71_Stepan Nesterenko: Whale­–House

Stepan Nesterenko

I'm currently a student in the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, IKA [Institute for Art and Architecture]. I'm myself both Austrian and Russian citizen, have an international background, living in Vienna, Berlin and Moscow and native German and Russian speaker, also having knowledge of English and French languages. Being raised in an artistic family I became first involved in graphic arts and design, simultaneously developing my interests for spatial organisation, computational technologies, prototyping, urbanistic studies, as well as social and philosophical aspects of the discipline. Nowadays I'm intensely occupied with critical and theoretical approaches in architecture, working on the topic of parametric studies from the perspective of critical investigation, understanding parametricism as a tool for architectural project of intellection. Having experience of giving lectures both in Austria and Russia, I'm opened to professional dialogue and all kinds of theoretical and practical collaborations!

Stepan is being interested in arts from the very childhood. He was born in artistic family and being raised within the ongoing graphical and intellectual dialogue became fascinated by visual and verbal means of representation. His drawing skills and desire for spatial formal experiments together with a habit of questioning cultural and social context along with personal demand for conceptual justification finally brought him to the field of architecture.


“How to make  figure — figure and ground — ground? You don’t need a computer to do this, you need an idea.

Above ground: solid    + void     - Beneath ground: void     - solid    +

Making the void positive (space). Only architects can do this. (Not computational skills or coding being “new literacy “)”

— Peter Eisenman 

The project is a spatial critical speculation, partly based on the entrance situation of the reference — House Rudin by H&deM, and the given dimensions of two interacting volumes — one public and one private, set together to examine the relation of different oppositions: inside / outside, private / public, positive / negative space.

In the centre of the design lies the development of the path, connecting the outside environment of the public world with the private inner-room.

The formal aspect is the result of thinking through boolean-operations, studying the whole way as a continuous discovery within the object mass by gigging out some areas of “living in” space. The digital  and the real-life model as well (made out of gyps) are the methods investigating the positive and negative characteristics and meanings for an architectural space (figure / ground perception).

An important issue of the concept development was to consider three types of positions: standing, sitting, lying. Sometimes the behaviour of the person is determined by the quality of the build space, forcing the inhabitant to follow the logic of this labyrinth (e.g. bending over according to the the ceiling hight). In other consideration the human’s activities are the reason of the architectural space, so the needs and demands are understood as a program.