Casa Malaparte is one of the twentieth century's strangest architectural projects. Its starkness and physical remoteness have incited intense curiosity. Images of it abound. My response to the site emphasizes its "virtuality" by proposing a kind of museum, but one rooted in digital technologies. I propose replacing Casa Malaparte with a center dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of "world" music and dance, broadly defined as disciplines that have oral, as opposed to notated traditions. My client is the Chinese Writer's Union, to whom Curzio Malaparte bequeathed Casa Malaparte in 1957, "in order to strengthen relations between East and West". His heirs successfully contested this gift, as Italy didn't recognize China as a legitimate political entity.
The ubiquity of such expressions as “western”, "non-western", and "world" suggests that identity and negation are two sides of the same coin. The new center comprises housing and performing spaces for visiting world and western artists, as well as technology to create a vast digital archive of traditional practices. The new building is largely transparent, its form generated in part by "mapping" strategies derived from an analysis of the distribution of Goethe Institutes throughout the world, as well as an investigation into the fugitive nature of perception, specifically optical correction and binocular vision, to generate form and symbolize cultural pluralism.