The German magazine AIT invited 100 selected architecture and interior design offices across Europe to redesign the ‘ONO’ chair produced by the Dietiker company. The newly designed chairs will be exhibited in the context of a road show in the AIT-Architektur Salons Hamburg, Munich, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Stuttgart. The main auction of the chairs will talk place in spring 2010. The revenues generated through this auction will support the Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa. Hofman Dujardin shared with us their entry into the competition, their OYES chair, as an urban charity for city. More images and architect’s description after the break.
After we received the beautiful ONO chair designed by Matthias Weber we asked ourselves why would we transform a beautiful chair? Why would we start cutting,pasting, painting, sewing while the product is good the way it is? We decided to change the approach, in stead of transforming the chair we decided to transform the context. The chair stays the way it is, we only create a new surrounding stimulating the fantasy of the observer. After studying various options the final choice was to upscale the chair a 1000 times and place it in Cape Town, the final destination of the Charity project.
The chair becomes a model of a building with a height of 760m, an urban icon for Cape Town. The transformation lies within our own fantasy. The mental change due to the overwhelming scale, entirely compensates the absence of physical changement of the chair itself . While the ONO chair can be used by a maximum of two people, the OYES chair with a surface of 800.000m² can host about 50.000 people. An extremely generous chair!! Four slim feet of 25x30m will touch Cape Town in the business district and the harbor. These four new locations will be connected through identical towers with a height of 460m. Each foot will intervene in the existing urban fabric, connecting people from different areas.
The 800.000m² building will act as a social housing icon. Inhabitants of the Langa township can move to the city centre. Compact apartments are created in the slim feet of 25x30m with a height of 460m. The level of the seat becomes an open space of 450x450m suitable for a public park and soccer fields overlooking the ocean. The back support of the chair will be filled with apartments until a height of 760m. In between there are shops, offices, sport facilities, cinema, bars, restaurants etc. The OYES chair becomes the iconic symbol of charity, the second tallest building of the world is the shelter of the homeless people of the townships. High-rise for the poor on the South point of the African continent with a view at the Atlantic ocean. A charity project with an impact on humanity.
Power to the people, the skyline used to be dominated by churches, than the financial institutions took over. The time has come that charity and humanity determine the skyline of the future metropolis.
Magritte in Urbicande is the subtitle of the extreme structure. The chair as shown on the carpet is not a chair. As Magritte would say ’……ceci n’est pas une chaise……’ So what is it? It is a model of the worlds second highest building. It is the urban chair which joins to the Table mountain. It is the structure connecting four open plots in Cape Town and thus creating a splendid green park at 460m height offering a stunning view at the surroundings of Cape Town. The OYES chair seems to be a building copied from the city of Urbicande where the marvelous cubic structure enables the city to function better than ever before. The structure emphasizes on human contacts and creates new relations. The OYES chair shows us a dream, a beautiful thought, a structure which seems outrageous but also refined, appealing and exciting.
The making of the OYES chair:
The first thought was to add 1:100 scaled people on the chair. The chair transformed in front of our eyes into a sculpture of 76m height. It could be an interesting object in an urban landscape. But what could we do with the feet which would become 2,5×3,0m, except for elevators and construction? Not much. So we scaled it up to 1:1000. This is a scale where a person, a tree or a car has no height in a model. It is a scale where the building becomes a fantastic icon. With a scale of 1:1000 we started scrolling through the city and the outskirts of Cape Town, searching for the perfect location. The business district and the harbor offered a beautiful opportunity. Four locations, with a perfect distance from each other are free, and can be strengthened by slim towers of 25x30m. These four plots are able to generate a building with a surface of 800.000m². FANTASTIC: four locations without destroying one single building, we could even design the entrances and the little parks around the towers. Then the questions was, how can we create an urban fabric of Cape Town without spending four weeks with four people on a model of Cape Town. We created by endlessly copy clipping on Google Maps a map of Cape Town at the scale of 1:1000. We checked if the map had all the interesting features of the city, such as the harbor, the football stadium hosting the 2010 World Cup, the railway station, the business district and the start of the Table mountain. And it did. Now we had the image with the four locations. Our friend Patrick from A2Studio rendered the shadow over Cape Town, checking carefully the position of the sun and the height of the surrounded buildings. The shadow moves gently over the business district. A2Studio also created some beautiful visualizations of the OYES chair in Cape Town by day and by night.
After seeing the image with the OYES chair shadow the manufacturer EGE from Denmark loved the idea and participated in the Charity project. Within two weeks they produced a high quality carpet with the print of Cape Town.
We also received help from our photographer Matthijs van Roon who captured us and the carpet on film. The pictures have a beautiful surrealistic atmosphere.
The day Remco from SV Group came to the office to pick up the chair we showed him first the chair, we asked him, and, do you see it? Do you like it? With an insecure and ironic smile he sincerely hoped we would give him more than abstract art. We guided him to the meeting room and let him fly over Cape Town. He had enough fantasy to see the transformation from ONO to OYES!!!
Design: Hofman Dujardin Architects, Amsterdam Carpet: EGE, Copenhagen; Onstein Textiel Agenturen, Blaricum Visualizations: A2Studio, Rotterdam Photography: Matthijs van Roon, Amsterdam Organization charity project: Dietiker AG, Switzerland; AIT magazine, Germany; SV interior group, The Netherlands Special thanks: Rene Magritte, Schuiten & Peeters and Google Maps