3rd skin


Some people say architecture is your 3rdskin.

It certainly has an impact on the people who interact with a building every day – and by extension it affects the greater city in the same manner.

One of the most impressive transformation of architectural “skin” was the wrapping of the Gerrman Reichstag by the artist duo Christo and Jean-Claude. I was quite critical during the planning phase – but once I was in front of the transformed building my jaw dropped. The monstrous building looked suddenly as though it was from another planet and it turned into a magnet for people to come visit, party, perform, observe, meditate, enjoy. It was almost like a Halloween parade but the only one who was wearing a mask was the Reichstag.

Learning from this experience, I took away that the exterior and visual entity of buildings can generate emotions and have the potential to resonate within society at large. This is why my colleague and I came up with the idea of Econic design – buildings that become promoters of a more sustainable future through formal attributes that combine the idea of Ecology and Iconography.

About The Author

Matthias Hollwich is principal of HOLLWICHKUSHNER, LLC, a New York City based architecture and concept design firm. He is also co-founder of ARCHITIZER, a social networking platform connecting architects via their designs. Matthias is driven by the aim to upgrade man-made environments on a human and engaging scale with an ECONIC twist and can be best reached at www.hwkn.com. (mh@hwkn.com)

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