Discovery of Slowness – Daniel Reist

As architects we hardly want to be held to the notion of what defines a building, as to what constitutes architectural space.  Daniel Reist looked to the water to be the defining location for his design, breaking from the typical design logic of building on the ground.  Although not your typical tropical cruise liner, the project pushes for a more sophisticated purpose.  Check it out after the jump!

STUDENT: Daniel Reist 
University of Applied Arts Vienna
PROFESSORS: Reiner Zettl
COURSE: Studio Zaha Hadid

“What is the definition of a building? Something that is built for human habitation. It can also be described as a structure that has floors and walls. But why should a building always stay at one place. Ships are one of the largest entities that human mankind has ever constructed. If we take the the aircraft carrier as an example. It is not just a ship, it is also a hybrid of programs, a connection between air and water. Hans Hollein was referring to the spatial performance of this vessel in his project “der Flugzuegtraeger in der Landschaft”. Besides the Aircraft carrier as ship typology I want to mention one special vessel.

The SS Normandie for me is really interesting. The designers decided to create a huge open space in the center of the ship to provide space for events, concerts and performances. So they decided to make the planning and the construction of this ship more complicated to achieve more spatial quality. The interior of this vessel was intended to be a representation of French design and craftsmanship. The size and complexity of its design challenged long held assumptions of the definition of a building as a conventionally constructed environment, which permanently stays in one place.

One of the basic ideas of this project, in times where everything has to be fast and optimized, to create an entity the creates its own time, inspired by the book of Stan Nadolny (the discovery of slowness). Another main Idea of this project is to create a new sustainable way of travelling. The vessel is fueled with hydrogen, that is produced by the ship itself with solar cells on its surface. When the ship is interacting with an urban environment, the ship is charging itself and produces hydrogen. To cover port costs the main event hall in the center of the vessel can be rented out. All these parameters were influencing the design process and were leading to the resulting ship typology. This object should be able to bring events to different locations and also provide space for political happenings like the G8 summit. All in all this project is not a simple cruise ship, it is a multi-functional envelope that is independent of any location in the world. It can work totally isolated or interact with city environment to extend the urban space.

The design of this project investigates the different spatial qualities, that can handle the changing requirements of the ship as a moving event complex.”

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