What happens to modernist architecture post apocalypse? True post-modernism.
It also becomes a story of perseverence and labor and love, of self assessment and rearrangment and reordering. It becomes The Story of The Guardian Robot of the Villa Savoye.
The guardian robot was a hover mower.
Manufactured by: DOC NEERE INC.
Serial # MZCG-1179183
HRR216K10VKAA (#MZCG-1179183) had been tasked with cutting the grass and other low-level landscaping tasks on the premises of The Villa Savoye. But, after the apocalypse, HRR216K10VKAA (#MZCG-1179183) took command of it’s own artificial intelligence to gain a sense of belonging and purpose and identity and, in total, become the protector of the past (and by extension, the future) and, in sum, THE GUARDIAN ROBOT OF THE VILLA SAVOYE.
Equipped with sensors meant to avoid obstacles and alert humans of its presence, it retools itself in order to find answers. After THE GREAT CATASTROPHE, the robot was left to its own devices. The robot learned about the life and times of Le Corbusier, giving tours of the site to no one while defending the increasingly overgrown facade from roving bands of graffiti artists.
The guardian robot doesn’t care for your critiques of Le Corbusier’s philosophical and artistic ambitions, it doesn’t care for you at all. You’re probably dead. You probably died in The Great Catastrophe. And if you did manage to survive, your world vision is probably shattered having seen what people are capable of when faced with true scarcity. You’ve probably devolved into nihilism and are unworthy of the space created by Le Corbusier. So the robot only cares about maintaining The Villa Savoye, making sure that it is kept in the same state as it was the day the modern world ceased to be.
ASIDE: The project was meant to be experienced in VR. You are given a tour of The Villa Savoye by the guardian robot if the guardian robot deems you worthy and finds no canisters of spray-paint on your personage. You are lead around the premises. You are shown the perfectly manicured front lawn. You are lead around the interior. You are shown the remnants of Le Corbusier’s attention to detail and you are given an explanation of his methodology and purpose. After gaining the robot’s trust through an series of well-completed tasks, you are lead into the basement where the robot shows you the real jewel of The Villa Savoye.
END OF ASSIDE
But why is The Guardian Robot so protective of the remains of the Villa Savoye? Why did The Guardian Robot put so much importance on the perfectly maintained lawn while the rest of the world became overgrown and decayed? Why did the robot begin to take such an interest in an even-neglected-in-its-time-and-only-as-a-novelty-example-of-international-style-at-that modernist architectural masterpiece? What object was left inside the Villa Savoye when all the humans fled the urban and rural cultural centers that could be the key to restoring life on earth?
Well, here’s the story as best as I can gather: one day, as the robot was maintaining the interior, it discovered a hidden basement. And there, it found a scale model of The Villa Savoye.
The scale model, to it’s lenses, was even more realistic looking than the real Villa Savoye whose lawn it had sworn to manicure and whose existence it had vowed to protect. As the robot continued to clean, one of it’s blades came loose and, after ricocheting around the room, cleaved through the scale model, revealing another scale model inside the scale model’s basement.
Thus, The Guardian Robot’s journey into the post-apocalyptic, post-modern space/time continuum began.
Enlisting* the help of the Roomba of The Villa Savoye and The Automated Hand Sanitizer Dispenser of The Villa Savoye, The Guardian Robot of the Villa Savoye set out to journey into ultimate post-modern masterpiece: a scale model inside a scale model inside a scale model inside a scale model inside a scale model inside a scale model of the scale model of The Villa Savoye inside The Villa Savoye of The Villa Savoye, with each step finding an architectural universe more self aware than the last.
And all the while, The Guardian Robot figured that maybe, just maybe, he could turn back both space and time to this moment:
More answers can only come from the motion activated tour guide that was installed in The Villa Savoye before The Great Catastrophe. Listen carefully and you may hear them…
*by ‘enlisted’, I mean ‘cannibalized and scrapped for parts