WELCOME TO THE 5TH FACADE BY OLSON KUNDIG – ALAN MASKIN, JEROME TRYON, KEVIN SCOTT, GABRIELA FRANK, KATIE MILLER
Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects has won first place in a competition to create an architectural fairytale, with its story about a dead architect who is resurrected and dropped into a futuristic urban landscape.
The contest asks designers to write a fictional story and produce accompanying visuals. Titled Welcome to the 5th Facade, the winning tale and its images were conceived by a team of employees led by firm principal Alan Maskin.
"Welcome to the 5th Facade uses science fiction as it is traditionally used, as a modality to visualise and imagine a particular future in terms of both the pitfalls and the potential," said Maskin.
The story "launches us headlong into the future – a future that is similar enough to our own yet ripe with new challenge, opportunities and issues," added the competition organisers.
The tale begins with a male architect who dies from a heart attack while watching a play. His body is transferred to the Al-Cryo Life Extension Foundation, where his head is severed from his body and then frozen and stored for future resurrection.
Decades later, his head is brought back to life and attached to a new body.
With no connection to family or friends, he is placed within a futuristic Seattle, carrying only a suitcase full of basic necessities such as clothing and coupons for food and boarding. He also wears an augmented reality headset, which helps him navigate a darkened city.
Familiar buildings remain, including his former architecture office. But its facade is now a vertical farm, where a conveyor system carries planters "out of the shadows and into the sunlight and back again".
Hovering about this conceptual city is a new layer, the 5th Facade, which consists of rolling green hills, public parks, swimming pools and farms, along with water collectors, solar arrays and wind turbines.