Yiyin Sarah Ho
Diploma 13

‘Virtual Obsessions’ An Architectural Portrait is an architectural portraiture for Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza. Since 2003, she has made her name known especially for the commissioning contemporary artists, organizing collaborative works and is patron of the Venice Biennale. The project is based on principles taken from the theories of William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753 and Henri Focillon, in Chapter II, ‘Forms in The Realm of Space’ in The Life of Forms in Art, 1934. These theories together with the extraction of symbolism and figuration from 18th century design principles are engaged to design a high-profile penthouse located in Knightsbridge, London.

The primary function of the penthouse is to house selected artworks from her father’s and her collection forming a new abstracted residential type for art and living spaces. This convergence of art and architecture allows for me to test the theories and principles, questioning what works and what does not work to perfect and appropriate the contemporary notion of portraiture and beauty in the realm of ornament, whilst embracing the construction possibilities of today.

In an exclusive penthouse designed for Francesca in the world’s most expensive penthouse, on the top of the highest block of the four in the One Hyde Park development, based in Knightsbridge London. The project is based on the synthesis of the client, the art collection and architecture. The photo shoot takes place in the designed penthouse for FTB and it sits on top of the second of four block of One Hyde Park, a recent development by Candy&Candy, designed by RR. Located at the heart of Knightsbridge, London, it faces Hyde Park on the north side, and Knightsbridge on the south. It is swanked on its side by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. A penthouse was sold for £150 million, known to be the most expensive in the world.The apartment layout denies any tolerance towards the lifestyle of its owner; it overrides the owner's decisions and choices and provides a generic layout for a home – to be precise a family of five. With the case of such layout, it renders scant appreciation for any artworks.Could the space be relatively ornament-free because the inhabitants and their possessions become the ornament (decoration) of the environment? If so, it is fiction, staging in reality, theatrical, advertisement and eventually propaganda.Ornaments found on site echo with the styles of the Renaissance, Flemish-Mannerism and Grotesque.The Concentric Model builds on the idea of the onion. There is always a point of centrality and a number of layers layered upon each other, thus providing a secured protective covering for the central bulb. Likewise, within the residence: no two rooms coexist and share the same space, making the model an appropriate alternative in terms of allowing for spatial manipulation and creating new forms of space without overlaps. The set-up I've proposed is a conceptual framework of the client's narcissism. Hello! Magazine is based on capturing the celebrity’s lifestyle providing that framework.The hyperrealism of the self is concocted through the idea and conception of the devices of the mirror and framing. Laura Cumming argues that the mirror is there and it is not there, it is only a mirror when the subjects sees himself/herself in it otherwise it deprives itself of its function, to create a representation of the self to be able to judge what is true and not true. With this hyperreality she lives in, the art world of the rich and famous, she has successfully attracted well-known art critics and has made key statements that distinguish her from the group of high-profile art collectors.Contemporary take on narcissism – crafting of an image to the public

Similar to 'the cupboard', 'the closet', boudoir is always shown without the figure, just the space for one's contemplation.

Layering of the wall and frames produces interesting architectural surfaces