Airconditioners, by Bolles+Wilson
In the city of Tirana, Albania, the German architects Bolles+Wilson have applied a new concept to deal with the airconditioners that flock the facades of so many buildings in the warmer places of this earth. Their strategy to deal with the ‘little white parasite-boxes with round, off-center, Cyclops-eye vent’ is both curious and inventive. First the (existing) building is painted with horizontal red and orange stripes that ‘homogenize’ the building, which is another word for eliminating the original shape and proportions. Secondly white ‘potential sites for future climatizers are scattered across the facade, a strategy which instantly legitimizes the random placement of those already in service.’
The strategy is devastatingly simple. Since no other country is so ‘polluted’ by airconditioners than China, and no other country seems so fond of iconography as China, the strategy could dramatically change the image of a southern Chinese city like Shanghai or Shengzen. Who will tell the Chinese?