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The path of the Anaconda: When buildings learn to dance The path of the Anaconda: When buildings learn to dance
by Leila Dregger
2008-06-18 08:05:33
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Boom gets a new wrapping. Like every two years, music and art festival “Boom” will attract thousands of goa and trance lovers to Idanha-a-Nova in Portugal this year from 11th-18th of August. “Trail of the anaconda”, “Oscillating plate” or “Quo Vadis” are names of the floating drafts of Martin Pietsch, who designed a shade roof compositions along 1.5 km of lakeside promenade, a ferry port, a speakers tent and a common eating site.

Short duration, focus on function, cheap and with little material – the requirements of event-architecture are not the most inspiring for an architect. Martin looks at it differently. Originally from Berlin, now living and working since many years in the peace research center “Tamera” in Portugal, the 62 years old architect and artist gave birth to a parcour of colour, form and rhythm, a membrane architecture with light building technique along the shore of lake Idanha.

Spring 2008: Yet, the land where in a few months tens of thousands will dance, study and celebrate, is mostly under water. The winter rain has filled the reservoir lake, as soon as the water level sinks due to irrigation in the neighboring agriculture, the area for the festival will be ready to be built on.

The building material is ready in the storehouse: eucalyptus poles, steel and synthetic fibers, lycra and fisher nets. With this, Martin and a team of architects and builders will make sure the littoral zone will be transformed into a magical landscape within a few weeks.

From the entrance of the festival to the event area it`s a distance of 1 km. A ferry can take some guests, but for the stream of 25`000 people there is a path needed which is at least as attractive as the ferry. It is a necessity that this path is shaded from the Portuguese heat, same applies to the eating and leisure area along the shore. To connect these areas, Martin did not only look for artistic design ideas for every individual place, but he combined it with a interlinking basic idea – a legend. This legend is the “trail of the anaconda”.

Martin: “A path to a festival which tackles the questions of our future shall not be a distance to get over with as quickly as possible. It has to be a sensual and inspiring path which seduces the human being into a dance.”

Like a composer creating a symphony, Martin created an optical musical score of rhythm, melody and text. Each section of the way is a part of an architectural music composition.

Music and especially dance always were strong sources of inspiration for him. “My staring point to find a form is mostly my body sensation”, he explains. “I can feel the form much more than i calculate it – and thereby the inner dance of the soul and the outer dance of the body have always supported me. Like a dance is putting melody and rhythm into a multifarious movement, i am looking for the architectural forms which seduces nature and the human being into a unifying dance.”

With the plans and drafts which Martin shows us in his atelier in Tamera, and a little fantasy, we can already shed an eye on the coming summer: The oscillating “trail of the anaconda” cuts its way through the festival, along the waterside, over the lawns and sometimes even through the water. Every bar of the building-score has its rainbow-colored characteristics and it`s special mental-spiritual themes to make the walker “dance” in a change between harmony and tension.

Then suddenly, chaos. Abruptly the eucalyptus poles soar into the sky, which were until now the reliable carriers of the construction, in many directions. They become a Mikado play, a wild tensegrity-dance. “You must bear a chaos inside you to give birth to a dancing star.” This sentence from Nietzsche is built in along the way in symbols and text blocks.
The restaurant area will be called “oscillating plate” – a construction which will remind many of chopsticks and rice-plate.

Over the last decade Martin was mainly working for the peace research center Tamera, designing roof structures and permanent houses, gathering spaces and ateliers. He combined clay and wood building techniques with the knowledge of harmonic laws, birthing forms which resonate with the inner aesthetic perception and giving simple functional buildings nearly sacral shapes.

Many of his designs are outstanding in beauty and functionality at the same time. Often it is the simplicity in material and building technique which catches the eye of the observer. Formerly an event construction designer, he designs for almost three decades membrane architecture and organic buildings for communities and futurological projects.

“Before, my designs were being realized through my employers in industry on all continents. Through this work i realized, how much our life in an industrialized world destroy the earth and finally also me. I had to completely step out of my career in order to live and work exclusively for projects which serve the earth.”

   
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Emanuel Paparella2008-06-18 09:53:38
Indeed, to give birth to a dancing star is a risky business since that chaos could turn out to be the loss of the harmony between one's Self and Nature; or was Nietzsche faking it?


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