Samantha Vasseur

MArch I

Mixed Doubles: Sensed Symmetry & Other Others

Advised by John May

Symmetry doesn’t always occur in plain sight: it may, instead, exist as the sense of another, both fundamentally equivalent and different. One has been exhausting the women’s locker rooms’ spatial relationships for a number of years until one suddenly—perhaps as a child whose parents divorce—incidentally spends a stray minute in the men’s locker rooms and viscerally grasps the symmetry that was true all along. The projected reciprocal space occurs in the mind and is triggered by a wall. A façade is, according to Alois Riegl, a wall that implies that a room is behind it. The opposite of a wall, then, is the ground: a plane with nothing beneath it but earth. The retaining wall inside of a hole in the earth is then effectively a ground, whereas a floorplate is effectively a wall. The thesis imagines the negative of the room we are not in.

Mixed Doubles proposes a public racquet club. Sensed Symmetry & Other Others is about our projection of the other, invisible behind a wall or unpredictable beyond markings on the ground. It draws from the history of Central Park as a constructed hole in Manhattan, the face that is the racquet—from the Arabic rahat, “palm of the hand”—and the opening gesture given by tennis, from the French tenez, “take heed” at the projectile that is coming your way.

Samantha Vasseur, MArch I. A view from above of green athletic fields intersected by water canals.
Samantha Vasseur, MArch I. 
Concrete Fragment ¼” Badminton – Café – Squash.
Samantha Vasseur, MArch I. 
Concrete Fragment ¼” Outdoor bleachers – Tennis – Rackets.
Samantha Vasseur, MArch I. 
Concrete Fragment ½” Indoor Bleachers – Sink – Real Tennis.
Samantha Vasseur, MArch I. 
Concrete Fragment 1/8” Real tennis – Squash – Ping pong.
Samantha Vasseur, MArch I. 
Lower Level Floor Plan of the Public Racquet Club.