Virtual House
Peter Eisenmann

The Virtual House begins from the memory of the spatial concept of an earlier house by Peter Eisenman, for which he wrote a text in 1987 titled “The Virtual House.” First the house is abstracted into nine cubes. These nine cubes constitute a potential field of internal relations and conditions of connectivity. Each potential connectivity can be expressed as a vector. Each vector is attributed with a field of influence actualizing its virtual movement through time. This actualization is visualized through an effect of each single vector on the lines within its field of influence. The lines themselves, with their geometric properties, become forces. For each vector, attributes were set arbitrarily in order to describe its field of influence. The movements and interrelations were produced by these attributes, now seen as constraints, which influence the location, orientation, direction, and repetition of any vector within the space. These constraints operated as local forces upon each other. Each constraint acts and reacts according to three field of influence – points, orientation, and direction. The condition of each vector is recorded, either unconstrained or constrained, within the space as a series of traces.

The connectivity of the cube is repeatedly read through the vector lines. Due to the constraints resulting from the relation of the nine cubes, the once symmetrical readings are deformed to a condition marked by unpredictable change within each repetition. Each actualization is a single instant in time. Thus the result is not one of expression or representation but only reveals the process of becoming.

Use of the notion of the virtual in architecture risks literally materializing the immaterial. Therefore, one needs to address the productive making, or the condition of the virtual within architecture, in order to allow architecture to question traditional ideas of form and space.

"Virtual House." Eisenman Architects. 1997.