Is it architecture? These images are from the installation Cloud Cities by Thomás Sarceno. Installed inside what was train station, and is now a contemporary art museum in Berlin, the immersive and surprising work combines ideas about bubbles and spider webs in ways that seem oddly reconciled within the former concourse. Even though the installation is very real (you can go and visit the bubbles, even poke around inside a few if you’d like) there is something about all of it that seems so far removed from reality. Maybe not surprising since the curatorial text describes an exhibition that will “shatter traditional concepts relating to place, time, gravity and traditional ideas as to what constitutes architecture.” Even untraditional ideas about what constitutes architecture are probably challenged by this installation, assuming it’s architectural enough to do so.
You could pick apart the structural system, analyze the enclosure system or even the landscaping utilized by this installation, but it is an installation hard to recognize as architecture; it seems brilliant, but ultimately like something else. Maybe future architecture is that something else and, eventually, we’ll live in bubbles and spider webs construed in ways that traditional notions of architecture won’t allow us to imagine. At least for now.