RESUMÉ

THIS IS NOT A NEW CITY

This project is a critique of the way in which we continue to develop our cities. The work has been carried out as an investigation and discussion on the way in which architecture is produced.

PREFACE

The project is not presented in the traditional architectural way, of drawings – plan, section, elevation and rendering - depicting an architectural object on panels and in corresponding presentation models, alongside volume study models. This project has been a very personal investigation of another way of developing an architectural situation. The work have fluctuated between observations and experiments, investigated in abstract models and drawings. These have all produced a high number of fragments that assemble for the final architectural statement, a large [ 2400 x 2200 x 1100 mm ] 1:20 model.

CITY CONDITIONS

The work started by an investigation into the city condition, what constitutes a city? A city is a living organism, it thrives on life, it must forever stay in motion, like a shark, to survive. A city cannot consist of only one thing - one centre or one type - it must be made up of a multitude of centres, all with differing character; connected and interacting in numerous ways, creating a holistic common open network.

The development of our cities has resulted in separation, now we can talk about the city at the core of the urban-structure and the periphery surrounding it. The city consists of streets, buildings, squares and parks. It’s a gradient of space, from the public to the private, no two cities are alike, but the feel of a city is clear; the city condition.

The periphery is a confusing mixture of apartment-blocks, terraced housing, villas, shopping centres, corporate headquarters etc, all separated. There is a private feel to any given area, a distinct lack of identity. Is it utopian to think that we could bring the feeling of the city to these areas? Build structures on top of villas, connecting them in a network, inside the former residence; cafés and a locker room for joggers to start their venture on the new structures, climbing to the top of the apartment blocks, now dissected by new living situations. You no longer buy a house or apartment, but cubic meters, more or less connected, intertwined with one another. This isn’t an attempt to make every area like the city centre, but it’s a quest to turn every area into place. One could be a sports-like place, a garden-like place, a children-like place etc. And since the development occurs in existing areas, we do not need to claim more land.

PARIS DRAWINGS

The work has continuously revolved around the body. We have a body, I live in a body; the body of the space. Space is in a continuously conversation with our bodies. How does the body experience space; how does it experience moving through space?

In developing the Paris drawings I produced several lists of events, space and movement. One investigation was on the bodies movement I regard to using the metro system. On entering the metro system running beneath the streets of Paris, you are connected to all of Paris entirely through this extensive network of tunnels and tracks.

A metro system is the easiest way of getting around in large cities, but it comes at the cost of lost orientation. To reach the platform you move through a series of halls and corridors; twists and turns, that render you unable to determine your starting position and/or direction. Riding the train it becomes even more difficult to determine your direction, you only feel shifts in direction, vertical and horizontal, but you are not able to relate these coherently to the city as a whole, there being no point of reference. It’s like moving through a hidden landscape, a landscape constructed by the interaction between the movement of the train and the reaction in your body.

I wanted to investigate what happen to me, to my body as I travelled through the underground of Paris. The first line is drawn to follow the edge of the paper, the next to follow this and so on. If made perfectly, the paper would be covered with identical straight lines. This, how ever, is an impossibility, the tensions within my self and the movement, the forces, of the metro car appears as bents and turns to the lines. This encodes information into the simple drawing, when the train has been at a hold or I have switched lines. The drawing transforms the linear movement between the stations to a landscape.

AARHUS

Aarhus was selected as a test site for the implementation of the concepts. A specific site was chosen in order to bring some opposition [ tension ] to the project.

The project started to materialise in drawings and superimpositions. Layers and layers of sketching, extract from previous drawings and prints of models started to inform a plan, concerned with the spatial relation of the passage and the square. The sketch like drawing became the underlay for the large model, it developed the idea of two systems allowing degrees of temporarily within them. The permanent load barring system was split into two, a domino system and a space-grid system, in an continuously exchange and conversation with one another and the temporary system of the program, inhabiting and challenging the space.

The large model is an attempt at collecting all the investigations and fragments into one holistic piece, a collection of situations, experiences, events. To build an infinite complex situation wherein one lose the control of the juxtapositioned events and spatial relations; where the fragments and element of chance are allow to influence the situation. The aim of the model is to let the city condition grow out of an increasing complexity, as a city would, rather than an attempt at dictating what the model ought to be. The model is a chaos of events crossing paths at any given moment in time, producing a new and unpredicted situation.

The model started to question itself, moving on a thin line between the architectural condition and an art installation, this enabled it to produces more questions than answers.

Drawing; Ink on paper [ 700x 1000 mm ]
Collage; drawing + photo
Model; wood, metal, plastic, plaster, cardboard; 1:20 [ 2400 x 2200 x 1100 mm ]