O'Donnell exhibits Bloodline at Akademie Schloss Solitude

October 23, 2009

Architecture lecturer Caroline O’Donnell recently exhibited her project Bloodline at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. In it, O’Donnell proposes an intervention — in the form of a self-consuming barbeque pavilion — on the grounds of Schloss Solitude, the 18th-century summer residence of Duke Carl Eugen.

Bloodline engages with the “genetic” relationship between the Schloss Solitude and its “parent” castle, Schloss Ludwigsburg, nine miles away along a straight axis. According to O’Donnell, the progression from Ludwigsburg to Solitude suggests an evolution from parent to offspring in which the offspring is responding to an environmental shift.

“Schloss Solitude appears to be a perfectly ordered and well-behaved piece of late baroque architecture,” says O’Donnell. “But hidden beneath a facade of order and symmetry, a sinister and degenerate architecture is concealed.”

O’Donnell then asks: If the Ludwigsburg-Solitude bloodline contains the potential for both formal continuity and contextual mutation, what is the contemporary third in the lineage that responds to the genetic rules and contextual deformations?

Enter the barbeque pavilion. In burning its own Grillholz skin as it is used, a generational mutation within its own lifetime is embodied in Bloodline.

“Genetics by definition is the study of the forces of change and continuity,” explains O’Donnell, “In designing a third object, it is necessary to understand the forces within the existing relationship: the continuities and the variations, what was inherited, and what diverged. What is the architectural code that is analogous to the genetic that enables a new object to be produced?”

The exhibition will be at Cornell in the spring.

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