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The hyper is dead. Long live the hyper.

Loris Vendrami

An unified and temperate universe.


"Nowadays, the hypermarket is selling every kind of food products, but what if his services could extend and ensure the totality of human physiological needs," says Loris Vendrami on the short animated film by Isabelle Cochevelou and him. "The hyper is dead. Long live the hyper." is their architecture diploma project at the Swiss federal institute of technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Produced under the direction of Prof. Roberto Gargiani, Kersten Geers and Beatrice Lampariello, the video was created as the resulting point of a theoretical discussion on the subversive potential of the hypermarkets.

"The video as representation tool for architecture wasn't taught at the EPFL, however, during discussions with our Diploma project professor (Prof. Roberto Gargiani) we concluded that the video was a great medium, whose strength would add another layer of comprehension to the project," adds Loris, talking about their decision to create this endless travelling video of the hypers interior space depicted as an infinite and homogenous atmosphere of an over-rationalized building.

Hypermarkets are now selling every kind of food products, their services constantly extending and ensuring the totality of human physiological needs - starting from this meditation the pair produced a video, which starts with the same image as the last one, creating a perfect loop, so that it could be played without interruption, visually representing an infinite space that never comes to an end.

They describe the architecture for such an infrastructure as a "gigantic glass and steel shelter which hosts a unified and temperate universe. A punctuated superstructure, containing diverse and diversely arranged programs. It is neither a hypermarket, nor sports equipment, nor offices, but all this at the same time. The Hyper defines a new field of possibilities. The shelter hosts the functions as much as it supplies them with energy. The energy and data are collected, processed and redistributed for the survival of the hyper." And then adds, "he is self-sufficient," as if the hypermarket is becoming a living part of our universe, devouring the cities and the environment as we know them.

Trying to find an answer to questions such as "how could we possibly express the notions of a fully urbanized earth and a globally conditioned environment? How could we represent something infinite with a medium which is constraint by its frame? How could we have the feeling to be simultaneously everywhere on earth and at the same time in a very specific location due to the unique aspect of it?" the video wants to focus its attention on the commodification of cities and their becoming less and less recognizable, able to detain a specific personality. In some ways, even cities are buying their own appearance in a hypermarket.

"We were researching a lot about the way the phenomenologists tried to depict their perception of the city and their built environment. The way they were arguing that there is an immense distance in the way an embodied mind experiences its surroundings from the objective shape that material objects are said to possess," they add. A remarkable feature for this short animated film is that it focuses not only on the visual representation but also on the sound atmosphere. "The sound adds another sensorial layer that facilitates a more subjective perception of the space."

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)

Authors icon Credits

Author: Isabelle Cochevelou
Mentioned project: Architecture Diploma Project at the Swiss federal institute of technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
Tutored by: Roberto Gargiani, Kersten Geers and Beatrice Lampariello

Switzerland 2019
Duration: 2'33"