Face, Pool, Two Towers and Ruin

In the framework of an open-air exhibition the project introduced five durable and movable, lightweight urban artifact by five different architects, to give five character, five meeting point, five playful element, five outdoor furniture to the habitants of a socialist housing estate and interpreted the history of modernist housing estates for them.

We, as Paradigma Ariadné started our collaborative project series in 2018 with the financial support of Veszprém ECoC 2023 team. The aim of this series to search for, and get together young and emerging European and Transatlantic architects around site specific projects that are investigating the very basic elements, tools, and theories of architecture and create enjoyable environments and exhibitions at certain parts of Veszprém that are underestimated or abandoned.

This series had two chapters until 2020. 12 Walls exhibition in 2018 invited twelve architects to ornament and decorate an abandoned building at Veszprém. The Face, Pool, Two Towers and Ruin exhibition in 2019 invited five architects to Haszkovó socialist housing estate, that place was avoided by contemporary architectural interventions since 1970’s.

Modernist housing estates are dismissed. Their stories are understood as the stories of failed urban developments, they are said to be grey, sad and soulless. Can something be soulless and disenchanted that gives home to 20 000 inhabitants? Let’s have a thought exercise and put our biases aside. Are we ready to reconsider our relation to the housing projects and think of them as “real cities” for a moment?
This project invited visitors to experience change in the current condition of Haszkovó brought about by five portable and durable urban artifacts in the open air.

The five objects serves as playful, outdoor furniture and their architectural quality also helps us to perceive Haszkovó as something similar to a lovely historical downtown in any cities. In the centre of Veszprém these are common objects, such as the places “where we meet before going to party” or “where we had our first kiss”. The ‘Fire Lookout Tower’, the ‘Statue of Zsuzsi’ or the ‘Clock’ deliver this sensation of orientation and memory for the collectiv, inextricably embedded in the urban texture of Veszprém. The exhibition provides an alternative to establish distinctive objects also in Haszkovó.

The five object were produced from XPS foam and coated with Polyurea. We wanted to use materials that are able to create objects that are seems temporary and lightweight but durable at the same time, and can be part of an urban environment for 10 years at least. While thanks to their light weights, even the habitants of the housing estate can move the objects away if they wish.