RIBA Goldfinger Scholar 2007
Architectural Association, London
Gergely Kovács is an architect, he holds an MSc in Architecture and Engineering from Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He was awarded the RIBA Goldfinger Scholarship in 2007 and graduated from the Diploma School of the Architectural Association in 2009. His diploma project won the Nicholas Pozner Prize 2009 for best architectural drawing of the year and the William Glover Bequest 2009 prize of the AA. Since graduating he has been working at Heatherwick Studio and teaching at the AA.
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Proposal for the Temple Mount in colliding inverted spaces
With the support of the RIBA Goldfinger Scholarship Gergely pursued his interest of a highly speculative architecture at the Diploma School of the Architectural Association. His diploma project ‘The Construction of Neutrality’ is an attempt to colonize the space between representation and reality. It investigated an impossible complex of overlapping cultural and political territories, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem representing the ultimate site of conflict that questions the fundamentals of neutrality as a construction.
The proposal for the Temple Mount engages the site from two parallel directions drawing upon the Roman occupation of Jerusalem in 70 AD resulting in the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the erection of the Colosseum, and the peacekeeping efforts of the Clinton era climaxing in the Camp David Summit in 2000.
Learning from Piranesi, turning the Colosseum inside out
Relying on antiquity as a constant yet always reinvented context it uses digital forensics on Piranesi’s etching, to deconstruct the seminal example of the architecture of separation, the Roman Colosseum, questioning the relation of inside and outside.
Ex-President Clinton has previously proposed that a 1.5 metre deep underground neutral slab separate Muslim surface from Jewish underground. As a critique of the impossible simplicity of this, it is deconstructed using similar operations to that of the Colosseum; L I Magnus’ 1831 inversion formula, which in mathematics is used as an alternative space for solving unsolvable conundrums, is here used to generate inverted reflections of the site, allowing spatial liberties and convolutions for joint occupation impossible both within normal space and under the current, and historic, political constraints.
Choreography of the religious calendars
Instead of a static status quo this system creates a dynamic neutrality where neutrality is constructed through time. The strategy for the site proposes that the religious calendars are used to direct the action of a series of spheres of inversion over and under the temple mount: Clinton’s neutral layer is thus replaced by a complex topographic choreography, which delivers the convolutions of neutrality, over time to the whole site; a system that is to contain and curate a series of incompatible, subjective parallel readings of these shared histories. The simultaneous inversions create a surface that dynamically changes the relation between inside and outside and merges these categories, escaping the binary structure both present in Clinton’s proposal and the Colosseum.