The mansion of one million dollars: photo-genesis or about the tribulations of the architect of the world’s most famous house. By: Gonzalo Pedro Carrasco Purull + Livni.
Bill, an architect.
Finally spoke to the architect, author of the mansion Abbottabad (Pakistan) where last week the terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Forces. The architect – who for security reasons wanted to be called by the name «Bill» – said today the media his experience behind the project that is today the world’s most famous house. This is the story of Bill:
“On paper it was beautiful, a large entry court around a two story water feature, Italianate with Etruscan entabladures and friezes from the 13th century portuguese renaissance. The client was apparently a local farmer who made a killing on defaulting on $500 kiva loans. I worked through a 3rd party based in Geneva who called himself Seamus, I was paid for conceptual design up front, then Seamus and my plan ran off – never to be heard from again. Later, through the grapevine on Archinect I read that my design had been obtained by a local concrete contractor in Islamabad who was hired to complete the drawings and construct the project in 3 months time for someone else; apparently the farmer decided to use some of his fortune to open a liquor store in Rosemad, CA. Anyways, fearing the worst, and wanting to salvage something for my portfolio, I tried to contact the local contractor to have removed from the plans, but apparently they Value Engineered out the telephone/cable tv/ internet option in my concept…that wonderful 12 seat theatre…all those plans shot to hell. Anyways, I can`t comment at all on the accommodations – I was never extended a courtesy night stay for the designer. I supposed it`s for the best.”
Behind the words of Bill, strip many of the characteristics of a profession that seems to have changed state. For Bill, the architecture is an art. A stripped art of its time and the responsibilities of the architect with his time. There is a social activity. Bill is an artist, and as such holds the dream of Genie. » Dream it looks to surround your project references to other architectures, other times. Bill is recognized as both a participant in a tradition, a story of something big. Bill wants above all these dreams are realized, and suffer if they cannot take place. As a father with his son, Bill suffers if your project is maimed or incomplete. Bill as architect dreams of being a little king, where his kingdom is his project. Only in the draft Bill feels free. For him, architecture is an autonomous art, autonomy is gained in the representation. In the representation is where architecture becomes a full art and the artist can be free. Bill loves so their facades, that is where the architecture is fixed. Bill speaks recognizing types: the patio, the broker, the pond that announces the entry. These types correspond to architectural elements, cornices, friezes and entablature. But Bill as an artist of his time, is indebted to his time, and the home should enable contemporary life. That’s why Bill will add to your project the most modern technologies, which must find their accommodation in any way in the vacant spaces between both art. Because Bill is primarily an artist, but artist of his time. But then comes disgrace, the Philistines, as always, do not understand that the architect produces art. And the child is stripped of his father and thrown to the beasts. And Bill is watching his dreams are others who carry out their work. Yes, that work may already know their friends of the university as «your project in the Middle East.» We will have to call them, avoid them, or change the subject of conversation at meetings. But then there’s the theme of your portfolio. Should include this project? Well, at least the facades, something used to add thickness to your folder. And it’s still your name on the plans of a project that is now recognized as a bastard. Was his, but now others have tarnished. It is no longer art, it’s just construction. The muses have started terrified of the shadows of the engineers. A Bill was paid for art, which is by design, the concept of the facades in architecture. Sure, I could not be otherwise. He is an artist and artists are responsible for the performance. Was not that way from the Renaissance? Does Brunnelleschi, Bramante, Palladio, could be so wrong? Well, this building … but was not saying Boullée the construction was thinking confuse means with ends? Yes, there could be so wrong. And maybe Bill in the middle of the workday, look out the window and remembered with nostalgia this magnificent project in Pakistan. Do you have published in magazines? Surely that would have been well the photo from the entry courtyard. And most likely would have come to his office more projects and therefore more likely to dream and make art, or architecture. What lives there now a terrorist leader? Well, I do not ask me, I’m just the architect, the artist, the dreamer.
Andrew Buncombe on the issue of May 6 from The Independent, made public for the first time the planes of the «mansion» of Abbottabad (which you can download an excellent resolution from the link: http://blogs.independent .co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/scan-000000000000-001.jpg ) . Planes such as Rosetta Stone, can serve as a translation tool for a further stage in the gaseous state.
The plane was provided by local authorities and corresponds to those required to obtain a building permit. The plane was admitted to the summer of 2004 by someone who appears under the name of Arshad Khan, the real estate agent for bin Laden. Delivered by the ID at admission – that the most likely to be a forgery – it is clear that Khan is 33 years. The house received a reception in September 2005, which calls into question the information provided by some Pakistani reports according to which the house had been built in 2003. The record further shows that were never paid property taxes, besides pointing out that the house had its own cleaning and drainage system. The official address of the home is: House No.3, Street No. 8-A, Garga Road, Thanda Chow, Hashmi Colony, Abbottabad. As architects, are listed in the bullet the name of the firm Modern Associates. As owners of the names and Haqab Muhammad Arshad Khan.
In the film displayed the drawings for the plant’s first and second floor, missing the third floor and the floor of the deck. Figure also the main facade and a cross-section, a location map, the particular type of foundations, the floor of the stairwell, its detail specifying the size of the footprint and anti-trace, with a particular type of lintel .
The drawings are drawn with pencil and instruments. Not implemented by the help of CAD. There is no apparent difference between the loading elements and partitions. The first floor is spread along a central hallway which ends in the stairwell. On each side are a series of rooms of 3.96 meters wide and of variable length. Lengths ranging from 1.5 to 4 meters. On this floor are four bedrooms and a kitchen, three bathrooms and a cellar. The second floor is not very different from the first. Only the four bedrooms and their private bathrooms, a terrace are joined by the entire width of the facade.
The main facade appears organized through three levels, articulated together by a series of ledges. While the first floor windows have a height that allows views to the outside, the windows located on the second floor are small and high, suggesting that they were conceived as a mechanism of ventilation. At the third level stands a volume – the staircase? – Whose door opens onto the main facade, strong shaft misalignments that mark the access door on the first floor and door leading to the second floor terrace. On the location plan, it appears that the house faces south-west, prompting predictions that the main front terrace receives the sun all morning.
In reviewing the plans of the house of Abbottabad, which caused the first surprise is the fact that surfaces and dimensions used, is valid to ask: Where is the house that all the news talking about? What was it that made this house cost a million dollars? What made it so valuable? Does your architecture? No, this does not seem possible. If there is anything that oozes Abbottabad is banality. So where was the million dollars?
Maybe the million dollars of which everyone speaks the reward has been in a few months old until the time spent planning the end of the world while changing channels on their satellite TV.
In that sense, Abbottabad rather than reality is pure speculation.
Bill is the author of today’s home world’s most photographed. In a scene where the architectural quality of a work is usually measured in terms of the number of times that are published photographs of a work, is that Bill is the best architect in the world. No newspaper in which his work has not appeared. It has been recorded from all possible angles. Front and side, noon and dusk. In close-ups, as well as doing far appear to geography. With people and no people around. From afar, as well as from aerial views. The best news photographers, the world’s leading news agencies – provided with the best cameras and lenses – have traveled to Abbottabad to maintain a record of it. Processions of people crowd into its surroundings to achieve see clumsy and banal architecture. The clicks of the cameras follow one after another. The television cameras record it do not stop every day, hour after hour, live and deferred transmission.
If, in a world where the best work is the most photographed, Bill is the best architect in the world.
But he cannot tell anyone. VKPK.