Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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For the sake of the body. For determining the site of a person. (Arakawa and Madeline Gins) The above statement is from Arakawa and Madeline Gins who are architects of the so-called "The Critical Resemblance House", which is a part of an experimental architectural project named Site of Reversible Destiny (Figure 1). This project was completed in early 1995. The site is located in Gifu, a small city situated between Tokyo and Kyoto, the present capital and the former, one respectively. It covers 18,100 square meters of land. Concerning this project, the architects explain: Within an elliptical depression that sits at a twenty-five degree tilt lie four identical terrain segments composed of pairs of juxtaposed mounds and depression are maps of cities from different countries. Five topographical maps of Japan, ranging in size from four hundred and fifty feet to one foot long, sit within the elliptical depression. The rises and falls of the terrain have been symmetrically arranged both to have the vistas and horizons of whoever traverses it be thoroughly predictable and in order for a sharper than usual definition to be given to the flow of events. (Arakawan and Gin 1994:87) What is interesting in the Critical Resemblance House is its attempt to propose an escape from the classical concept of display and conventional discipline of visuality which have persisted in architecture for centuries. This essay will examine and investigate this project in relation to both aspects and will also try to draw analogies with contemporary architecture and recent philosophical, scientific and architectural debates occurring in the Western world.

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