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Designed while at OMA

The Faena Forum District includes a Performance Space, Retail Bazaar, and a Car Park. The Bazaar is

a renovation of the historic Atlantic Beach Hotel, built in 1939. During my time at OMA, this project

was in its Construction Document phase. I was responsible for completing detailed technical drawings,

collecting material specifications, producing content for presentation, and completing a variety of

design studies that looked at reconciling initial concept aspirations with constructability challenges.



This project delves into the visual experience of parallax. A 'tower of the oblique' superimposes two major tectonic experiences: a free movement along the oblique and a movement through a parallactic spatial field of columns.

The columns in the lower floors of the tower are arranged in a rigid grid. As you move higher in the tower, the columns begin to slant and even lift out of the floors. While the columns support the sloped floors near the bottom of the you move upward, some of the sloped floors actually support the suspended columns. This subverts expectations and brings the experience of the space into the realm of the surreal. 

Simon McKenzie, presenting the work to McGill University

This spatial field begins in rigid formation. As the individual ascends upward, metaphorically and literally gaining distance between themselves and the ground plane of the Earth, the columns make a transition into chaos. Yet this chaos orders navigation, since the individual can mark their position in relation to this movement between ordered states.

The transition makes a surreal experience of the building’s structure: on the lower part of the tower the columns support the floorplates, whereas on the upper part the floorplates begin to support the columns. These columns grow less dense and angle more expressively as the overall structural requirements diminish. 

In architecture, parallax refers to the apparent shift in the position of architectural elements as observed from different viewpoints. Architects strategically utilize parallax to create dynamic and visually engaging spaces by incorporating features that change in perception based on the viewer's movement. This technique enhances the three-dimensional qualities of a structure, contributing to a more immersive and interactive architectural experience.

Parallax is experienced when moving through the columns of the tower

The floors of this oblique tower are transparent, allowing for parallax to be experienced vertically, as well as in the horizontal dimension. Furthermore, the reflective nature of the floorplates creates ambiguity and illusion, refracting the movement of people, the movements of one’s self, and the structure of the building. Since the oblique provides a radical freedom in movement, this visual uncertainty of moving bodies is heightened. Through the reflection of the building, you experience yourself as subject and yourself as object simultaneously. 

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