Ritsaart Marcelis, M. Arch. '09, was recently published in a book documenting the White House Redux Competition. This competition was sponsored by the Storefront for Architecture, a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design.
White House Redux sought out hypothetical redesigns for the White House and grounds which would speak to the cultural, political and social situation of 2008 and reflect current realities. The competition drew more than 800 participants who submitted 400 projects. Of these, 123 projects were published in the book, which also chronicles the judging process of the competition.
Marcelis' entry is included in this book in a four-page spread showing some principal images of his project. His design reimagines the White House as a giant glass pyramid with no entry and an absurd structure. The design aims to reflect both the growth in power and secrecy of the executive office in the last decade, as well as to draw parallels between China and the United States (the two current economic superpowers) by means of comparison with some of the structures built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics (most notably, Herzog and De Meuron's Bird's Nest Stadium).
The competition was judged in New York City at World Trade Center Tower 7 by a panel of prominent architects and architectural writers. Jurors included Elizabeth Diller, Principal, DIller Scofidio + Renfro; Mark Wigley, Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design.
Marcelis' project was completed in Professor Ralph Bennett's ARCH601 topical studio, which focused on housing and housing-related competitions. The White House Redux competition was launched in January 2008 and judged between May and September of the same year. The book about the competition was published in October 2008.