Here’s a recent photo illustration I made, created from a composite of 30 or 40 high res photographs from the Greenpoint, Bushwick and Williamsburg neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The “view” is of course a fantastical compilation of a typical north-brooklyn architecture, but extremified to make the ubiquitous vinyl-sided row house the only form of residential building, overlayed on an industrial skyline. (If anyone wants a 24×60 inch print, let me know). The prominence of the row house in my new neighborhood (having recently relocated from Rhode Island to “East Williamsburg”) has made me think about larger ideas of urban living. With the premium on space, both public and private inherent in large cities, the way that architectural space behaves becomes more charged and meaningful. For instance, perhaps my favorite form of architectural status-display in Manhattan is the empty white room, two things the public sphere of New York is not, (empty and clean). You could say it’s akin to the way the British gentry once employed the green yards of their estates; using the public display of tended, but unused arable land to communicate wealth. For more on this see Fritz Haeg’s project Edible Estates . At any rate, seeing multitudes of these row houses, all jammed together block after block got me thinking on how property in my neighborhood is delineated primarily in graphic fashion, through the use of vinyl siding. Three our four individual “houses” are more often than not separated from each other by little more than the color or texture of their siding, as these contiguous properties are really part of the same building. This unique functionality reminded of architect/printmaker Jean Cozzens‘ take on the issue; she once remarked to me “I like vinyl siding, it reduces buildings to their pure form”. Something to think about for sure.
Adam Ryzor | Filed under: Adam | 4 Comments »