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Winning proposal for the Kutztown University Fall 2019 Residency
Kutztown, Pennsylvania, 2019

Hypostyle is an exploration of form, scale, materiality, and tectonic expectations. Its ground plane is a 26’ square, rotated 45 degrees on the oblique, comprising 16 arched columns that decrease in size along an angled datum from 9’ to 2’. This is duplicated and rotated 180 degrees along both its x and z axis to create a mirrored condition above. The result, which serves as both object and enclosure, is simultaneously familiar and surreal, forcing the observer to actively alter their body position as they progress through, from standing, to crouching, to kneeling, to crawling.

Hypostyle’s contradictory nature is only increased by its materiality. While such an assembly would traditionally be constructed of elegant, heavy, solemn materials, such as stone or concrete, this installation is made of lightweight construction netting, fastened to an armature of steel tubing. Instead of opacity, order, and repetition, the observer experiences transparency, ambiguity, and uncertainty. That which is thought to be permanent, is ephemeral. The columns will undulate and billow with the movement of people and air through the gallery, and various layerings of material and lighting will create complex patterns of shade and shadow upon the floor, blurring one’s sureness of space and perception of depth.

The use of construction netting and scaffolding is a conscious attempt to make complex and graceful forms from common and unexpected materials. While these components usually enclose buildings under construction, implying new work within, here they are here brought to the foreground and embraced as the substance of exploration themselves.

Photographs by Ethan Storms @storms101