Published on February 17th, 2008

location:Venice | size:220m2 | status:proposal

Table tennis is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth with rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. A skilled player can impart several varieties of spin to the ball, altering its trajectory and limiting an opponent’s options to great advantage. Points are scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Nevertheless, table tennis is not only a completive sport; it is also a way of recreation and socialization present in a number of different environments.

The game of table tennis is to unfold at the given room. It will be an informal way of acquaintance and socialisation. Tables, rackets and balls will be ready for use at the exhibition space as an invitation to play. In addition, new ceiling made of one hundred and thirty thousand hollow plastic balls, will be constructed to engage visitors with the game of table tennis. At the same time, galleryís interior will be altered with the introduction of the structure. Its purpose is to reconfigure the existing space. Instead of the uniform room, the ceiling creates differentiated and polycentric spatial organisation. Its geometry of twenty one alcoves may define changing spatial boundaries in support of diverse activities. The idea is to provide architectural means for spontaneous change of use throughout the exhibition lifecycle. The proposal seeks to establish connection between the human activity and its environment. Introduction of the well known sport is to become a starting point of the process. Engaging nature of the game is meant to make effect on the relation between the space and its users.† A sequence of events taking place at the exhibition space starts with the construction process and continues with the opening ceremony and the inaugural tennis tournament. Any such happenings may be recorded and then projected as an integral part of the eighty five day exhibition programme. Other events are not determined and may be planed subsequently and spontaneously.

One possible definition of the architecture is about organizing space into the parts and wholes according to the nature of human activities taking place in that space. Over the time, formative influence between the human activity and its environment becomes mutual. Any spatial configuration becomes suggestive of the events to unfold at that place. Therefore initially planned activities may evolve, become more complex or even change fundamentally over time. In an ideal world, architecture would find the way to change accordingly to its users needs. Yet, this is contradictory to its deeply material nature. Once the partitions are materialised, they cannot go away easily. Built walls define the anatomy of the space, so that any adaptation demands hefty intervention. The challenge before todayís practice is to find means for flexible spatial organisations and enable diverse and simultaneous events within the same environment.

credits///design: 4of7///Milutin Cerovic, Ivana Damjanovic, Stanislava Predojevic, Djordje Stojanovic