Practice as LifeSpan
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(with growing plants)>>
from Bruce Sterling / 2030 ;
long years had overpassed our rolling globe since the unveiling of Roche's
legendary web-house. The inspector and I almost missed the place, which was, of
course, the architect's original intention.
I stroked the cracked screen of my
vintage iPhone. "The GPS coordinates of this structure seem to have been
"Typical," sniffed the inspector.
I knew the place from photos, but not from recent ones. The sturdy poles were
moss-eaten, their guywires festooned with vines, and the trees on the site had
grown huge. Given that the plastic mesh was integrated into the forest, the
web-house was all parabolic arcs and delirious sagging. Much-stained by years
of fallen foliage, the structure had the spotty look of forest camou. An army
could have marched by it and never seen a thing. The inspector hefted her
tricorder. "Aging plastics tend to offgas," she sniffed. Locating the entrance
with difficulty, we entered the dense fabric maze. The visual effect was
literally indescribable, a fact I attributed to the stark exhaustion of
conventional architectural rhetoric. "Visionary interventions of this sort
were sadly rare during the culturally retrograde epoch of the War on Terror."
The inspector's face soured. English was not her first language.
"Worse yet, the regulatory environment was so rigid and harsh that Francois
Roche was forced to disguise his ingenious designs as 'conceptual-art
"I *love* conceptual art," the inspector insisted, wincing.
The sun was setting. Faithful solar-charged globes flicked on. We emerged from
the glowing labyrinth to confront a drained swimming pool. "Tres J.G. Ballard,"
I remarked, but the inspector wasn't having any of that.
The original owner had kept the place in good shape, but then it had passed into
the hands of the creature who made it notorious: one Novalis Nico, the "Spider
of Geneva," a legendary Swiss currency speculator. Nico had holed-up for
years in these forests of southern France, hunched over his busy laptop. When
not obsessively collecting glamour photos of high-tech street junk, the
reclusive mogul used thousands of sock-puppet fake identities to pervert the
seething rumors in investment weblogs.
So, with one Fantomas - Mabuse stroke of hacker cunning, Nico could send the
Euro spinning right out of control. Within this lair he had reaped heaps of
electronic wealth beyond the dreams of 20th-century mankind.
Except for the many rusting satellite dishes, Nico's long, secretive haunt
hadn't much affected the vicinity. The dead zillionaire's wealth had always
been entirely virtual. He'd sold off the original owner's tastefully
minimalist furniture and replaced it all with inflatable chairs. Their deflated
rags draped every room, like discolored pools of hippie candle-wax.
"It looks very 'pop-up' in here," I told the inspector.
"It's very 'plug-in city.'"
The inspector brushed dead leaves from her padded shoulders. "I think I smell
"Come on, you can't mix bats and e-commerce fanatics."
The inspector examined her tricorder. "That guano gives off a definite spectral
emission." She pursed her lips and scanned the walls and floors with her radar
nozzle. "At least the structural members are still sound."
"So you're really gonna let the new buyer live here?"
She took offense. "It is not up to me to declare that!
I'm not a housing dictator! I'm just a simple, everyday
Environmental Sustainability Inspector from the Heritage Bureau of the
Euro-Parliamentary Commission for the Regulation of the Creative-Economy."
I gazed around the sleekly barren cells where the Spider had passed his days,
weeks, years. It had taken four or five years for mankind to even realize the
guy was dead; he'd lurked inside here with profound success, and his automated
trading systems had given him veritable Osama bin Laden global-media
Who had dared to penetrate the
Anybody? Until just now?
I set my heavy backpack on the
curving stairs. "Well darling," I told her, "this is where we finally celebrate
our secret love’’
Bruce Stirling, 2007
MORE / one year after /
growings of plants ....>>>
Architect: R&Sie(n)- Paris
Creative team: François Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro avec Nicolas Green
contractor; Christian Hubert-Delisle
indoor 350 m², outdoor labyrinth 2000 m²
Client: Urbain and Elisabeth Souriau
millions € (including tax and fees)
Individual housing as a spider net creating clearing of a forest
1) Over density of existing forest plantation (trees will be at the right level
in 5 years)
3) Netting and
Wrapping the forecasted size of adult trees with a polypropylene mesh to develop
a labyrinth in the branches
4) Including an
Stealth indoor 400 m² summer building, on two floor, plugged and over connected
to this labyrinth by huge sliding glass door (7x3.5 meters)
5) Blurring the
boundaries inside/outside for a porosity sensation and windy refreshing
6) Living behind
the indoor extension of the labyrinth / behind the plastic strip curtain, in an
''under-construction step’’, with no-design from the
nearest corner shop mall.
GAME in the neighboorhood (in five years) for an architecture without any façade
in five years
Movie One year after
(3mo quicktime> .mov)
MORE / one year after /
growings of plants ....>>>