January 30, 2011
The Mush Residence
Since it was invented in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov, whilst he was working for the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSR, Tetris has become one of the most iconic computer games in our times.
The popular video game has resisted the tendency to be superseded by more ‘technologically sophisticated’ games, and possesses longevity rare in the modern technological era. So popular is Tetris that last year it was announced that more than 100 million copies of the game had been sold for cell phones alone since 2005.
Although little did the Russian video console designer know back in the mid-80s that his mathematical game of tetrominoes would be reproduced to create buildings, and in the 21st century Tetris inspired buildings would be sprouting up across the globe.
In Indonesia, an architect company called Dpavillon, has created a Tetris inspired library, known as the Concertainer – an ingenious combination of the words “container” and “entertainer”. This bright, abstract and memorable building is a library and polyclinic – a free public place aimed at improving the lives of the poorer classes in Indonesia. Architecturally, the asymmetric building’s bold blend of dissimilar shapes, skilfully resembles the game of Tetris, and in doing so creates an awe-inspiring, futuristic-looking building, whose main purpose is to enrich and educate.
Whilst in the United States, Tetris-enthused construction is also enriching the architectural landscape. The Mush Residence in Los Angeles is such a building. Designed by Studio 0.10 – Urban Nodes, this miss-match of shapes and material creates a sublime single-family residential apartment.
Similar to Tetris itself, the design strategies behind the creation were highly technical and involved breaking up the entire massing of the project by shifting and stacking the programs to maximise the constructible envelope and subsequently minimize the footprint of the building yielding the required outdoor spaces. Sounds extremely technical, but when you look at a picture of the Mush Residence, you realize that such an architectural creation, like Tetris itself, could not have been designed overnight.