Many architects in the world today are competing only for the beauty of the architectural form. Ban-san’s attempt is a counter-punch against these architects, and I think he represents a new model of a ‘socially responsible’ architect.
I’m not the architect to make a shape. My designs are always problem solving.
It makes me crazy when people say, ‘Oh, Frank, your architecture is too complicated—it’s overpowering the art.’ I’ve talked to artists, and they’re willing to play.
How can a person imagine this architecture?
Dissecting the built environment and mining the fields of modernism, be it art or architecture, are through lines of my work. Recently, my practice has been influenced by a realization that my community in Atlanta is becoming increasingly void of its history as it reaches for a future of hopeful prosperity, constantly destroying to build again. This fluid evolution of the built environment interests me. By working with the materials used and discarded in this process − the cinder block, I-beam, plywood, sheet rock and plaster − I am trying to understand and capture the essence and power of these forms. My work is a visually abstracted form of documentation, a perspective that re-contextualizes the build environment. I strive to present the beauty of these pedestrian objects such that they become extraordinary. In many ways, I am celebrating and elevating those things that people take for granted.
Star from the Sinbad Motel, Miami, FL, c. 1992
Jaume Plensa, Semen-Blood / Sex-Religion / Love-Hate / Saint-Sinner / Matter-Spirit, 1999-2005