Postmodernism Represents The Current Manifestation Cultural Studies Essay


The use of form and geometry is an emblematic feature for the designs of Plasma Studio. By folding, bending and shifting, the spaces created by them become a part of the spatial and structural organization of the environment. In order to emphasize natural events and people’s movements, there is used a reduced palette of materials and colours in all of their designs. The work of Plasma Studio covers various domains, starting with installations and product design, going all the way to hotel designs and residential and hospitality projects. Through all of their projects it is noticeable the tendency of creating spaces that respond to all of the various needs of contemporary society.

A well-known project of Plasma Studio is the collaboration with emblematic architects of our time in designing hotel Puerta America in Madrid. This project consisted from the architects involved to create each floor of the hotel as they wish, neglecting the others’ design. One of their other projects is The Cube House, which incorporates similar techniques and features with Strata Hotel, due to the location in the same area: Sesto, Italy.

Strata Hotel is an emblematic project for the work of the designers from Plasma Studios. It is located in Sesto, Italy and was completed in November 2007, year that states the appurtenance of the building to the Postmodernist movement.

The overall shape is designed to perfectly blend with the surroundings. Located in a steep hillside region, the hotel’s design was inspired by the shape of a particular type of rock. The inside layers of this rock are metaphorical symbolized by the horizontal timber strips that corner the entire volume. In perfect accordance to a trend submitted to the chronological aspect of our modern way of life, this design in itself stands for the flawless time and its passing. It is precisely that we find in the outstanding architecture of the chosen building the mixture of time and space blended at its best. In thus clues the architecture of Strata Hotel has become a landmark of the already famous Postmodernist movement.

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Even though the local topological mapping was used in order to create a volume that blends with the landscape, Plasma Studio’s architects still applied their own signature to the final construction. Another feature of Strata Hotel which leads us to Postmodernism is the concept that stays as a base for the chosen design. Postmodernist designers and architects are known for using design as a language, trying throughout their project to share certain believes. Therefore, the Postmodern design is seen as a new way of communication. As they state about their work, the designs from Plasma Studio are created to satisfy the needs of the contemporary society, represented by a variety of beliefs, cultures, tastes, principles.

As the British historian Perry Anderson stated (1998, "The Origins of Postmodernity"), "Postmodernism as a category and phenomenon is important in the analysis of contemporary culture". All of the projects made by the ones from Plasma Studios seem to have as guidance Perry Anderson’s statement, fact that links their work directly to Postmodernist style. The main feature for which they are known, is the play with form and geometry, shifting, folding and bending the surfaces. Some techniques were used in designing Strata Hotel. The designers form Plasma Studios state about their work[online] available at: < >[Accessed 10tn December 2012]: "We work towards generating an architecture that authentically reflects and houses contemporary social life patterns" and provides generous and indiscriminate opportunities and qualities to an increasingly contradictory, atomized society. These principles have a direct link to the Postmodernist style that is all about satisfying the various needs of the society. In thus clues the design of Strata hotel stands as a way of characterizing the modern society, it becomes a language spoken through shapes, colours, volumes.


It is noticeable that the principle of "truth to material" was fallowed during the design process. The timber strips that create the balconies are not covered with any kind of painting, revealing the desire to create a building that blends with the nearby landscape. By valuating the natural colour of timber a picturesque feeling was conferred to the hotel. Therefore, the local architecture was an important matter for the designers and architects from Plasma Studios. Taking into consideration that Strata Hotel’s design revives the regional architectural tradition of the area, it can be stated that the chosen hotel is a significant construction for the Postmodernist movement.

As a result, the building is a mixture of geometric shapes and picturesque architecture. The timber strips "surround the volume at different scales, peeling off from it, flowing into the landscape and blurring the boundaries of the building" [online] available at: < >[Accessed 10th December 2012]. At a metaphoric level this could symbolize the tendency of the contemporary individual to integrate in the society.

"Less is more", a principle applicable to interior design of the hotel is well known to be associated with the modernist architect Mies van der Rohe. A famous reply to this statement belongs to a big representant of Postmodernist movement, the American architect Robert Venturi (1966," Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture")who thought that "Less is a bore". Even though Strata Hotel is a Postmodernist building, it integrates the modern belief of less decoration in order to achieve the goal of creating unity between inside and exterior atmosphere created by the environment.

The geometric shapes, angles created from bending that complete the outer architecture of Strata Hotel, stand as the base for the interior design as well. The way that surfaces were created drags the attention of anyone who walks inside, to the spectacular views which can be admired from almost every corner of the building. The big amount of glazing surfaces suggests the feeling that the view from outside is brought inside the hotel. Therefore, it is noticeable the continuous tend of blending with the nature.

Walking inside the building it is noticeable the minimalist approach of the design. Almost all walls are painted white, the minimum touches of colour having no other role than to emphasize it. By the use of white painting, the idea that the hotel represents the perfect blending between time and space can be reopened. According to Postmodernist beliefs which make every design a way of communication, it can be considered that the way colours were used through the interior can represent certain typologies of individuals that do not necessarily blend into society such as the majority tries nowadays.

The minimal decorations throughout Strata Hotel successfully bring into main focus the beauty of the surroundings. The exterior walls of the apartments are entirely covered in glass. The opening of interior spaces is inspired from Asian architecture. The value system of Buddhism that has the roots in affinity with nature has become a source of inspiration in architecture and design worldwide. Consequently, there is no wonder that in the case of Strata Hotel the community with nature is achieved through the creation of full glass walls, a design practice characteristic for Asian culture. The mirroring of the outside, the landscape which is translocated into the inner core of the building, contributes to the integration of the hotel in the natural feeling of the area.

Taking into consideration all that was stated above regarding the design not only of the exterior but also of the interior of Strata Hotel, it can be proved that the building is an undeniable landmark of the Postmodern movement.

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