This beautiful project has been created by Guillermo Bernal in 2009 and 2010 for his undergrad thesis at Pratt Institute. Guillermo was then part of the brilliant studio tutored by Yael Erel and Christoph Kumpusch which attempts to approach the thesis project by producing a lot of hand drawings and physical models or objects as you can see below.
This project is magnifying the deployment of the circus by developing a beautiful poetry of mechanics that can be read in Guillermo’s objects/models. Rather than inventing a swiss knife system of folding/unfolding as we already saw in a lot of projects, he insisted on the performance of the cables, mechanical arms and fabrics and the potential unplanned events of their deployment.
I am not sure it was one of Guillermo’s reference but this architectonic circus entertains a very interesting dialogue with Alexander Calder’s circus which insisted more on the sculptural aspect of the human and animal performance. (see the video here)
Here is the text related to the project:
Originating in the ancient world, the Circus has a history of a ritualistic performance -mostly of a nomadic nature- and functioned as a proto-theater where the distance between human and animal nature was under examination. Since the performances were held in the open, its architectural typology remained open-ended. The circus is a thing that strongly resists definition. Since the very depths of its etymological roots, it has been a signifier for an abstract animate vitality, later to incorporate “frenetic public activity” under its umbrellic term. The this space, suitable for the interweaving movements of man and animal was the birthmark of its etymological significance.
A creative aid and distribution platform, the nomadic equipment can be positioned as “momentary anchoring ”, Their goal is both to situate themselves on the exterior in order to open new trails, and to weave, or even to repair certain links. to put holes in the public space using the invasive, nomadic presence of the war machine, or any other technique of sudden appearance invades and overcomes everyday life. Located primarily in a decaying city. The Circus on the edge makes do with what it finds, enveloping and adapting found structures, resources and technologies to infiltrate, innovate and construct space for community, as well as community itself, in unusual and provisional ways.
It also intends to confront creation with the public, in all of its diversity and contradictions, as well as its occasional tensions, and to confront it with the public space, as well as its
complexity and richness. The Circus on the Edge is not one complete city, but a constantly moving and fleeting fragment. Acting as an agent for change, it provides an instant dynamic system for the production of new urban and cultural space, seemingly disintegrating and connecting the local and global, and the real and not so real. The reciprocal relationship between Circus and everyday life becomes a state where society can negotiate its own future.