Bryant Nguyen

Hidden Room

“To be hidden is to be like an invisible protagonist, constantly impacting a space, yet remaining unseen.” This quote from the movie Fight Club, reflects the film’s two protagonists, who are introduced and continually develop the plot through synchronized actions and conflicts. At the end, it is revealed that the second protagonist was a fictional construct created by the other. Through second and third viewings of the movie, a new experience is able to manifest each time.

Our project, The Pseudo-Junction, aims to create two separate yet linked experiences that work in similar fashion as Fight Club. By having two separate but intertwining sets of circulation, the Junction is able to recreate this cinematic effect in a built environment. Through one path, an occupant is tunneled in and only given moments of light through exterior voids while the larger five-story volume remains discreetly hidden on the other side of the wall. Through the other path, the occupant is fully exposed to the five-story volume yet remains ignorant of the large exterior voids. Each path creates a different set of “hidden conditions,” which are contingent on the initial path taken. When the occupant passes through the “switch,” the conditions are reversed and the experience becomes flipped. The perimeter contains an interior experience while the void houses an exterior experience. Oblique “leaning” walls further reinforce this sense of false mapping and distract the occupant through false expectation. Leading users to “kissing moments,” which are mirror-like intersections that allow a glimpse into the symmetry of the space. By experiencing these kissing moments, the user is forced to confront their own perception of space and conclude that they have successfully mapped the area. However, unlike the asymmetrical apertures that could sabotage this mental map, protecting its secrets necessitate repeated visits in order to fully comprehend and experience what is purposely hidden.

About The Designer

Bryant Nguyen is a graduate of the Harvard GSD. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida.