The Back, 180°– 35 buildings turned around 180 degrees in Zürich

Buildings are contextual objects with fronts, backs, and sides. This front-back-side relationship is stipulated by the building itself and also defined by its immediate context. The idea of completely turning existing structures around 180 degrees arises from the mythical alliance between object and its context, and serves as an analytical method to explore the mutual dependencies between the structure’s inherent characteristics and its circumstantial constraints. A number of important questions are provoked with this simple 180° move. For instance, what does it say about a building and its surroundings if turning it around does not cause a particular moment of crisis and to the contrary still functions and even produces qualities that weren’t recognizable before? Is a building less site-specific if it also works the other way around? Why is it that modernist buildings seem to be easier to turn around? Is this intentional? And does the face of the back alienate what used to be a typical front situation? Finally, what dark sides of the object are revealed with such a rotational transformation?

Design studio documentation of a one week assignment at the beginning of the semester. It shows plans and images of buildings in Zurich, before and after turning them 180 degrees.

Spring semester 2015

Die Rückseite / The Back

  • 180°