Practice as LifeSpan

heshotmedown  << / >> TerraIncognita

Spidernethewood 2 (with growing plants)>>






A report from Bruce Sterling / 2030 ;

Thirty 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 deliberately mis-allocated."

"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 installations.'"
"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 bats."
"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 brand-extension.

Who had dared to penetrate the legendary web-house?
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 / with growings of plants ....>>>




Nîmes, France 2007
Architect: R&Sie(n)- Paris
Creative team: François Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro avec Nicolas Green

Creative contractor; Christian Hubert-Delisle

Key dimensions: indoor 350 m², outdoor labyrinth 2000 m²
Client: Urbain and Elisabeth Souriau

Cost: 0.8 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.

7) LOST 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 / with growings of plants ....>>>