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Sanctuary of Hypermodernity


– protection or a safe place, especially for someone or some thing being chased or hunted;
– a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from being hunted or dangerous conditions;
– the most holy part of a religious building.

According to the french philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky, hypermodernity can be understood as the hyperbolization of modernity. In his book “Hypermodern Times” he describes an unmeasured reality that, by the prefix “hyper”, expresses its idea of excess, frivolity and instantaneity.

“(...) stand out of my sun” - Diogenes the cynic The Sanctuary of Hypermodernity comes up as product of the combination of these two concepts and their relation to the current dilemma of the area chosen for the intervention. The suggested area hosted one of the first psychiatric hospitals in a capital of the south of Brazil. The hospital was completely demolished in 2012 and now it is intended to build a supermarket in its place. Is there a more efficient way to erase memory than covering it with excessive information? Is there a closer analogy to hypermodernity in architecture than a supermarket/mall? (a place marked by the profusion expressed in the advertisements, the colours, the shelves filled with an endless variety of options). The construction of this building in this specific place was used as an extremely symbolic analogy of the excess of entertainment, information and instantaneous pleasures that are supplanting men’s most primary needs. Among all of them, the one that the project decided to emphasize is the human necessity of being essencially alone. We need to develop the ability to choose whether to be INSIDE of ourselves or OUTSIDE of ourselves. And we need to see the boundary that separates these two dimensions, or our souls will become an inevitable consequence of the confusing excess that marks the time we live in. The Sanctuary of Hypermodernity aims to promote an encounter of the hypermodern man to a fundamental experience: the solitude.

The solitude is the context in which the man tests himself, enjoys the company of silence and, standing before his most essencial state, he faces his biggest challenges: the ones inside his soul. It is olny after this effort that he is able to get a closer glimpse of the reality of life. Otherwise, life takes the risk of becoming an empty and unconvincing experience. Just as Diogenes suggests, there is nothing Alexander could offer him. Neither this project could give humans something more important than the things we already have: the light, the Sun and our own interior territory. Thus, the aim of this project is to suggest an idea of space where the noise of the external world do not cover our basic and essencial condition, but draws the attention to it. The architectural strategies that shaped the project had to point to one objective: evoke an atmosphere where solitude becomes an attractive alternative. In this regard, the project offers two different types of experience to be lived during its path. The experiences that provoke discomfort and strangeness and the experiences that combine silence, emptiness and nature into a recomforting moment. This contrast in perception is meant to awake the attention and the perceptive skills of the visitors and make the whole experience more intense and transforming. The objetive is to conduct the visitors in an experience of letting architecture heal, provoke and inspire.

The Board:
Sanctuary of Hypermodernity Board
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