fr / en
In Lisbon, some neighborghoods such as the Alfama or the Mouraria, little impacted by the earthquake in 1755, can still let us imagine the maze of lanes of the whole city from which the inhabitants have had to find an escape route. While the Baixa district, designed under Pombal's rule for the reconstruction of the city, shows one of the first urbanizations of a modern city in Europe in the early stage of Enlightenment, a rationalization that was beginning to spread in European mentalities, made here possible to conceive in response to the near complete destruction of the city center. If the uniformity of the buildings came with the enforcement of the first earthquake-resistant building standards in Europe, this urbanization was perceived by the population of the time as authoritarian, scattering the social fabric organized by residential neighborhoods to a public administration on the scale of the city, dividing the streets by trades. We are particularly interested in architectures that convey an hostile dimension, both physically and psychologically; when the architecture turns against the bodies, crushing them, whether in the literal sense in cases of an earthquake, or emotionally when the architecture is designed to be intimidating in order to enforce a power rule, or coerces the bodies into a certain behavior.
We have reproduced the plan of the Minotaur's maze, this shape is repeated in several Roman mosaics including one in Conimbriga, in Portugal. In Greek mythology, it is Poseidon, god responsible for the rough seas and earthquakes, who, as a response for an offense caused by the king Minos, sent on earth as a punishment a bull to mate with his wife, giving birth to the Minotaur for which the labyrinth was built.
The specific inclined shape of the cutter blades forms the basic unit for an axonometric projection in the architectural drawing. Conceived that way in the purpose to cut the surface, they here break with the drawing and the 2 dimensional representation by creating from certain angles an illusion of elevation, giving the impression to be in front of an architectural model.