Something, empty, devoid, meaningless, expressionless, incomplete.
The idea of blankness bases itself on something that is empty, but the fundamental concept of it, requires something to exists and contain the emptiness. It is the thing, the object, the container that is of interest for it dictates blankness.
But how can blankness be applied to architecture?
Blankness can be defined as designed emptiness, as such, it is the container of emptiness. Not to be confused with a simple white wall which contains nothing.
Blank exists on the base concept of background, of something empty that is ready to be filled in, and until it is filled in, it maintains its proper position in the background.
Blank manifests itself from afar as a singular object, much like a neutral canvas. But when inspected closer the mass is perceived through layers and manufactured by poche. The layers within the object represent an alternative to the part, producing differentiation without fragmentation. Layers are contiguous, not discretized. A whole may be layered and remain internally self-consistent, whether cut, extracted or excavated.
This idea of a new type of blankness proposes and assumes architecture as the struggle between background and foreground.
It at times purposely holds architecture in a state of pure blankness using an architectural container that is reductive and simple; this container holds and hides the architecture, which only flows out when absolutely required.
The architecture is then, presented as the dichotomy between container and contained, background and foreground. The contained mass stems from the idea of object continuity, background cohesion and mass injection towards utilisation. The mass, when absolutely necessary, creeps, shifts, and structures the foreground into existence, thus presenting people and their activities as the spatial point of focus.
By getting rid of the unnecessary, the decorative, and the frivolous, the mass is the connecting point of function - it flows out to become a rail, a step, or seating - and when its utility is no longer needed, the architectural gestures retreat back into their container, to their original blank state.
Blank looks at efficiency, modularity, complexity and decoration as architectural moves that are not sought after but repelled as unnecessary extraneous add ons to architecture, as such The architectural paraphernalia of lights, doors, windows, and technical objects are considered enemies of blank space for they represent the module and the mass produced component, for they bring unnecessary complexity to what should be subtle and complete space, and as such, are consistently embedded into the architecture, killing the idea of the added component.
The idea of Blank rids architecture of its extraneous symbology, political and cultural capital and just allows space to exist unhindered by irrelevant exterior ideas, and it is through these methods, Blank provides space that is ready for activity, connection and life from its users.
Blank is nothing more than something ready to be filled in, until then it remains in its rightful place, the background.
Lourenço Vaz Pinto