Portfolio of Other Academic Projects


Rule Of the City, Rule Of the River (2008)    <- up


The project is a first plunge into the intricacy of Florence, foreshadowing a future course of the city curation. The outcome is a meta­physical tower, layered museum of history, record of Florentine tactile quality. The tower hovers on a border of illusoriness and reality, any final architectural cut would be rather diminishing but no vagueness has been left.

Ten drawers - ten periods in history of Florence. Drawer nine - executed as a collection of tactile details flanking vias to famed peripheral churches and cloisters. Tabernacles, stuccos, tondos, spouters. Tactile map of Florence. Each drawer represents miniature of the city at the time and therefore contains part or whole of other drawers. Drawer ten contains them all. Scale is another phenomenon - inconsistent, but referring to diameter of municipal affairs, implies added complexity of the curation.

Unreal Tower stands on a real site, limit of the limits, crossing of river Arno and city walls. Two such places, Pescaias, mark a meter for scaling the city in a sequel of the story. Abstract Tower is executed in two copies: the formable plasticity of wax and the hard resistance of acrylic. Translucency and sensitivity to light is complemented by an optic illusions of transparent layers. Each rendering offers different metaphysicality, each touch different feeling.


Winery (2006)    <- up


The design is a study into the process of wine­making. After an inspection to Moravian and Austrian wineries, linearity has been chosen to represent key character of the process. Wine­making is linear - but not straight­forward.

Wine route is heart of the design. The phrase stands for the painful process of creation of wine but it also abbreviates a spectacle for visitors, it is a secret word behind every drunk glass. The building displays its linearity both to its exterior and interior. But when captured in its insides among towering fermentation tanks and barrels one recognizes the truth is not that simple.

Secret of the design is hidden in the section, it is there where the linearity stirs, rejects the straight­forward­ness. Visitors of the museum route become part of the real route while the wine-makers are characters of the spectacle. One that has come to drink a glass is given a role in the process. Process where the building swallows grapes at one end and spits bottles at the other but what happens in between is not a quiet flow of a production line.

Villa of Confined Togetherness (2005)    <- up


There is a point where one craves air in a smothering relationship. It becomes phantom - a projection of desires tangled around your loved one's chest. Then appears a question of a limit between healthy and sick affinity. The project explores in tectonic language going beyond this irreversible line.

It begins innocently. Flat paper cube folder slowly folds up - participants in a relationship grow intimate. After time two edges bond. Subtle hesitancy, then one of remaining sides clicks shut followed by the other. The cube is formed. All stays balanced until expectations shift in the relationship. The one suddenly craving air finds enclosed cube too claustro­phobic. But the cube does not open easily. Pressure inside the cube levels up until an explosion becomes inevitable.

Instead, the cube eases the pressure by expanding, a fractal growth. The relief is too small and the growth becomes unstoppable - the third, fourth, fifth generation of cubes. As the last resort gigantic fume extractors tear through the mass and spit poisonous fumes out. But it is too late, the whole structure has gone beyond repair and necrotised cubes hang lifelessly on the extractor bodies.

Log House (2005-2007)    <- up


The building - student probe into minimalism - is a layered sandwich of several orientations and varying emptiness and full­ness. It sits in a mound at a river bank just out of Prague and its primary concept is overlooking the river. Responding to different contexts the building is conducted by Cartesian coordinates.

Basement - which consists of a concrete box that can be fully flooded - offers a side-way connecting two sides of the mound. The basement is utilitarian and packed. On the contrary, ground floor is fully open and directed towards the river but a perpendicular path penetrates it too, leading on top of the mound. First floor inclines to river again and it displays density of a private night section.

The crossing of two directions is bonded by a vertical - spiral staircase - playing ambiguous role throughout the building: it is encaved in precise niches in the basement and first floor but it has been given the glamour of freedom and centrality on the floor in between.


Strijp S Dissection (2007)    <- up


Strijp S - a site of glory of Dutch research, cradle of tapes and CDs, venue of Einstein's lecture, is being abandoned by Phillips. But it may encounter new bright future.

Project experiments design stimulation methods. The base is a cognitive map created out of typical Phillips and random local objects. An Alicean narrative takes input objects through series of steps under each they undergo further scrutiny and trans­formation. Distilled content is represented in an urban assemblage.

Three narratives playing the leading roles are: Interlacing (TV), Weaving (cloth) and Indentations (CD). Using various methods (scripting of random inputs, parametric design, confrontation with properties of physical models) the result is curated into flats, shops, offices, parks and plazas.


Two Faced Marjori (2008)    <- up


In 1970' black puma was kept in an infamous Leith pub Fairley's. One night a lady of the night fell asleep in the toilets and when she walked into the deserted saloon the wild cat jumped on her back. Luckily enough she got away with deep scratches. As sad as it is, she was last seen begging in streets of Edinburgh.

Inspired by Scottish fondness of telling stories a 'memorial' is designed for this incident. The pub - now Giuliano's pizzeria - is given an insertion. Long, elevated and narrowing toilet gives an impression of forthcoming horror. Furnishings display pattern extracted from the cat's jump. Energy spine covering lights and ventilation takes on all the strain, muscles and adrenaline involved in that night.

Rewind. The story hasn't appeared randomly. It came first at Leith Memory Preservation Society Annual Awards. The society is famous for its high street Story Well which does not only re-tell most popular stories but which virtually sucks history out of visitors. Is is a personification of contentful act of delivery, relief of sharing the long-hidden memories with public. Who does not want to give his story to the well can spray, tag, paint, scratch or fly-post it onto the enormous Story Wall.


New Building for Czech Senate (2006)    <- up


Senate on site of a gloomy park in Prague's centre. Abstract masses do not compete with adjacent valuable Baroque and 19th century buildings but they still emit dignity. A fortress from the river and road it softens to nourish a public plaza on the inner side. Much of the building volume is hidden under the plaza.

Czech people need to regain their trust in the Senate and the Senate opens to them, virtual­ly. People can watch senators work in offices and at meetings but the senators are safe from intruders. At the end of plaza a round amphi­theatre floats on the water, both hiding and revealing dealings on future of the country.

Bargain House (2006)    <- up


In the project design concept is simplified to pure negotiation between the cost and the architecture. Competition entry for a low cost housing illustrates an efficient floor­plan with no corridors, extra spaces, underground or storied developments. The building flows in four sections from a street wall over an open garage, arcade and the house itself. House and the garage incline towards each other creating intimate backyard. Inspired by early Aalto's work, the design is one of many responses to the time-old negotiation.

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Marek Sivák - architecture

Presentation Feeling the Table without Touching the Cloth Portfolio of Other Academic Projects Back
Welcome to the web page on architecture and architectural theory by M Arch Marek Sivák. My interest lies in the intertwining of practical designs and theoretical structures leading beyond. In the centre of my research has been Haptics - the quality of touch, of all senses, of something that reaches beyond the senses. This is what singles out architecture from other arts. My architecture is sensual, contextual, finds narratives in the local conditions as much as in the context of the city - works at many scales.
Creative Commons License   2010-2011
This work by Marek Sivák is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Czech Republic License.
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