WATTS TOWERS - LACMA RESTORATION

topics studio [spring 14]

 

preservation | restoration

The process begins with an analysis of Sigmar Polke’s painting, "Ohne Titel." The painting is generated from freeform dots of varying sizes and densities to generate a perception of image. Because of the artist’s natural hand gestures, what results is a seemingly unstructured and blurred quality image the eye and mind looks to focus and impose logics to. The above set of diagrams analyze the painting in three differentiating scales to understand the color composition, density mapping, and “dot” principles of the work. The structure of the dot densities generates an approach of multiplicity and mitosis for the towers.

 

The scaffolding follows this mitosis logic, wrapping itself around the existing towers and morphing outward to the extension and creation of “new” towers.   These “new” towers act as protected, elevated program areas for restoration work to occur, minimizing the movement of the pieces being preserved on site.  The moments in which the scaffolding towers are morphing into each other act as circulation vertically and between Rodia’s and the “new” towers.  Additional and separated “new” towers on the site store the belongings of the workers as well as other machinery.  The orientation of these scaffolded towers look to minimize the amount of direct sunlight exposure and cracking that occurs on the southern side as well as the amount of direct wind from the northwest.  The result is a figure field effect that obscures the ability to distinguish Rodia’s towers from the temporary scaffolding.

 

Through multiplication, the power of repetition and uniformity draw attention and curiosity to the project’s logic and system.  The perception of Rodia’s towers transforms from a literal reading of towers to a series of uniform peaks blurring into a cohesive environment.

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