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Appreciations towards Vão Arquitetura & Adamo-Faiden architects for providing the following description.
— ‘Os Espelhos’ [The mirrors], Jorge Luis Borges
“Let there be mirrors,
That the usual and worn out repertoire
Each day include the illusory
Deep orb that warps the reflexes”
— ‘Os Espelhos’ [The mirrors], Jorge Luis Borges
“那里有一张桌子，人们可以整天在那里消磨时间。”在第十二届建筑双年展开幕当天，一位Sesc 24 de Maio社区中心的员工指出。合作者们在窗边交谈，他们的评价印证了装置的意图：“所见之物亦在回望我们。”
“And there is the table of the man who plays patience all day,” pointed out a Sesc 24 de Maio employee on the opening day of the 12th Architecture Biennial. Captured in the midst of the chattering that was taking place by the window, the commentary among co-workers confirmed the intentions of the installation ‘What we see looks back at us’.
▼装置外观，external view of the installation ©André Scarpa
在双年展策展人的邀请下，巴西-阿根廷建筑事务所Vão与Adamo-faiden合作，特别设计了这个作品。计划中，装置应被安装在主题是“日常生活报告”的轴线上，并且与Sesc 24 de Maio社区中心的环境相适应。
对于Paulo Mendes da Rocha和MMBB共同完成的Sesc项目来说，日常生活是一个本质的主题。从外观来看，人们可以看到建筑表面反射周边环境；到了建筑内部望向室外，人们会发现这个巨大的装置消解在了圣保罗中心区域之中。装置的开口和框架拉近了使用者与周边街道上的活动和建筑之间的距离。
At the invitation of the Biennial’s curators, the Brazilian-Argentinian team of architecture offices, Vão and Adamo-faiden, was formed especially for this work. As a premise, the device should be conceptually inserted in the thematic axis ‘Reports of Daily Life’ as well as be related to the context of Sesc 24 de Maio.
Daily life is an intrinsic theme of the Sesc project developed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha and MMBB. Both externally, from where one can see the surroundings reflected in its facades, and internally, in the invitations to look at life outside, the mass built of the great equipment is diluted in the central area of São Paulo. Openings and frames along the way visually bring users closer to the movement of the streets and buildings present in the surroundings.
▼适应周边环境，adapt to the context ©Javier Augustín Rojas e vão
A panoramic opening, without glass or frames, present on the 11th floor is the apex of the dialogue established with the city. Seduced by the view promptly unveiled at the opening of the elevator doors, we are automatically drawn to the edges to see the city from above. Next to a café, the viewpoint is the place where people spend a long time sitting to observe the landscape composed by the skyscrapers.
There were a few trips to the floor of the café-maintainer to pay attention to a window in the concrete wall. The view, much less attractive, reveals a retreat to shared natural lighting with the neighboring building, located only 7 meters away. This is where the Sesc employees, not all day but every day, practice standing observation in short breaks between the entrances and exits of the circulation core.
▼从Sesc看向装置所在的窗口，view to the opening with the installation from Sesc ©Javier Augustín Rojas e vão
On the other side are the workers of the commercial building called Schwery, designed by the French architect Jacques Pilon in the 40s. The curiosity aroused by the routine of strangers, those we always see but do not access, motivated the choice of an unoccupied commercial room as the installation site. Framed face to face, the windows are practically on the same level.
▼剖面图，装置与Sesc的观察窗口在同一高度，section, the installation and the observation opening in Sesc are on the same level ©Vão Arquitetura
The room was filled with a wooden structure pyramid covered with mirrors. Its four inclined planes expand the human optical capacity, allowing to see what the view before did not reach, either in the piece of sky hidden between high buildings, now revealed in the plane that emerges from the floor; or in the image of another neighbor projected on the right, the Monteiro Gallery project by architect Rino Levi (1960).
▼轴测图，金字塔形的装置，axonometric, pyramid structured installation ©Vão Arquitetura
▼木制结构，wooden structure ©Javier Augustín Rojas e vão
The Sesc appears on the left of the pyramid causing disorientation. The duplication of its image on the neighbor gives us the impression that the space was expanded. After all, what is really before our eyes? We don’t know for sure, because mirroring here is the materialization of an imaginary space built by fragments and reflections, and not by mere reproduction of reality.
▼镜面反射形成的幻象，illusions created by the reflection of the mirrored plates ©Javier Augustín Rojas e vão
恐怕它也与直面自我形象有关，如Jorge Luis Borges在诗歌《镜子》中所说：“面对所看与被看”。或者我们正在谈论我们所创建的城市形象的转变？我们是否能继续窥探？它将成为什么？充满好奇心的邻居和遍布的监控相机，是否正无时无刻地监视着我们？
‘What we see looks back at us’ speaks between the lines about the relationship of donation and reciprocity between spectator and work of art, as had been approached by philosopher, historian and art critic Georges Didi-Huberman, author of the book whose title had been borrowed by this installation.
Perhaps it is also about facing our self-image, as the ‘face that looks and is looked at’ in Jorge Luis Borges’ poem ‘The Mirrors’. Or are we talking about the transformation of the city image we built? Could we still quote the voyeur? And who would it be? The curious neighbor or the scattered security cameras that control us, are they, every day all day?
▼平面图，从Sesc看向装置的视线分析，plan, visual line analysis from Sesc to the installation ©Vão Arquitetura
‘What we see looks back at us’ is about seeing and not seeing. Beyond the optical phenomenon, we are interested in the phenomenological aspects of the created image and the interpretive layers that we can achieve through it.
▼镜面展开平面图，mirror cut plan ©Vão Arquitetura
▼结构，structure ©Vão Arquitetura
Architects: Anna Juni, Enk te Winkel e Gustavo Delonero (vão); Sebastian Adamo e Marcelo Faiden (adamo-faiden)
Collaborators: Deborah Caseiro e Julio Shalders (vão); Jeronimo Bailat e Lucas Bruno (adamo-faiden)
Execution: Jenivaldo Ferreira (structure); Cescon Vidros (mirrors)
Equipe 12a Bienal de Arquitetura: Ciro Miguel, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes e Vanessa Grossman (curators); Helena Cavalheiro e Laura Maringoni (production)
Photos: André Scarpa, Javier Augustín Rojas e vão