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Antoine Predock / Death Star / World Mammoth and Permafrost Museum.

November 9, 2009

Antoine Predock’s work and I go way back. When I was a kid, my friends and I used to meet after dark and play capture the flag in what most Davis locals refer to as the “Death Star,” formally known as Predock’s Social Sciences & Humanities Building (1994). Social Sciences & Humanities Building by day, Death Star by night. Long before I began to pursue architecture as a discipline, the Death Star was my fortress, a twisting, turning dreamscape, as if it was designed precisely for hiding, spying, sneaking, and climbing.

IMG_1323

framed views of Davis from tower

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intentional view corridor

aerial view of Social Sciences & Humanities Bldg (1994)

Death Star close up

My playful reprogramming of Predock’s Death Star as it sits empty at night attests to the success of Predock’s practice in cultivating a distinctly American dreamscape. Predock’s aesthetic and spatial logic are rooted in the American sublime, a Baudrillardian mish-mash of sci-fi imagery, fetishized vista points, internalized circulation, and the application of light and shadow. Context is drawn out of a collective dream, a victory for innocent play over the drudgery of the everyday.

concrete wrapping

Clay model of the Social Sciences & Humanities Building

Though Predock would likely cite clay modeling, tectonic striation, motion studies, and the desert Southwest as primary sources, I can’t shake the Star Wars association, especially after seeing his recent competition entry for The World Mammoth and Permafrost Museum in Yakutsk, Russia. (On another note I think the world may have reached its museum limit. Check out Earth, the New Museum of Museums.)

strangely familiar rendering of the "WM&PM"

this is what Predock cut out from the rendering. don't want any Cold War reminders.

interior rendering of the "WM&PM"

illustration of Hoth Rebel Base interior

sculpture of Hoth rebel base w/ Millenium Falcon!

Clay model of the Mammoth and Permafrost Museum

more after hyperspace…

Emperor Predock

Emperor Palpatine

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