“The boat represents the perfect model for the rationalization of inhabitable spaces and the optimization of minimal spaces” (IaN+).
Created by firm IaN+ for the 2003 biennale of Valencia, the Microutopias project revisits architecture’s past through one of Modernism’s iconic references: the ocean liner. If in Vers une Architecture (Towards an Architecture), Le Corbusier compares the Aquitania to “a villa on the dunes of Normandy,” in the 1960s the architect Hans Hollein broke with this moving and idyllic image by formalizing the disturbing and warlike figure of an aircraft carrier drifting in a country landscape. For Hollein, architecture and nature overlap in a rapport of mutual contamination: the macrostructure violates as much as it fashions the landscape. Pursuing this critical and conceptual vein, IaN+ proposes a series of four aircraft carriers to support its project for a “new ecology” based on the concept of “recycling” architecture. These monumental warships are loaded with new facilities corresponding to their new uses: they become Museum (Artscape), Dwelling (Housescape), Theme Park (Sportscape) or Natural landscape (Landscape). This telescopic image of transformation symbolizes the limit between two specificities: no longer warships, they are not pure architecture either, but rather “operative strategies.”