visual multiplicity in housing

Veaportal is a housing complex where each unit’s visual connections to its neighbors affects its outer form and inner organization – a housing complex where each tenant, by being part of a multitudinous game of visual risk-management, achieves privacy through fragmented anonymity.

[gallery] surveillance, voyeurism, performance


What if an architect's understanding of a site was based solely from the perspective of 'eyes on the street'? An answer requires firstly a survey of said 'eyes' and an understanding of the parameters of seeing. e.g. in the case of the surveillance camera, while a camera body is present on the street, the observation occurs in an 'other' space. Conversely, people on the street possess an agency entangled with what they see. They, in turn, are observed by another 'other' through the frames of domestic spaces. a nesting of observer-observed relationships ensues. How can this contemporary condition inform a new kind of domestic space and life?

Existing conditions on and around the site reveal that surveillance, voyeurism and performance, three modes of seeing, not only exist but are in constant communication with one another, creating a rich and complex condition.

This nesting subject/object relationship of seeing and being seen is thus explored.

In order to subvert the gaze and ultimately the power structure inherent within the gaze, a counter-intuitive intervention is proposed; rather than eliminating visual communication, it is enhanced, multiplied, doubled, and de-centered. By accounting for the multitudes of visual relationships, relational conditions are discovered in order to reveal a hidden site and bring new meaning to it.

Project Team

Jeffrey Montes
Danaë Vokolos

designed as a student at Columbia University GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation) as part of Core Studio 3 taught by Mario Gooden & Carson Smuts