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Oculus . Fall 2015

Oculus is located in a free lot in the intersection between A Street and Summer Street in Boston, Massachusetts. The building functions both as an architectural reaction to Chris Offili's Blue Rider Series and as a viewing device for the neighboring building.

The Blue Rider Series is a collection of black and blue paintings that show important moments of Offili's life. They are displayed in the New Museum in New York and inhabit an octagonal dark room. They are displayed in a dark room, and figures in the paintings come to life at the same time as human vision gets used to the low level of light. Maintaining this condition, the façade of the building was designed on a grid created by the new arrangement of these nine paintings. The grid determined the position of possible windows, and the program was created around this.

The building re-purposes the use of the neighboring building's windows by connecting them with the grid used in the front. The connection between these two gives rooms their non-conventional forms and further exemplifies the link between the collection and the existing building. Their new use also allows for the existing building to have new views. For example, some windows look to an outdoor terrace, some look into the café, others look into the staircases.


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