From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]




“I’m excited to announce that I’m on the jury for a new design
competition, called White House Redux, the purpose of which is to
design a new home for the U.S. Presidency.

It’s a speculative project, to be sure – but a fun one, and I can’t
wait to see what comes up.

Here’s the brief:

What if the White House, the ultimate architectural symbol of
political power, were to be designed today? On occasion of the
election of the 44th President of the United States of America,
Storefront for Art and Architecture, in association with Control
Group, challenge you to design a new residence for the world’s most
powerful individual. The best ideas, designs, descriptions, images,
and videos will be selected by some of the world’s most distinguished
designers and critics and featured in a month-long exhibition at
Storefront for Art and Architecture in July 2008 and published in
Surface magazine. All three winners will be flown to New York to
collect their prizes at the opening party. Register now and send us
your ideas for the Presidential Palace of the future!


Few people realize the extent of the White House, since much of it is
below ground or otherwise concealed by landscaping. The White House
includes: Six stories and 55,000 square feet of floor space, 132 rooms
and 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, twenty-eight fireplaces,
eight staircases, three elevators, five full-time chefs, a tennis
court, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a jogging track, a swimming
pool, and a putting green. It receives about 5,000 visitors a day.

The original White House design, by James Hoban, was the result of a
competition held in 1792. Over the centuries, presidents have added
rooms, facilities and even entire new wings, turning the White House
into the labyrinthine complex it is today.

What if, instead of in 1792, that competition were to be held today?
What would a White House designed in 2008, year of election of the
44th President of the United States, look like?

That’s the question, then: If you were to design a residential office
complex for the U.S. President, what would it look like? Perhaps
London’s GLA? Or the CCTV Building? Or Selfridge’s, Birmingham? Or the
Kunsthaus Graz?

Would it be stylistically European – or Latin American, or African, or
Asian? Prefab? Rammed earth? Perhaps an updated Nakagin Capsule Tower?
Or would it be a Walking City? Maybe a helicopter archipelago? Maybe
algae-powered, or billboard-bound, or an inhabited dam?

Would it be ironic, self-deprecating, imperial, solar-powered, walled
off behind anti-missile batteries, or anachronistically neoclassical
and made of limestone?

All of the above?

Here are the specs. The jury consists of Beatriz Colomina, Stefano
Boeri, Liz Diller, John Maeda, myself, Mark Wigley, and Laetitia

So step up and submit. I’m genuinely excited about this. Show us your
best! Think big, think small, think detailed. Think abstract. Change


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