept of the Banks. Why banks were created? What purpose served? when were they first introduced? After a lot of thinking I came to the conclusion that the primordial concept of a bank is the exchange of goods. In a more abstract way of thinking you could say that “banks” exchange “energy”.
The next step I took with my creative thinking was to transform the meaning of the Banks into this space under an altruistic, abstract, pure point of view.
So I chose the “forum“. I decided to create a space where people could go and exchange ideas, thoughts, concerns. But also a space where people could self – reflect, ponder, ask questions and learn.
Therefore, I decided to design a philosophical space. As the brief stated that the space should be able to change shape for different activities, Ι thought of Heraclitus and his famous quote “everything flows nothing stands still”. Then I thought of Plato and his allegory of the cave, as many people live under an illusion of what this world is. The next philosophic movement I thought was the Stoicism and their point of view for the life. And last I though about Pythagoreans and how under logic and mathematics they “translated” the world.
In order to be able to create a space that constantly change I designed an “Element”. This element had the shape of one of the Art Deco’s characteristic patterns the “zigzag”. To bring this pattern under the philosophical concept I designed it with 90 degree corners (pythagorean theorem). Pythagorean Art Deco. I chose the material based on the stoicism wood, plywood, something that had to resemble nature. The final material was Baus Buche and acrylic glass. The acrylic glass elements were based on the plato’s cave allegory. These elements can serve different purposes. For example if they were stacked they can create walls. If they are placed individually they can be used as sits, tables.
My designs basic layout is a labyrinth, a maze. The layout represents life. Our life is chaotic, with unknown turns and dead ends.
There are three main zones.
The symposium: an area where people can sit and discuss.
The Agora: where people can listen, ask questions and learn about philosophy or any other matter.
The Dead Ends: The dead ends are small areas for people to go there and self – reflect, think, ponder.
The space can change. The space is changing depending of the needs of the individuals. The visitors are the creators of this space. Development Log – Pythagorean Art Deco
Pythagorean Art Deco – Development Log – Model Making