Siracusa, Italy, 2009
“... a car speeding along a dark motorway lit only by the car's headlamps, with tarmac hurtling by in the windscreen. It is a modern version of the monad … “ (Gilles Deleuze)
Lost Highway is a simple living prototype, a rectangular prism accessible from two ends. Although open at both extremities, it looks inwards onto an interior courtyard which interconnects two independent spaces, a private and a public sphere, creating a self-enclosed cosmos.
The structural skin, an accumulation and alignment of 24x24cm square glulam timber beams, appears bare and scratched by a myriad of openings. The design strategy imposes a strict logic of subtraction; a systematic search for coincidence between structure and ornament.
Having reduced to minimum the programmatic agenda and eliminated the finishes, basic building materials are left alone in front of the project instances. The skin section determined in function of thermal requirements generates a structural redundancy which offers a particular type of flexibility: an opportunity to respond to secondary requirements such as visibility, illumination and natural air conditioning.
Strategically oriented and slightly elevated from ground, the volume exposes its four timber faces to its surrounding environment, which digitally decoded, informs the number and the arrangement of openings, introducing the desired amount of light and achieving better air convection. The system of openings follows a random yet parametrically-controlled logic of distribution. An algorithm generates countless solutions which are then evaluated to achieve maximum thermal and luminous performance in relation to local functional requirements.
The interior spaces, translated into fields of luminous intensities and thermal gradients, become sensory landscapes modulated by the structural skin which acts as a medium between the body and the surrounding environment.
Description from the architects