International Architecture Competition

London Internet Museum

Results

Foreword

One of the more interesting outcomes of an architectural competition lies in the prospect of imagination, to speculate both the fathomable and spectacular. The competition for a London Internet Museum stages such prospect, considering what seems at first rather tenable — the museum — merged with something historically profound and typologically unprecedented — the internet. The relationship is dichotomous: the museum historically posed to objectify and celebrate cultural and physical artifact, and the internet, a technological horizon perhaps as profound as fire and electricity, fueled by information and algorithm and existing almost entirely in the abstract.

The internet as a technology, has arguably occupied various typological precedents and forms: from the car garage where the internet startup was born, the ubiquitous cartesian data center, suburban office park campus, of historical renovations where the Googles, Facebooks, and Ubers call home, to the glass Apple stores and modern monuments to consumerism. As one might expect therefore, submissions to the competition varied quite dramatically. Many of the entries tended toward technological positivism, idealizing the internet without precaution. The jury showed preference to projects not bound by precedent or assumption — of conventional museum typologies, generalizations of what the internet is and isn’t, and contemporary architectural tropes. Selected projects demonstrate a certain tenacity and ambition, inherent in the internet’s advent — of social collectivism, network theory, and virtuality. While retrospective as a museum, submissions collectively project various architectural and tectonic trajectories, following the internet’s historic wake.

Competition results in media publications

1ST PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

404: Not Found United Kingdom

University

University of Dundee

Project authors

Shaun McCallum
Aleksandra Belitskaja

jury commentary

404:NOT FOUND is distinguished by its resistance to authorial architecture and in its acceptance of the logic of the crowd. The project looks at architecture as an assemblage of crowd-sourced processes rather than the singular vision of a top-down designer. Architecture becomes an act of empowerment and an experiment for the participant, creating a platform and ethos of collaboration that legitimizes and enacts the desires of the user.

The user-defined building block is the generator of the architecture. In an app-based process of form-assign-upload-share, the block is propagated, manipulated, and multiplied, creating a rich aggregation of heterogeneous textures, materials, and spaces. 404:NOT FOUND favors the glitch, the mismatch, and the transgression, creating a new typology of museum that rejects the authority of the white box in favor of the participatory.


NEWSLETTER

ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS
AND AWARDS

2ND PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

Transistor United States

Project authors

Ryan Anthony Ball

jury commentary

The success of the second place proposal, TRANSISTOR, lies in its indifference to the contemporary digital discourse in architecture, favoring instead a strong typology that relates to its historic industrial context, and adapting this typology to critique the cycle of obsolescence of our digitally saturated world. The scheme echoes the foregone industrial rail terminal as its source of parti, consisting of a series of linear sky-lit corridors adjacent to programmed spaces punctuated by courtyards. These extrusions aggregate and escalate to engulf the existing Italianate styled North Woolwich Station, presenting a sequence of blank façades to the river and city.

The nuance of the proposal manifests in the repetition of its interior, revealing a veiled critique of the infinite reiteration and subsequent obsolescence of the new and the simultaneous cannibalization of the out-of-date. Importantly, the proposal presents an architecture that could as easily house fine art as it could entice the public with virtual reality immersive environments. Side-stepping the programmatic pitfalls of digitally enhanced museum technologies, TRANSISTOR transcends the now, bypassing the architectural gimmick through adept typological critique.

 

3RD PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

Unlimited Possibilities Poland

University

Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University

Project authors

Michał Daniszewski

jury commentary

Third place is awarded to a project distinguished by the clever association of the internet museum as a digital monument. The solution is two-fold, the selection and representation of a hologram above ground and the suppression of museum function below ground. Monumentalized as an object within a larger plaza, the hologram is thoughtfully situated and juxtaposed to the adjacent existing North Woolwich Station. The primitive shape of the hologram and its sheer scale evoke both wonder and otherness, a new landmark in an historic city. Located underground, the museum embodies geographical placelessness, relating to the virtual nature of the internet. The individual spaces of the museum itself are designed for the particular devices one engages the internet through rather than particular views or human interactions.

As a monument, the project develops a sense of reverence towards technological advances, both virtual and physical. The strength in the use of the hologram lies in its ability to represent and monumentalize the profoundness of the internet through form. As an object, merging the virtual and physical, the hologram embodies the internet as a technological phenomenon.

Honorable mentions

Project Name

Big Datas As A Lover Singapore

Project authors

Isabella Ong

Project Name

LIM (London Internet Museum) Mexico

Company

Arqmov

Project authors

Eduardo Micha
Gabriel Merino
Sebastián Castillo
Maricruz Pérez

Project Name

Serve The Servers Ireland

Project authors

Cian Tarrant
Hannah Scaife
Marc Golden
Ben Hickey

Project Name

London Internet Museum Armenia

Project authors

Ani Zakaryan
Sonny Holmberg

Project Name

Chat! Poland

Project authors

Patryk Krol

Project Name

The Node Poland

Company

Pracownia Architektury Opalinski

Project authors

Witold Opalinski
Katarzyna Opalińska
Szymon Różański
Adrian Mieszczak
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