port side performance

Avenue Errazuriz runs along the port rim of Valparaíso offering the most direct means of moving across the city.  Looking towards the hills, buildings stand in formal order lining this major corridor while buses, collectivos, dogs, port authorities, residents, visitors, mope heads, and bicyclists make their way back and forth activating this sea edge.

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domestic bollards

domestic bollards: describing a series of industrial equipment situated at the periphery of a corner lot residential building in Lubbock, Texas presumably to mitigate the “potential” danger of interference with a vehicle.

To find the quaint idyllic house juxtapose with vehicle stopping defense is both humorous and frustrating.

Humorous because the bollards, as one system, overcompensate for the inadequacies of another system, the light weight ballon framing construction of most Lubbock homes. These vehicular-defensive shortened columns stand guard out front the All-American dream house. I appreciate that the bollards are unadorned, true in their industrial honesty and material authenticity. It would be frighteningly disappointing to discover bollard systems plastered over with stucco both for the aesthetic misplacement of an artificial presentation and for the waste of material energy to acquire an artificial presentation.

Frustrating because bollards are a quick fix solution to a situation architecture can resolve. Fast driving and safe sleeping are a study in program proximity. Architects are trained to find creative solutions to program relationships and even advocate for program complexity. In “the Manhattan Transcripts”, Bernard Tschumi explores the event (program) and the potential for architecture to be rebuilt according to event relationships, the Parc de la Villette being a realized example.  In “Delirious New York”, Rem Koolhaas writes about architecture’s capacity in the skyscraper for program proximity as “the vertical schism, which creates the freedom to stack such disparate activities directly on top of each other without any concern for their symbolic compatibility”.

Domestic bollards are traces in this built environment of a reaction-focused object-driven quick solution mentality.  However humorous I may find this juxtaposition I prefer to walk a city of hybrid houses that creatively negotiate program proximities of the fast & furious to the safe & sleeping through space and architecture instead of defensive framing any day.