Author Archives: Winnie Tam

Bird’s Eye View of the Chernobyl Botanic Lab

 

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Chernobyl Lab in Ruin

 

still yet to put new Pripyat at the background

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office desk at Chernobyl Botanic Lab

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ruin time line drawing in progress

still trying to figure out how to draw the ruin time line…

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window reflection of the forest (wip)

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Inside the national geographic

I think these images starts to say something individually but they fail to set the scene as a extreme, death-loving environment.

unfortunately I still haven’t figure out how to do that yet… but will keep trying

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Seeing the ruin landscape through the National Geographic Magazine

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New drawing of the lab – 1

I’m being really slow working on this drawing…

will have a draft of other drawings that I’m planning to do tomorrow.

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statement wip (in case it could be read and commented)

Ruins had always been portrayed as wild nature overgrowing on declining architecture. Its ambiguous state showing that it is no longer a work of art (since the original intension of the architect is lost); nor is it a outgrown nature (since the man-made still remains as the basis of the composition).
With ruins being a hybrid of organic and man-made, my project questions the role and position of nature and architecture in this hybrid.
Embrace
*In Gandy’s Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England, Soane’s master piece in ruin was encircled by the wild grown nature.  As Brenda Colvin described:
“with a little imagination one might visualise a London left to nature’s healing hand … a lost and broken city hidden under a great forest of sycamore.”
Nature and architectural ruins often comes hand in hand, the dramatic effect of the Ivy brought the corpse of architecture across the fine line from the grotesque into the subject of the picturesque.
Isolation
These picturesque ruins are best viewed in isolation, removed from their original context. The frame of foliage that isolates the Bank of England in Gandy’s painting is replaced by *the boundary of the Theme Park in my Re-con. Within this Theme Park, the architectural ruins of various styles and periods are collapsed and arranged to satisfy the ruin lust of its visitors.
The isolated Theme Park is sub-divided into types of nature and landscape, composing picturesque views of the ruins. Each view is particular and contrived.
*In the region of the Ancient Ruins, the innate beauty of architecture is extracted and framed through decay;
*In the regions of Human and Natural Disaster,  the remnant of destruction and tragedy is transformed to frame emotional responses;
*In the region of Follies, garden ruins are created for aimless pleasure that are detached from any other emotion.
The isolated Theme Park is detached first by its own barrier to the outside world, and the isolation is continuously formed by the landscape, separating ruins into regions; lastly,  each figure of architectural ruin is isolated by the trees from the rest, forming its own separated world within a separated world of ruins.
Orbit
*The series of views are connected in a loop; a self-repeating scripted route leading visitors around a world overflowing with ruins. Like the follies, this route is aimless, the fixation on ruin formed a barrier restricting the viewers from reaching the architecture. The viewers are being attracted as well as pushed away by the subject of obsession, trapped in orbit in the never-resting Theme Park, unable and unwilling to stop.
As Soane is trapped in orbit around antiquities, Gandy was trapped in a parallel orbit around fantastical visions of the nature-tamed sepulchral architecture.
Frame
Through the contrived frame of nature, the various visions of the architects is reflected onto the architectural ruins.
*Standing amongst the follies, with the ancient ruins of the Acropolis and Roman Forum on it background, Soane’s Bank of England is framed as one of the antiquities.
*As we walk past and look back, the Bank of England is depicted as Gandy’s personal vision, not the built urban reality, where he used the fragility of architecture to construct a romantic view, evoking emotion and leading us into the architects’ imagination.
Siege
Responding to Soane’s search for immortal architecture, *Gandy exhibited Architecture, its Natural Model in 1838, suggested Soane to blur the boundary between nature and architecture. By reducing the impact that architecture acts on nature, Gandy essentially built a siege with landscape, sieging architecture with nature. As the siege closes in, architecture would lose its ground and swallowed by the landscape, Soane’s immortal architecture is nowhere to be seen.
Although the enveloping nature always manages to overwhelm architecture as it turns to ruin, our obsession of manipulating nature never fades. This constant battle for power forms an unsettling relationship between nature and architecture. Perpetuating the balance of power that is ongoing between the two.
*we should treat the ruins as architecture is sieging rather than sieged by nature.
Maintain
*Inverting the position of architecture and nature, the project now sets site in a ruin landscape – the Red Forest of Chernobyl, sieged by a botanic laboratory.
The name of this forest came from the ginger-brown colour of the deformed pine trees following their absorption of high levels of radiation. It is a forest that human is afraid to set foot in.
In this ruin landscape, the ruin is not a form of decline but a temporary form of slow recovery. *The siege is acting as a suppressant rather than preservation mechanism. The purpose of the siege is to prevent the slow recovery of the landscape. It constantly defies nature through its sterile and clinical architecture.
Record
Ruins are the markers of human history,  they satisfy man-kinds’ need of leaving a trace of self. A ruin landscape is a far more significant marker compare to an architectural ruin, since it records the impact of human on the mighty nature rather than our own creation.
other option:
(Architectural ruins are the markers of human history, where the overgrown nature acts as a time reference starting from the birth of the ruin. An architectural ruin without the overgrown nature is like a fresh, still bleeding wound, which is too gory for the viewers to enjoy. The healing landscape signal the passing of time, easing the impact of destruction.
In the ruin landscape of the Red forest, nature was victim of circumstance …)
Capture
To suppress nature in maintaining its ruin state, the laboratory experiments on capturing the ruin forest in different scales.
*Inside the laboratory, pockets of the forest is captured within various green houses. Feeding radiation to the plants, the laboratory tests for ways to capture the ruin, mutated state of nature, expressing the power of human over nature.
The method of captivation is also applied to a much bigger scale, *pipes running along the forest, sending out radiation to provide an environment that capture a new form of folly: the mutated trees.
The picturesque landscape is captured as a grotesque view, reminding us the event of disaster as well as nature’s insignificance and fragility over the sterility of architecture.
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framed views

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laser cut file for model

I’m planning to laser cut 2 models, one of the exterior of the lab and one interior. So that I can take pictures of them next week.

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statement

Ruins had always been portrayed as wild nature overgrowing on declining architecture. The ambiguous state of nature showing that it is no linger a work of art (since the original intension of the architect is lost); nor is it a outgrown nature (since the man-made still remains as the basis of the composition).
With ruins being a hybrid of organic and man-made, my project questions the role and position of nature and architecture in this hybrid.
Embrace
In Gandy’s Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England, Soane’s master piece in ruin was encircled by the wild grown nature.  As Brenda Colvin described:
“with a little imagination one might visualise a London left to nature’s healing hand … a lost and broken city hidden under a great forest of sycamore.”
Nature and architectural ruins often comes hand in hand, the dramatic effect of the Ivy brought the corps of architecture across the fine line from the grotesque into the subject of the picturesque.
Isolation
Ruins are best viewed in isolation. The frame of foliage in the Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England is replaced by the boundary of the Theme Park in my Re-con, which removes the architectural ruins form their context. Within this Theme Park, the architectural ruins of various styles and periods are collapsed and arranged to satisfy the ruin lust of its visitors.
The isolated Theme Park is sub-divided by the nature and landscape around, composing picturesque views. Each view is particular and contrived,
extracting the innate beauty of architecture that is shown through decay (ancient ruins);
transforming the remnant of destruction and tragedy to frame emotional responses (human and natural disaster);
creating garden ruins for aimless pleasure that are detached from any other emotion (follies).
Orbit
The series of views are connected by a self repeating scripted route, leading visitors around a world overflowing with ruins. Like the follies, this route is aimless, the fixation on the subject actually formed a barrier restricting the viewers from reaching the architecture. The viewers are being attracted as well as pushed away by the subject of obsession, trapped in orbit in the never-resting Theme Park, unable and unwilling to stop.
As Soane is trapped in orbit around antiquities, Gandy was trapped in a parallel orbit around fantastical visions of the nature-tamed sepulchral architecture.
Frame
Through the contrived fame of nature, the various visions of the architects is reflected onto the architectural ruins.
Standing amongst the follies, with the ancient ruins of Acropolis and Roman Forum on it background, Soane’s Bank of England is framed as one of the antiquities.
As we walk past and look back, the Bank of England is framed as Gandy’s vision, where he used the fragility of architecture to construct a romantic view, evoking emotion and leading us into the architects’ imagination.
Siege
Responding to Soane’s search for immortal architecture, Gandy exhibited Architecture, its Natural Model in 1838, suggested Soane to siege architecture with nature. However, this is only another orbit in the Theme Park. With the architecture sieged, we still linger around the siege of nature, unable to reach the architecture. What Gandy did, was to build a tension between architecture and the untamable nature.
The enveloping nature always manage to surround architecture as it turns to ruin, yet our obsession of manipulating nature never fade, forming an unsettling relationship between nature and architecture.
Since the morbid ruins can only materialize as a composite of nature and man-made, to find Soane’s immortal architecture, we should treat the ruins as architecture is sieging rather than sieged by nature.
In this ruin, our track of orbit and our siege would be what we seek: architecture.
Maintain
Inverting the position of architecture and nature, the project now sets site in a ruin landscape – the Red Forest of Chernobyl, sieged by a botanic laboratory.
The name of this forest came from the ginger-brown colour of the deformed pine trees after the absorption of high levels of radiation. It is a forest that human is afraid to set foot on.
In this ruin landscape, the ruin is no-longer remnant of the disappearing but a temporary form of the recovering. To maintain the state of ruin, the siege is acting as a suppressing rather than preserving mechanism, constantly defying nature with the sterility of architecture.
Capture
To suppress nature in maintaining its ruin state, the laboratory experiments on capturing the ruin forest in different scales.
Inside the laboratory, pockets of the forest is captured inside various green houses. Feeding radiation to the plants, the laboratory tests for ways to capture the ruin, mutated state of nature, expressing the power of human over nature.
The method of captivation is also applied to a much bigger scale, pipes running along the forest, sending out radiation to provide an environment that capture a new form of folly: the mutated trees.
The picturesque landscape is captured as a grotesque view, reminding us the event of disaster as well as nature’s insignificance and fragility over the sterility of architecture.

 

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argument (I don’t know how to end it yet…)

My project questions the fascination on ruins.
In Gandy’s Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England, the ruin of the Bank of England was framed as a (magical land) by the wild-grown nature. As Brenda Colvin described:
“with a little imagination one might visualise a London left to nature’s healing hand … a lost and broken city hidden under a great forest of sycamore.”
Nature and architectural ruins often comes hand in hand, the dramatic effect of the Ivory brought the corps of architecture across the fine line from the grotesque into the subject of the picturesque.
Siege
Ruins are best viewed in isolation. The frame of foliage in the Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England is replaced by the boundary of the Theme Park in my Re-con, which sieged the architectural ruins within. This siege, taken form in trees and landscape, acts as a formal division, brings us to a protracted and static stage, intensifies the emotional tension between the two sides of the siege.
Within this siege, ruins of various styles and periods are collapsed and arranged to satisfy the ruin lust of its visitors. The isolated Theme park is further separated by its nature and landscape around, composing picturesque views.
Each view is particular and contrived, capturing the innate beauty of architecture that is shown through decay (ancient ruins); transforming architectural ruins that signify destruction and tragedy to frame emotional impact (human and natural disaster); creating garden ruins that are detached from any emotion apart from the pleasure in incomplete (follies).
Orbit
The Theme park is run by a self repeating scripted route, leading visitors around a world overflowing with ruins. This fixation on the ruin never allow visitors to reach the ruins. We are being attracted as well as pushed away by the subject of obsession, trapping us to orbit around the subject in the never-resting Theme Park, unable and unwilling to stop.
As Soane is trapped in orbit around antiquities, Gandy was trapped in a parallel orbit around fantastical visions of the natured tamed sepulchral architecture.
Capture
Standing amongst the follies, we see Soane’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin, with the ancient ruins of Acropolis and Roman Forum on it background, Soane’s Bank of England become one of the antiquities.
As we walk past and look back, we see Gandy’s Bank of England in Ruin, where he used the fragility of architecture to construct a romantic view, evoking emotion and leading us into the architects’ imagination.
Gandy exhibited Architecture, its Natural Model in 1838, suggesting nature as the solution for Soane’s search of immortal architecture, sieging architecture with nature. However, with the ruin captured, we are still outside the siege, unable to enter. What Gandy did, was to build a tension between architecture and the untamable nature.
The enveloping nature always manage to surround architecture as it turns to ruin, yet our obsession of manipulating nature never fade, forming an unsettling relationship between nature and architecture.
This unsettling relationship, sets the background of my project, which questions the fascination on the morbid ruins that can only materialized as a composite of nature and man-made.
(Sieging) Ruin Landscape
Inverting the position of architecture and nature, the project sets site in a ruin landscape – the Red Forest of Chernobyl. The name of this forest came from the ginger-brown colour of the deformed pine trees after they died following the absorption of high levels of radiation. It is a forest that human is afraid to set foot on.
The Ruin Landscape would not be completed without the other half of the composite. This unkempt poisonous nature is sieged by a laboratory, constantly defying (nature) with its sterility.
As the sterile is restricted from going further into the wild by radiation, the wild is constrained from spreading by the siege. The sterile and the wild is temporarily put in a stagnant situation, waiting for one side to surrender or to give-up.
Maintaining Ruin Landscape
As fascination on the ruin landscape develops, this stagnant stage of the conflict between the wild and the sterile has to remain. The role of the laboratory hence turned from suppressing to maintaining the ruin landscape. The laboratory experiment on how to mutate and deform nature, framing the Ruin Landscape as the grotesque rather than the picturesque.
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Ts book ready!

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perspective section

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up dated elevation

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details

Fog fence detail

 

This one does need more attention, but I’ll have to come back to it if I have time …

one more day!!!

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site map

 

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section wip

 

section 1_radio-active water canon & lab

section 2_pure water mist & lab

(I haven’t figured out how the lab would interpret this yet…)

section 3_fog catcher & lab

(this also need refiguring…)

 

will have to get on with compiling the document now

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section / perspective wip

 

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perspective wip

 

I’m planning to take this as a frame work for photoshop, the sections will be line drawings.

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lab design draft_2

I prefer this to the previous one, what do you think?

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lab design draft_1

its very quick design, but i just wanna get it on the blog for comment so I can know if i’m missing the plot again

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section (in progress)

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Wall elevation

no more SED…

is this better?

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designing the humidifier (will blog better image later tonight)

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green house layout

testing for fog fences

 

testing radiation transfer in soil

 

testing radiation in soil

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updating lab layout

setting up the layout of the lab at the moment, still quite a bit to figure out so just the screen shot for now.

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wall division zoom

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dividing the siege

 

Now I have divided the wall into different sections, so the lab is at the bottom left corner, the broken parts of the wall are the fences (fog catcher), while the solid part would be the humidifier. this drawing isn’t really telling much, so will zoom into the detail of each part.

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Calculating how much water I’d need to absorb the radiation

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TS_sheets_design response to sun path

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TS_story board_2

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Do I want my lab to be 100m tall???

I was trying to use the wind data to decide the height of the siege. [making the minim height 50m (the trees are around 40m)]

I thought one side would be quite a bit higher than the other so as to create a more areo-dynamic shape, but making the shortest point 50m and the tallest point 100m would only get me a gradient of 0.5 degree (on one side, the other side 3.6 degree)!!

I’m wondering if the lab should be so tall, it’ll be 3o storeys on the tall side… though it is sieging a whole forest of 4.5 km.

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TS_table of content_1

 

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TS_story board_1

really helpful, I can also visualise what I’m trying to achieve now, though there are still more gaps in between, I’ll need to do more research before knowing how to fill those gaps.

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Enveloped Nature

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project statement (version…6?)

Siege

Obsedere was first used in warfare to describe the siege of a city, where the city is surrounded but the citadel is not taken. In another word, the subject of obsession is fixed and framed but still unreachable.
The formation of a siege as a formal division brings us to a protracted and static stage, intensifies the emotional tension between the two sides of the siege.
In Gandy’s Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England, the siege of obsession has taken the form of nature, surrounding the subject of desire: The Ruin of the Bank of England.
“with a little imagination one might visualise a London left to nature’s healing hand … a lost and broken city hidden under a great forest of sycamore.”
Brenda Colvin described the undeniable relationship between architecture and the enveloping nature as if nature is acting as a shield for the architecture, rather than taking over architecture; watching, but not touching the ruins.

Orbit

This frustration of never reaching the goal of obsession is expressed in the Ruin Theme Park in my Re-con. The self repeating scripted route lead the visitors around a world overflowing with ruins.
Re-con
this theme park collapsed ruins of various styles and periods, arranged to satisfy the ruin lust of its visitors. These ruins are framed by its nature and landscape around, constructing a picturesque view.
The landscape is used as a frame to construct a contrived, picturesque view of the ruins, turning the ruins to part of our scenery.
The last two views are on the Bank of England. Standing amongst the follies, we see Soane’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin, with the ancient ruins of Acropolis and Roman Forum on it background, Soane’s Bank of England become one of the antiquities.
As we walk past and look back, we see Gandy’s Bank of England in Ruin, where he used the fragility of architecture to construct a romantic view, evoking emotion and imagination of the viewers. Like the follies, Gandy’s painting is used as one of the landscaping tools, leading us into the architects’ imagination.
After a loop in the theme park, we realised that the fixation on the ruin never allow the visitors to reach the ruins. We are being attracted as well as pushed away by the subject of obsession, trapping us to orbit around the subject in the never-resting Theme Park, unable to stop.

Capture

As Soane is trapped in the orbit around antiquities,
Gandy exhibited Architecture, its Natural Model in 18__, suggesting nature as the solution for Soane’s search of immortal architecture, sieging architecture with nature. However, with the ruin captured, we are still outside the siege, unable to enter. What Gandy did, was to build a tension between architecture and the untamable nature.
In the picturesque, the landscape is always used as a backdrop of the architectural ruins, the enveloping and unkempt nature always manage to surround architecture as it turns to ruin, claiming the ruin into the scenery.
Yet our obsession of manipulating nature never fade, forming an unsettling relationship between nature and architecture.
This unsettling relationship, sets the background of my project, which put the relationship of nature and architecture (in reverse?)

The Ruin Landscape

Instead of using landscape to frame ruins, the project looks at how architecture can frame a ruin landscape, in order to claim it.
The ruin landscape is the Red Forest of Chernobyl. The name of this forest came from the ginger-brown colour of the pine trees after they died following the absorption of high levels of radiation. It is a forest the human is afraid to set foot on.
When the landscape turns into ruin, it become inhabitable to human. So unlike how Brenda Colvin describe landscape, that it shields architecture, the ruin landscape is no longer a backdrop. It is now architecture that is enveloping the ruin landscape, shielding, framing and defending against at the same time.

The Sterile Laboratory

Science has always been a useful tool through which human can understand, and control nature. Hence in the project, the architecture for the science – a laboratory –  is used to siege the ruin forest.
To siege the ruin forest is to understand it, to establish a relationship between the ruin landscape and architecture, with the hope that one day we can step into the ruin landscape and to control it, making it habitable for human.

 

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Landscape -> Ruin landscape

In the picturesque, landscape is used as a backdrop to frame the ruins.

Mentioning ruin landscape means to pull the landscape to the foreground, the ruins is no longer architecture, but the landscape itself, framing by the architecture in the form of a siege.

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some references

James Casebere

 

Thomas Demand

 

Michael Heizer

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crit 22/01

notes of the crit:

- ruin as a found condition –> ruin landscape
(to challenge our understanding of what a ruin is)
- nature as boundary (Abercrombie’a Green belt) vs nature as object (Unger’s Archipelago)
-sterility vs nature
sterility vs culture
- fitting the presentation technique into the argument –> framed
* how to frame in relation to the wild / sterile
- theory behind each type of nature
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The City, the Lab and the Wild Garden

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Project Statement v.4

Fixation

Obsession (obsedere) was first used in warfare to describe the siege of a city, where the city is surrounded but the citadel is not taken. In another word, the subject of obsession is in focus yet unreachable. Max Klinger chased after a glove in his set of engravings – “The Glove”, portraying this tension vividly. At each plate of this set of 10 engravings, Klinger got close to picking up the glove but never actually got hold of it, the tension of the glove just slipping away intensifies the desire for the glove, acting as the force to keep the obsession lasting.

Shield

In Gandy’s Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England, the siege of obsession has taken the form of nature, surrounding the subject of desire: The Ruin of the Bank of England.
“with a little imagination one might visualise a London left to nature’s healing hand … a lost and broken city hidden under a great forest of sycamore.”
Brenda Colvin described the undeniable relationship between architecture and the enveloping nature as if nature is acting as a shield for the architecture, rather than taking over architecture; watching, but not touching the ruins.

Orbit

This frustration of never reaching the goal of obsession is expressed in the Ruin Theme Park in my Re-con. The self repeating scripted route lead the visitors around a world overflowing with ruins. The fixation on the ruin however never allow the visitors to reach the ruins. We are being attracted as well as pushed away by the subject of obsession, trapping us to orbit around the subject in the never-resting Theme Park. This centrifugal force of obsession is generated by our attraction to the subject and the inability to stop.

Derail

As much as Gandy is trapped in orbiting a fantastical world, Soane in the orbit around antiquities. The siege of obsession is both trapping our focus on the object and holding us from reaching it. We must take ourself away from this self-repeating loop to bring the obsession into our reality.

 

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the wall as a laboratory

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Project Statement _ 2nd version

All art involves some sort of obsession. Architects, similarly, cannot escape from it. The examples ranging from Gaudi’s obsession on nature to ____ obsession on ____. Architects’ curiosity turns into fascination, and through the repetitive experiments and investigations, the fascination turns into an obsession. The obsolescence of rationality with excessive repetition of an act (i.e.: obsession) is where insanity and delirium but also the passion and creativity lies. What was once treated as a disease in the 19th century is in fact a crucial ingredient for creativity as an expression of the architect’s passion.

The word obsedere was first used in warfare to describe the siege of a city, where the city is surrounded but the citadel is not taken. Using the soul as the equivalent of a city, to be obsessed is when the soul is taken, but not totally occupied. Where the Catholic Church defines in which a person is taken over by the demon but remained aware of the devil within. It is a state in which a person is totally taken over by irrationality.

During the 18th century, a fascination of ruins and antiquity begun. Hubert Robert drawn the Louvre in ruin to evoke emotional reaction, Gandy in the Bird’s Eye View of the Bank of England utilised the fragility of architecture to engage the viewers. In the English gardens, like Stourehead and Stowe Garden, the architects designed follies to mimic ancient Roman and Greek buildings, aiming to capture picturesque views. These follies are ruins of context as they are removed from their original context and disconnected to their era of style. The fascination of ruins quickly turned into an obsession, where the reason of fascination is lost, or reduced to pure visual pleasure.

The world of obsession is an isolated world where we are blinded from everything else as a result of total focus on the subject. In Honoré De Balzac’s “The Unknown Masterpiece”, the artist’s obsession on a painting which toke him over 10 years to work on, this overwhelming desire and inability to stop working on the painting ultimately took his life.

Though as architects, we can find so much value in this isolated world and it is with the obsession that the architects can be connected to their works. As Lennard J. Davis said in his “Obsession: A History“, “if we cut the artist off from the cultural paradigm (obsession as a disease), then we create a falsely sterile environment in which, obviously, nothing grows.” If we go between the isolated world of obsession and the sterile world rid of cultural paradigm, would we find the connection with the work without risking to be consumed by it?

 

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The Story Line

In the future, when London no longer exist, all is left for people to imagine London is a postcard, with all the iconic buildings that represent London collapsed into one single overlapping image.

Due to the fascination of London of people in the future, a Museum of London is built. This is a miniature city of London (should I decide the size?), occupied with the flat images from the postcard. With each of them located on a square plot, architects / artists would design their “pop-up”: a temporary space / structure that would form when the image of the icon is pulled open. The pop-up are the imagination of the “hidden London”,

This miniature London would be a complete mis-representation of London due to the lack of context, and the missing of the context would be filled in by the ‘pop-up’ that is created by the artists / architects.

 

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The post office

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not much from friday, had been working on essay, but I will stick with the “post office”, though it might take on some other name?

So it would be performing 2 functions:

1. flattening a space to a 2d image

2. inflating an image to a 3 dimensional space

need a lot of further thought tomorrow! now, back to essay…

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The Pop-up

Two-dimensional —> Three-dimensional

Piranesi collapsed the antiquities of Tome onto a two-dimensional, subjective image. Similarly, cities are now represented by layers of flattened icons on postcards, which only shows a selective part of the city (that is flattened and removed), brushing all other context behind and in between the layers of two-dimensional icons.

The pop-up finds/ punctures cavities by pulling the layers of these two-dimensional icons apart, acting as infills between the layers, providing a 3-dimensional space which aims to draw the viewers in and to be experienced rather than to be viewed upon in a detached way.

Permanent —> Temporary

As Gandy was asked by Soane to position his architecture with the antiquity, to turn his architecture to “permanent”, the pop-up challenge the value of permanent in the present society. While the “permanent” is trying to proof that architecture can with stand time, in the fast changing world that we live in, can the “permanent” architecture keep up with the paste? What is stopping the Permanent becoming Stagnant? The pop-up represent temporary architecture that leaves in a permanent legacy.

 

 

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Icons: end of context

I’m planning on exploring into the context that is hiding underneath the icons.

drawing will start tomorrow.

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Composing an argument

When spectacles are collected, we designed spaces to exhibit them, to show them off. But more than often, as architects, we cannot stand to have the focus being stolen, so we designed a spectacle to house the spectacles.

Take Tate Modern as an example, do most of the people visit for the art work or the Tate Modern itself?

Pompidu Center was designed with an intension to be flexible, hence able to house various exhibitions and events, but was it the exhibitions that we remembered, or the Pompidu Venter itself?

Did the architect created the gallery with the real intention to compliment the art pieces or to compete with them?

 

To move this to a city context, if we treat the city as a gallery space and the (ruined) icons as our spectacles we can start to treat the ruins as objects. We can cut the permanent relationship between the ruin and the city, and have them only exhibited in the city for a set period of time before shipping it to another city.

The cities will no longer be recognised by their icons, but rather, the fabric of the cities, their “viewing platforms”.

We will put a clear definition identifying art and architecture. As an iconic architecture had served its use, and fall into ruin, we break it into modules and put into storage for future exhibition. At that point, the ruin cease to be architecture, it will be treated as an art piece. Instead of forcing a new building typology on it, we accept it as an art piece, keeping it purely for its historic and artistic value. This way, we keep the ruins while not having them putting a permanent impact on the future development of the city.

To free the city of its iconic ruins means to open out awareness to the rest of the city. Instead of seeing London as the Tower of London, we see the River Bank that provide the stage set of the spectacles (ruins). Like when we talk about the Saatchi Gallery, we recall the balcony overlooking the exhibition, rather then the exhibition pieces.

For the ruins, when we put them into a different city context, we get to view them in a different culture and begin to see the different sides of them like how we are able to view a painting differently in a different curation.

 

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Searching for the “trees” in the city

Through the train window – the red roof

The single red roof multiplied through the broken train window, framing the church spire.

Framing with the red roofs

This is the original photoshop, I was trying the find the equivalent of the trees in the Theme Park in London, and this is what I saw on the train the other day, the numerous red roofs in the suburb is almost like the grass in the field, framing the much taller church spire.

(the photoshop need to be improved a lot, though I’m still unsure on the idea, so I’ll work on them more when the argument is clearer to me.)

The infinite reflection

The single terrace house multiplied itself through the mirror, creating a street, framing the church behind the mirrors.

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Looking through the Vista

Type 1 : panorama

Type 2 : Linear View

 

I’m not sure where the argument is leading yet, but hopefully it’ll become clearer through the drawings.

I’m drawing the different types of vista in London at the moment, the one above is the Panorama, which is most of the vistas; then there is Linear view, Townscape view and River Prospect. Each had a slightly different aim.

I think I should try to view the vistas in a different way, so maybe some of the key elements would be used to represent different aspects in my argument?

-distance
-angle
-direction of view

don’t think that makes scenes yet, but hopefully it will soon.

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What to bring forward from the Re-con

Possibilities
To investigate the Ruin Theme Park further in terms of:
  1. scripted space
  2. collapsing ruins to form a third dimension
  3. find out the relationship between the theme park and its context
  4. human prison
  5. hierarchy of the ruins / views
Name of the Theme Park: RuinTopia
Composing a utopia with ruins, the RuinTopia is the ultimate fantasy of ruins, collapsing ruins of various types, styles and periods. This utopia can only exist within the theme park, a totally scripted and controlled space where not only the route you take, the view you see are contrived. RuinTopia also dictate the emotion that is evoked of its visitors.
So far in the Re-con, the Ruin Theme Park had been behaving more as a garden rather then a Theme Park. To dive in further into the Theme Park idea, I’d like to introduce the rides of the Theme Park.
As each ruin region evokes a different emotion from their viewers, the rides would aim to force this various types of emotion from the visitors:
Ancient Ruins: imagination of a glorified pass – hope
Human Disaster: fear of the future – fear
Natural Disaster: insignificant – powerless
Modern Ruins: disappointment of the society – disappointed
Industrial Ruins: nostalgic
Follies: Pleasure
Within RuinTopia, every step and movement of the eyes are orchestrated, while outside the Theme Park, there is total lost of control. The visitors of RuinTopia are those who got lost in the disorder world, frighten and overwhelmed by the total freedom they have, they search for a route to follow and find pleasure at the final destination of the Theme Park.
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Theme Park Model

The Ruin Theme Park – bird’s eye view

The Ruin Theme Park – Full model

Region 1: Ancient Ruin

Ancient Ruin: Acropolis

Ancient Ruin: Roman Forum

Region 2: Human Disaster

Human Disaster: Dresden

Human Disaster: Tacoma Narrow Bridge

Human Disaster: World Trade Centre

Region 3: Natural Disaster

Natural Disaster: San Francisco Earthquake

Natural Disaster: Hurricane Katrina

Region 4: Modern Ruins

Modern Ruins: Manusell Sea Forts

Modern Ruins: Bunker

Modern Ruins: Detriot

Region 5: Industrial Ruins

Industrial Ruins: Grafton Viaduct

Industrial Ruins: Watertower

Industrial Ruins: Industrial Tower

Region 6: Follies

Follies: Stourhead Bridge

Follies: Stourhead Panthon

Follies: Parc de la Villette

Gandy’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin

Soane’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin

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Presentation Text

My project starts with a painting of Joseph Gandy – The Bird’s eye view of Bank of England. In 1833, John Soane celebrated the completion of his biggest project – The Bank of England – by exhibiting The Bird’s eye view of  the Bank of England – a painting of the building in ruin that he commission Gandy to draw. This painting carries two main influences that I want to talk about in my project:

1. The collect and collapse of antiquities

Piranesi’s works such as the Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma introduced fascination of Roman antiquities. This imaginative map suggested a new way to view Rome, collapsing many eras together. Soane, captivated by Piranesi’s works, had also built an admiration on antiquities. It was Soane’s ultimate aim for his own works to be considered as antiquities. Piranesi brought the past to the present with Campo Marzio; in The Bird’s eye view of the Bank of England, Piranesi’s idea was reversed. Soane envisioned putting his new, most proud of piece of architecture to the past, being one of the antiquities.

2. Views of ruins that are constructed to evoke emotion.

Hubert Robert had drawn the Louvre in function and in ruin, manipulating the perspective of the painting to evoke emotional reaction. Gandy did a very similar thing, painting the ruin of Bank of England as a fantasy, utilising the fragility of architecture to engage the viewers.

Antiquities and the Picturesque were some of the favourite topics during the 18th century. In the English gardens, like Stourehead and Stowe Garden, the architects designed follies to mimic ancient Roman and Greek buildings, aiming to capture picturesque views. These follies however are ruins of context, as they are removed from their original context and disconnect to their era of style. These gardens are essentially the theme park of ruins.

 

 

In my re-con, I’ll take you on a  journey through my version of the ruin theme park. Like Campo Marzio, the theme park collapsed ruins of various styles and periods. These ruins are collected together and arranged to satisfy the ruin lust of its visitors. As we turn from one view to the other, the time and location transform according to the ruin that we view. These ruins are framed by its nature and landscape around, constructing a picturesque view.

 

The first region brings together the Ancient Ruins: the ruin of Acropolis and the Roman Forum. In these paintings: Acropolis, Athena by Ernst Carl Eugen Koerner and Capriccio with ruins of Roman Forum by Claude Lorraine, the ruins are painted as a landmark. They are the icons of the ruins, marking an important era of the ancient time.

The next region incorporates the ruins caused my Human Disasters, where we see Dresden, the Tacoma Narrow bridge and the fall of the World trade centre. Viewing these ruins, we are instantly reminded of the events. These ruins themselves, are not iconic like the ancient ruins. They only existed for a short period of time, what remained in our minds are the events leading to the destruction, warning us for the future.

In the region of Natural disaster, the scale of the ruins increase, and became a ruin landscape. In the San Francisco earthquake and the flooding caused by hurricane Katrina, we no longer see the ruin as an object. The overwhelmingness of the scene lies on its scale of destruction, reminding us human’s insignificant and the power of nature over civilisation.

The Modern Ruin region is composed of ruin of the British Military of the 2nd World war, the Bunkers and ruins from Detroit. In the Manusell Sea Forts and the Bunkers, the ruin objects had become inseparable to their surroundings. The ruins turned into part of the landscape. (how about detroit?)

The Industrial Ruins collects together the Water Tower photographed by the Bechers, the Grafton viaduct as drawn by George Baloghy and the Ruin of the Industrial Tower. They recall us of a significant era of our past which we have left behind. These buildings are once an essential cog of the modern development. As their roles in civilisation disintegrate, they become disconnected to the present society.

We arrive at the region of Follies at the end. Essentially, all we see in the ruin theme park are follies. These objects are removed from their context, this disconnection transform the ruins to a visual object. The landscape is used as a frame to construct a contrived, picturesque view of the ruins, turning the ruins to part of the scenery.

The last two views are on the Bank of England. Standing amongst the follies, we see Soane’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin, with the ancient ruins of Acropolis and Roman Forum on it background. Situated amongst them, Soane’s Bank of England become one of the antiquities.

As we walk past and look back, we see Gandy’s Bank of England in Ruin, where he is looking to the future of using the fragility of architecture to construct a romantic view, evoking emotion and imagination of the viewers. Like the follies, Gandy’s buildings are used as one of the landscaping tools, leading us into the architects’ imagination.

 

Soane commission Gandy to paint his Bank of England in ruin, hoping to see immortality in architecture, yet there is always fragilities in architecture. Like what we see in the ruin theme park, they all turn into ruin in one way or another, as nature always prevails. It is when architecture transforms into part of the landscape, its transient state can finally turn permanent. Gandy exhibited Architecture, its Natural Model as one of his last paintings. Maybe this is the solution he gave Soane for Soane’s search of immortal architecture.

 

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text for presentation_try 1

In the painting of Bank of England in Ruin, we can see two main influeces:

1.The Piranesi  inspired love of antiquity.
Piranesi’s works such as the Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma introduced fascination of Roman antiquities, being a strong influence on Neoclassicism. Soane captivated by Piranesi’s works, had also built his admiration on antiquities. Putting his works in the list of the antiquities was his ultra ego. As Piranesi was bringing the antiques to the present; in the Bank of England as Ruin, Soane was envisioning putting his new, most proud of piece of architecture to the past as one of the antiquities.
2.The emotion that is evoked by ruins.
Hubert Robert had drawn the Louvre in function and in ruin, manipulating the perspective of the painting to evoke emotional reaction. Gandy did a very similar thing, painting the ruin of Bank of England as a fantastical.

 

Both antiquities and picturesque are one of the favorite topics during the 18th century. In the England gardens like Stourehead and Stowe Garden, follies are designed to mimic ancient Roman and Greek building, positioned for picturesque views. These follies however, are ruins removed from context, without influence of the element of time.

In my re-con, I’ll take you journey through this ruin theme park. As to satisfy its visitors’ ruin lust, this ruin theme park collected ruins of various time spans and types.

-The first region is the ancient ruins, viewing the ruin of Acropolis and the Roman Forum as in Claude Lorraine’s Capriccio with ruins of roman forum (1634).
-The next region, with the decrease of vegetation, is the ruins caused my human disasters. Where we have he view of the Dresden, fall of the World trade centre and the Tacoma Narrow bridge.
-In the region of Natural disaster, the scale of the flooded houses of Katrina is noticeably smaller to give us a picture of the aerial view.
-The modern ruin region is compose of ruin of the british military, the Bunkers and ruins from detroit.
-The industrial ruins collected the water tower photographed by the Bechers, the Grafton viaduct as drawn by George Baloghy.
-Towards the end of  our journey, we arrive at the region of Follies at the end. Essentially, all we see in the ruin theme park are follies, since they are removed from their context, they bare no relationship with their surrounding other then as an aim to produce a picturesque view.

Since everything is the ruin theme park are built as ruin, they lack of the aspect of time on their own. Time only comes into the picture when we are viewing multiple ruins.

 

The last two views are on the Bank of England. As we are standing on the region of follies, we see Soane’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin, with the background of the ancient ruins of Acropolis and Roman Forum, where now Soane’s Bank of England is situated amongst them, being one of the antiquities.

As we walk pass and look back, we see Gandy’s Bank of England in Ruin, where he is looking to the future, when buildings are created purely to satisfy the visual pleasure.

 

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model in progress

the contour part is 99% done, just haven’t got picture for the other 3 yet. also, they will not remain grey for long, i’ll pour plaster over it once i’ve put the models on.

detroit

stourhead

becher’s water tower

I have a couple more laser cut. But to conclude, I need to cut faster.

I’ll write my presentation now.

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preparing for the model

working on the laser file to make the model, lots more to draw.

booked to cut tomorrow night, will have the base and hopefully a lot more by wednesday.

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Framing the views

a few quick tests

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Classifying regions of the Theme Park

The regions are as above, and each have their role in term of what the ruins gives us:

1. Icon – natural disaster

-emotional imapct on seeing an iconic building in ruin
-signify the fall of an empire
-end of civilization
-addressing human’s insignificant
-warning for the future
-nature always prevail

2. Icon – human cause

-em0tional imapct on seeing an iconic building in ruin
-signify the fall of an empire
-end of civilization
-addressing human’s destruction
-a lesson to learn for the future

3. Industrial ruins

-progress of the civilisation
-this is where people have left their past behind to pursuit a better future
-the ruins are objects that had lost its value to the society

4. Modern ruins

-urban decay
-fall of economy?
*I’m not too sure on this yet still…

5. Follies

-for pure visual pleasure?
*I thought that all is in the Theme Park would essentially be follies, so either this is the follies of the follies (which I’ll need to figure out what it really means), or this category wouldn’t be as significant…?

 

 

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Selecting buildings for the Ruin Theme Park

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Soane’s Re-Con

This is a very brief sketch on the cities that Soane re-conned into his Bank of England.

The story line I’m thinking now is as such:

Ruin is a negative mirror. The observer recognises the little that is his, discovering the much he has not had, and will never have.

So Soane somehow knew about these ancient cities and he was obsessed with some of the qualities of these cities, only that he realised London can never possess these qualities. Thus, he embodies them into a drawing of the Bank of England in construction. Predicting that London somehow change radically and have Bank of England in ruin, looking exactly the same as the painting of it in construction.

I was thinking that to have London in Ruin would be the only way for London to turn into the image as Soane desired (with the qualities of those cities Soane was obsessed with). Maybe Soane designed the building as such to lead London to turn to ruin so he can have his utopia city in the future? (doesn’t make much sense now but something on those lines…)

Back to the ancient cities:

1. Underground city

sketch of ancient underground city

Derinkuyu in Turkey


2. Vertical city – Zirma

sketch of ancient vertical city Zirma

Shibam, Yemen

 

3. Floating city – Anastasia

Makoko-shanty-town

 

4. Grid city – Dorothy

sketch of ancient grid city Dorothy

Austin, Texas

 

5. Mountain city

Yungang Grottoes, Datong

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a few possible ideas

re-con idea 1 – a different point of view

essence of the project
its power to invite spectators to provide a missing piece of the portrayed incomplete reality?
- being viewed as a pure aesthetic product.
- disintegration of the architecture generate the integration of interior and exterior
connection with the architect’s / artist’s state of mind
detached of emotion: there is no awfulness, only melancholy  

–> a new point of view –> a new perspective (that would also put the context into view)

 

 

The spectators:
i.  Soane:  ruin as a stage set to fool / mock people
ii. Charles Dickens:  ruin that moves everyone who look upon it
iii. Hubert Robert:  ruin that later on utilised as other building types.

 

re-con idea 2 – the ruin style

its power to invite spectators to provide a missing piece of the portrayed incomplete reality?
- being viewed as a pure aesthetic product.
- disintegration of the architecture generate the integration of interior and exteriorconnection with the architect’s / artist’s state of mind
detached of emotion: there is no awfulness, only melancholy –> a ruin style (like the Broken Column House) (a very quick sketch: zoom in to see that “the ruin” is actually buildings designed as ruin components)

 

 

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Brain storming on ruin as an aesthetic object

I’m really not sure if I’m going in the right direction at all….

 

 

 

 

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Very Loose Ideas… Perspective of Ruin? Ruin-spective?

I’ve been trying to figure out what attracts me to the project:

  • -atmospheric effect of the drawing
  • -the perspective
  • -the ideal of future ruin

Then, I was thinking about the composition of the drawing, as in what are the different elements in Gandy’s drawing:

  • the architecture

    it show the design, details… (I’m not too sure)

  • the ruin

    trigger the idea of a story behind the drawinghistory –> the remained

    gives a clear view of the interior

    joining the interior and the exterior

  • the nature / vegetation

    architecture taken over by the nature?

  • the figures (people)

    show the activitydraw the view into the drawing and see the drawing as an experience

    highlight the sense of scale – Gandy drew the figures small to exaggerate

    the grandeur of the architecture.

  • the colour

    to create an atmosphereto show the aerial perspective (changing the colour of the distant object)

So I’m thinking maybe I can start by pulling out all these elements from the drawing and arrange them in different situations as below:

I’m choosing to put them all in a circle at the moment, it give me more of a view / perspective feeling, I was also thinking how the perspective images would be forming in our eyes/heads. (honestly, I’m not even sure what I mean but I just want to pull them out as different layers, with the possibility of putting the element of time in as well, though I haven’t figured out how yet.)

 

 

 

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The different types of ruins?

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Research – Bank of England as Ruin

here are the Consols Office’s drawing (in ruin and as planned) photos, where it is made obvious that both Soane and Gandy were influenced by Piranesi’s etching.

Gandy’s drawing of the Consols Office before plastering is particularly interesting, it is showing the building in construction while giving it the light quality as Piranesi’s etching in ruin.

 

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