11 Diagonal Street
The Red Ants HQ
By projecting the explosive growth of South Africa’s private securities industries over 11 Diagonal street, the iconic modernist building by German architect Helmut Jahn - the very act of projection of an existing circumstance lays the groundwork for the emergence of new understanding of the city, a method this construction of an alternate reality and its subsequent juxtaposition with reality is what lies in the foundation of the “Paranoid Critical Method” advocated by Koolhaas. This experimental method, introduced by Salvador Dali, juxtaposes a surreal concept with the existing reality to re-contextualize it. It creates a collage between the surreal and the real allowing one to act as a ground for the other. In its essence, it is a method for modification of the ground to recontextualize the figure. The paranoid-critical method was not merely an abstract concept; it allowed Koolhaas to conceptualize the idea of ground differently. Instead of being a rigid datum, it allowed perceiving the ground as a modifiable entity.