Zoey Cai

MArch I

Encountering the Enigma 

Advised by Mack Scogin

With our increasingly advanced tools, we seem to be able to grasp the architectural object more exhaustively than ever in the most precise dimensions and countless components. However, this technical knowing does not give answers to what architecture is in itself and all its excessiveness, and the infinite and immeasurable ways that we perceive and understand it.  

In fact, the seemingly stable architectural objects that we know are always assemblages of unnameable fragments of amorphous matter. This alienness of architecture is often repressed but can never be completely dispelled as we always work between completion and openness, the known and the unknown. In this open realm, our judgment is suspended; architecture unveils all its enigma and becomes again open to our interpretation. Can we work within this open realm of architecture, and conceive a building that engages our faculty of understanding upon encountering it, yet eludes it with its incessant enigmatic nature?  

This project is an attempt in the spirit of a liberated interpretation of architecture, through a fictional transformation of the New Market Building of the Fulton Fish Market in the Seaport District of New York City, using the tools that we have, to unveil an enigmatic understanding of architectural objects and experience. 

Interior of empty building