Some parasites are good. Ya, I know the definition of the word seems to point otherwise, but to put it one way, without parasites there would be no symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationships. This ‘Parasite Office’ by Za Bor Architects indeed exists more symbiotically than parasitically in its location. The office couples on to the blind facades of the buildings on either side, relying on them for support. What do the surrounding buildings get in return? What used to be a void, a wide break in continuity that exists only as wasted space is transformed by an entity that brings excitement and life to its surroundings.
This concept of using ‘free space’ is one that I hope will be prevalent in the future of architecture. It is forever being speculated that in the future, most architecture work will be renovation of existing buildings. I say this is rather pessimistic. It implies that we have filled our world with ‘junk’ that didn’t withstand the test of time and now needs to be fixed and we can’t see anything to do beyond that. What about all the empty free space that we unwittingly ‘built’ along with physical walls and foundations? I think we (the collective we) are creative enough to find a way to use this space. And Za Bor’s new office on Kozhukhovskaya Street in Moscow is a start.
The office is constructed of a singular structural element that is clamped between its bounding ‘hosts’. Perhaps part of the allure of this condition is the apparent impossibility of its execution. That being said, I really would like to know how it stands up. Does it punch in to the facades? Is there a way that its structural elements could ratchet apart, holding the new building up through friction? I don’t know.
Architects: za bor architects – Arseniy Borisenko and Peter Zaytsev
Location: Moscow, Russia
Project area: 230 sqm
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Peter Zaytsev
© Peter Zaytsev