Flotsam by Andreas Hoerl



University of Innsbruck graduate Andreas Hoerl has sent us these images of his thesis project called Flotsam - swimming architecture.


The project is a conceptual design for a floating gallery where students and architects can exhibit their designs.


Here's some text from Hoerl:


flo tSA_M - swimming architecture (function: architecture gallery)

The idea is to create a stage for architects/students to make architecture accessible to a bigger audience. Therefore the architecture itself and the exposed projects are the mediators. Space is made aware during examining architecture. The space that we inhabit is focused, space that offers but also forces itself to the user. Architecture to raise perception, architecture as a challenge of perception.


the name flo tSA_M, becomes program. flo tSA_M as definition of its function, constant floating in a chancing environment, resting-place for futuristic fragments of architectural flotsam from the continent. flo tSA_M is a swimming space, for places without places, relied on its own, self-contained, a reservoir for imagination.












Posted on Sunday January 4th 2009 at 1:41 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • modular

    This makes me sad…

    We want ‘happy’ architecture. We live already in a shitty world. Architects and designers have the duty to turn it better – not worst.

  • Dan

    Oh. My school.

    I have an orgasm.

  • NMiller

    uhm…. I like conceptual thesis projects… but what is the thesis here? If I cut away the fluff of the project description, you basically have “A cool space to display other architecture work that only other architects would want to see.”

    What are the questions being asked? What is the argument? The critical stakes? That architecture is only interesting and relevant to other architects?

    This seems more like second year undergrad work… not graduate thesis work.

  • kai liu

    now it is almost a cliché to see something like this.
    just wonder what will be the future of architecture?
    Personally, I have difficult to find any clue which can generate this “design”
    “Architecture to raise perception, architecture as a challenge of perception.” If this is the attitude, I did not get the point at all from the images and text.
    Based on the limited materials, we can only conclude a nice idea become “shallow”
    Concept does not necessarily mean impractical. (it might be practical, but the evidence did not show up)

  • HESH

    why is this necessary?

    just not sure about how it swims…

  • Hey

    is there any space generation process behind this thesis project ? it could be far more interesting by knowing how the space has been generated…

  • *MIRTEC*

    nice spaces, but how does one expose in this?

  • sanoj


  • This is beautiful. Very inventive. Is the long tail necessary for balance in the water, or aesethetic?

  • alex

    this just seems overcomplicated and to be a result of a computer , it lacks any underlying logic.
    Alex 2nd year archi student wsa

  • dominique

    Malevich’s Architectons on steroids. (and without the theory)

  • dominique

    In Andreas’ defense, its aesthetically pleasing.

  • stan

    Woow..it is amazing, fabulous, sooooooooooooooooooooo Formalistic and Sensless..I wonder whether one day all the architecture in the world will be a Zaha and AA lookalike….Poor world

  • vampire

    this design the has only advantage that to hasten the pressure of competitive desire between exhibitors.

  • vampire

    an interview should be carried with every resident after ten years living in buildings like this

  • it’s so Hadid in 90’s..

  • one

    I feel that Alejandro Zaera and his studio in berlage might like this project and Ben van Berkel might speak out his difference contained wthin his geometric systems and the repetoire, I somehow associate this with such attempt, only painted in another local colour…

  • Alison

    whats wrong with being hadid in the 90’s? i think its excellent.

  • As an object, it’s gorgeous; but as a building, much less as a gallery it would be terrible. Like walking through an optical illusion or the inside of origami. Galleries are supposed to create open space to respectfully exhibit other people’s work, not distract you with useless, decorative angles and swirls. And don’t we call swimming architecture ‘boats’? I think we already have those.

    Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with Zaha in the 90s, or Zaha at all.

  • zTy

    Great style, great design.

    But i still worry about who will pay this if it gets build.


  • bauster

    I wonder where the walls and surfaces should be to exhibit anything..
    sorry, but just “nice” form doesn’t legitimate useless space.
    and then there’s the question if it is nice form at all. that’s questionable.
    why does it have to be swimming? and does that form swim? to say it’s swimming doesn’t solve the question how the figure should meet the ground.. that is cheesy..

  • Dave_/

    The only thing making me sad here is ‘lazy-clever’ criticism from some people who probably created something far less interesting when they were this guy’s age. Kudos if it’s constructive criticism, but I can’t help feeling some people love coming on dezeen to have a dig. It’s a student project, it has its flaws but its quite interesting, and its captivating enough on the eye. I’m sure if you asked him to design a gallery for real he is capable of the cubes that you want…

  • T.J.

    I agree with ‘modular:’

    we want happy architecture! these gloomy black and white shardy school projects are getting to be such a bummer. this project shows no poetic consideration. the renderings show a mess of presumably digitally haphazard fragments into which the architect asserts silhouettes of people. where is the moment that will make us feel good to return to the ground to which we must go back? where is the understanding of how to make the building float? where is the polemic? you know, i think we will all find that architecture will have an increasing function to restore people silhouetted by the modern world, not celebrate their reduction to follies in architectural daydreams.

  • AlvinTheArchitect

    Is there a context to the spaces? I feel like they were generated out of thin air…

  • eric

    it is extremely formalists…..

    if it was actually constructed out of folds and origami, it would’ve been amazing…but it was not

    the process alone would justify its shape.

    instead it was Z-Corp’ed….meaning he didn’t really care about the construction or even the spaces and how it performs…..

    it turns into a sculpture..and edifice….maybe that is good, maybe it is not, i do not know

  • corto maltese

    WOW!!!!also plans and sections are orgasmics!

  • corto maltese

    less words more drawing!
    you should write a book, do not draw a project!
    andreas congratulations!

  • Nacho

    Is it a beautiful building/object? Yes.
    Would I waste 6 months of my life doing a boat-gallery and a couple of paragraphs? No.
    Does it even work? Probably not.

  • maryam

    Hey Andrea Hoerl

    I really liked your project, as this is my area of interest as well. Actually I am doing my B.Arch thesis on perceptions and cognitive environments, could you please send me all the possible details of this project of yours so that i can use it for my understanding.

    I would be really thankful to you :)

    My email is:


  • S.Hugo

    It has been six years since this project posted here. Everybody can show his/her ideas, but whether the concept works or not, nobody can know. But I don’t like it.