Kandor Architecture

“Architecture is always the exhibition of a myth,” as a certain critic put it in 1989, and the myth in this case is Kandor—the city that Superman kept shrunken in a jar.  Preserved in ethereal suspense, Kandor was obsessively rendered by the sculptor Mike Kelley at the end of his life as colorful casts of glass, resin, plastic, and wax that represented the endless figurations of the mythical city in Kelley’s imagination.   Our project relates Kelley’s “Kandors” to an earlier work, “The Educational Complex,” in which Kelley drew and modeled from memory the buildings of every school he had every attended.  Just as Superman carried Kandor with him in a jar, so too did Kelley carry a city of educational buildings in his memory—his educational complex.  The Kandor narrative was here applied to a specific project situated in Brooklyn: a campus for 2,250 kindergarten through high school students.  The buildings were distinct, each representing a comprehensive school program with housing, playing fields, and auditorium, but combine to transform the city into the colorful exhibition of ‘Kandor Architecture.’”

This project was designed collectively by the studio: Esther Mira Bang, Andres Camacho, Chieh Chih Chiang, Feijiao Huo, Haram Hyunjin Kim, Hyojin Kwon, Kai Liao, Shao Lun Gary Lin, Meric Ozgen, Alexander Searle Porter, Noam Saragosti, Cheng Zeng