Kenny Tsui

Veiled Voids - Chapel Extension at the Basilica of St. Clemente, Rome 2007

This project explores the mysterious qualities of emptiness in virtual space. Sited in the Basilica of St. Clemente, an unused church in Rome, the church is an archaeological site of mystic edifices with a blissful mosaic depiction of the Bible’s 'Holy Tree of Life'. Its symbolical foliage has been interpreted as a ‘veil’, a divine spark that generates a projective construction system of nodes: seeded particles that project, duplicate, repeat, and explode into layers of interstitial boundaries. These exuberant veil-surfaces intuitively guide the pilgrims and frame the nodes, which in turn can be understood as architectural voids that conceal confessionals, altars and communal spaces.
The proposed chapel reinvigorates the original Basilica by acting as a vertical intervention into the horizontal archaeological strata, in which the veils intertwine the old and the new. Mass and voids seemingly slip, flip, oscillate and pulsate, entailing a spatial and strategic vision that includes the significance of atmospherics and bodily experience in conjunction with a technological and poetic awareness in digital designs.


Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui is mixed Chinese-Japanese. He is an architectural designer and educator who studied BSc and Diploma architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, graduating with a Masters degree in 2007. He has taught at the ESA - EcoleSpecialed’Architecture in Paris, London South Bank University, and is currently running a degree unit at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. Kenny was co-founder of the academic platform Horhizon and is also working for Urban Salon in London.

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