Proposing an architecture of hyperreality, Duquesneland encodes the industrial heritage of Pittsburgh into a theme park located on the Duquesne Incline. The project explores the steel industry and Pittsburgh’s multicultural history, taking visitors on a journey through carefully cultivated spaces, reframing the city as a miniature world before revealing the strategic games that underpin the architecture. The project responded to Rem Koolhaas’ ideas of Coney Island as an ‘intensification’ of Manhattan – applying an intensifying strategy onto Pittsburgh’s rich industrial heritage.
Appearing as a theme-park map made physical, Dusquesneland explores the hyperreal through ersatz materials, perceptual tricks, spatial planning and environmental conditioning. At its end, Dusquesneland reveals its fakeries and manipulations, a fragmented landscape of half-truths that call into question the idealised version of the city that the project initially appears to present.
Patrick’s work over the year began with a reconstitution of the Washington Mall as a conceptual theme park Playing Politics, where the architectures of power and the acts that they enframe became a series of attractions. These were ultimately encoded through the theme park map, a weird and wonderful architectural drawing protocol where the world is seen at 30 degrees and everything outside the park’s cultivated boundaries becomes a void.