elysium & THE POLITICS OF THE GOLF COURSE
Status: International Architectural Competition / 1st Prize / DOMES
Area: 18 m2
Architect: Leonidas Papalampropoulos
"Utopia is a historical concept. It refers to projects for social change that are considered impossible.. Only such a project is utopian in the strict sense, that is, beyond history – but even this “ahistoricity” has a historical limit"
Herbert Marcuse, The End of Utopia
Room 18 contemplates on the (im)possibility to manifest in architectural terms the utopian paradigm of the Elysian Fields.
'Elysium' forms a spatial concept of afterlife, a paradise for the righteous and the virtuous that can live a happy life in an ideal environment. In the Fields there is no need for architecture or garment as it is the fields that provide all the necessary infrastructure. Located in the western Isles, they can be seen as a leisure place (as there is no need for working), a kind of ideal hotel in the form of a landscape.
We can trace an analogy between the Fields and the contemporary golf course. The golf course is the predominant type of landscape - a paradigm developed mainly in the western isles (Scottland, the United Kingdom and later in the US) that can be spotted all over the world, regardless of climatic conditions. The course with its endless lawn is the new paradigm that formulates the ideal landscape for our global society. As the Fields consist of the political manifestation of the authority in the ancient world (as the authority gave access to paradise), it is the Course that defines politics in our contemporary society by shaping a global uniform environment based on the values of New Liberalism.
CoeLux Srl and Artificial Sunlight
According to Marcuse: " Utopia is a historical concept. It refers to projects for social change that are considered impossible....The project of a social transformation, however, can also be considered unfeasible because it contradicts certain scientifically established laws, biological laws, physical laws".
In our case, it is the impossibility of inhabiting the landscape due to the hostile natural environment that defines the Fields as Utopia. A possible threshold can be traced. Artificial sunlight developed by CoeLux Srl uses nanotechnology that reproduces natural light in an enclosed environment. The Fields in the shape of a Golf Course can be created in a sustainable indoor space (Room 18 and Hotel Elysium) that provides the virtuous with the proper climatic conditions to live.