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PORTFOLIO MArch 2017-2019

Eleanor Margarete Gair Newcastle University


CONTENTS

Reflective Summary

6

STAGE VI Thesis

9

Prelude Introduction Context and History Primer - Journey The Domestic Table Memory Drawing Ritual Cartography Narrative Models Contemporary Context Site: Rawson Market Thesis Outline Narrative Translation Rawson Market: Narrative Re-Configuration Table Manifestation: Site Photograph Installation

10 20 24 30 36 46 50 76 84 86 90 92 94 104 106

Linked Research

121

Radical Practice Symposium

160

Signal

162


PORTFOLIO

STAGE V Return of the Repressed

163

Vienna - Return of the Repressed Symposium - Dark Vienna Analytical Mapping - Vienna in Shadow Interim Crit - Jung’s Archetypes Developed Design - Notre Jardin Final Design - The Cut Self Reflection

164 166 168 174 178 181 191

Detailing Experiences

193

Catalyst Siting the Extension Birth Birth to Love Love Love to Death Death Critical Reflection

195 211 212 219 222 244 246 267

The Locus of Politics in Architecture

268

Eleanor Gair 120545663 Newcastle University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape MArch 2017-19


PORTFOLIO

ARB CRITERIA

To the best of my ability I have attempted to map the work completed within this portfolio to the ARB criteria. This is to aid my own assessment of my work this semester and to ensure that I cover topics not covered within this body of work next year.

GC1

Ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements

GC2

Adequate knowledge of the histories and theories of architecture and the related arts, technologies and human sciences.

GC3

Knowledge of the fine arts as an influence on the quality of architectural design

GC4 GC5

GC6

Adequate knowledge of urban design, planning and the skills involved in the planning process Understanding of the relationship between people and buildings, and between buildings and their environment, and the need to relate buildings and the spaces between them to human needs and scale. Understanding of the profession of architecture and the role of the architect in society, in particular in preparing briefs that take account of social factors.

GA2

With regard to meeting the eleven General Criteria at Parts 1 and 2 above, the Part 2 will be awarded to students who have: 1) Ability to generate complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where appropriate, to test new hypotheses and speculations; 2) Ability to evaluate and apply a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals; 3) Ability to evaluate materials, processes and techniques that apply to complex architectural designs and building construction, and to integrate these into practicable design proposals; 4) Critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture, theory and design;

GC7

Understanding of the methods of investigation and preparation of the brief for a design project.

GC8

Understanding of the structural design, constructional and engineering problems associated with building design

5) Understanding of the context of the architect and the construction industry, including the architect’s role in the processes of procurement and building production, and under legislation;

Adequate knowledge of physical problems and technologies and the function of buildings so as to provide them with internal conditions of comfort and protection against the climate.

6) Problem solving skills, professional judgment, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances; and

The necessary design skills to meet building users’ requirements within the constraints imposed by cost factors and building regulations

7) Ability to identify individual learning needs and understand the personal responsibility required to prepare for qualification as an architect.

GC9

GC10

GC11

Adequate knowledge of the industries, organisations, regulations and procedures involved in translating design concepts into buildings and integrating plans into overall planning

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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Reflective Summary A Developing Practice

D

uring my undergraduate degree, I was placed in a studio which began tackling the issue of how we re-use existing buildings. The project ignited a passion which drew together all of my previous interests in a way I had not encountered before. I was able to apply research and knowledge of history to empower art and design. History has always been a keen interest of mine, most simply as a way of telling human stories and watching the way patterns in social behaviour play out across centuries. But it also enables the researcher to tease out the causes of events, to piece together the why from the what. Alongside this, I wrote my dissertation on the subject of architectural education. The title was Isolated vs. Integrated and investigated a topic that is constantly discussed by all members of the architectural field, both practicing and academic. It questioned whether current university courses leanings towards the purely theoretical are appropriate in a world that is quickly excluding architects as being entirely inaccessible and superficial. Unsurprisingly, I drew the conclusion that degree courses should be more vocational. Having worked in a small practice for two years, the same practice I had worked at since I was 16, I began to feel as though I might have been wrong. With time to step away from education, I found myself lacking the knowledge to critically engage with the buildings I was working on as I had little understanding of their built context. Art follows the Zeitgeist and architecture follows art. Without a critical understanding of the social and political contexts of existing buildings and their wider urban landscapes, my work felt lacking.

Therefore, on returning to university, I dove straight into the most theoretically charged studio and read everything I could lay my hands on. I found particular comfort in Joseph Rykwert's writing, The Necessity of Artifice, during the initial weeks. Particularly this quote, which has heavily impacted my architectural practice throughout the two years:

"Memory is to a person what history is to a group. As memory conditions perception and is in turn modified by it, so the history of design and of architecture contains everything that has been designed or built and is continually modified by new work. There is no humanity without memory and there is no architecture without historical reference." It felt like a key to unlocking huge parts of my issues with contemporary glossy 'icon' buildings, as well as my need to understand why historic architecture often feels embedded with meaning. This was pushed further during my Tools for Thinking essay, 'The Locus of Politics in Architecture', where I examined how political/economic/social forces shaped and are shaping the built environment in Vienna.

Is space political?, by Frederic Jameson, also gave pointers to how semiotics give clear indication of the political context of a building. This helped to develop and clarify how the context of both the tall skyscrapers of today and the beaux-arts Ringstrasse development of 1860s Vienna informed their architecture. An obsession with image and appearance governs both, attempting to project wealth and power to their audience. I further examined this during my semester 1 project in Stage V, and also developed an


REFLECTIVE SUMMARY

understanding of cultural psychology. This stemmed from an brief which looked heavily at the theory of 'repetitive compulsion', implying that the city of Vienna has repressed its dark past associated with WW2 and is on the brink of repeating the same mistakes. The links between psychology and philosophy and fine art were unknown to me before this project and it added great depth to my work. This project also pushed my representation beyond anything I had previously encountered by the use of installation. Arguably, the most successful point of translation of our studio's ideas was during the Symposium where we created a 'cognitive map' of the city, communicating our understanding of 'Dark Vienna'. This installation used light, sound and touch to have a corporeal impact on the audience and it was a very effective method. This was built on during the second semester, where we were encouraged to use tectonic models to communicate experiential qualities of the spaces we were designing. It was also my first attempt at using a personal narrative as a design tool through a biographical study of the artist, Walter Pichler. I worked through analogy and narrative, using details to tell a story as the occupants inhabited the spaces in the design. However, as we were working with an artist and an art museum it felt slightly disconnected from the more political and social contexts I wanted to embrace within my work. However, during my Linked Research project I was able to start to investigate and understand these aspects more thoroughly. Brutalism, in it many definitions, bolstered my previously held conclusions regarding semiotics in architecture reflecting their contemporary context. The use of form, scale and use were all bound in the context of the socialist politics at play during their conception. The case studies we followed, Dunelm House, Park Hill, UEA and the David Attenborough building are all markers of a specific time in history. Alongside this, the Broomhill lido (personal to me as it sits 5 minutes walk from my family home and my old practice is currently working on its restoration plan) also opened my eyes to the power of human narratives within space. It was a building that lived entirely through Ipswich's identity and memory. It was also was a fantastic opportunity to work in a medium I had never worked with, documentary. It was a challenge, however it was received as a very effective method of documenting and dispersing information. I will definitely be returning to the method during my practice. However, most importantly was the opportunity to interview such a diverse range of experts, from those with lived experience of the building, to journalists, policy makers and historians.

7

It has really built up my knowledge of the planning system in the UK and its merits and flaws. Planning has been a recurring theme throughout my practice as it was my main task during my placement years and I manoeuvred many small projects through the system. I often found it disruptive towards historic environments, despite being in place to protect them. The lack of dialogue between concerns of planners, architects and the general public seemed desperate. Therefore, when Pooja Agrawal gave an empowering speech during the Radical Practice Symposium about Public Practice and how they have been working with planning departments as a point of communication, I was really intrigued. Could this be a way to encourage dialogue about the ways we protect and enhance our historic built environment? My thesis project pulled at all the previous themes, although now at a much more personal scale as I was able to investigate a piece of family history which has mostly been lost to me. I has occurred to me during this year that my obsession with history may lie with all the lost stories and pieces of history that are forgotten, like my own. I think I find solice in the longevity of architecture as it provides a point of escapism beyond human life.

GC1

So, what do I want to do next? I want to be a practicing architect, working with existing buildings and local communities to build connections like my Grandpa's in Bradford. I think it's crucial for an architect to be local, to understand the vernacular and the way people work. However, I don't think that means they had to be born and raised there, but they do need to understand what makes an environment place to the people that live there and that can't be done without your own lived experience and interaction with the existing community. This by no means life in rural villages, it equally exists in sprawling cities, it is about making connections between space and the people that make them place. Our lives are made of memories and each person's memories are what builds their perception of the world around them.

GC2

Therefore, I would like to further understand planning and the way we build our villages, towns and cities for people. Public practice seems like a good place to start, although I think it will need some coaxing up from London. I'm also hoping to stay in the North East as it has become my definition of 'home' after spending the last third of my life here. This should allow me the opportunity to continue teaching with AUP and stay involved with the university as I believe research is key to understanding and building knowledge.

GC11

In conclusion, I want to be an architect who deals with history, subjectivity, people and place.

GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10

GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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STAGE VI In Absence of Д О Д О М У ( H O M E )

Thesis: This project follows an individual, my Grandpa’s, journey from Ukraine to Bradford as a forcibly displaced person with the ambition to learn from the ways he and the rest of the refugee community attempted to find ‘home’ in a foreign environment.


Judenplatz: The Living Room

10

PRELUDE Stage V

Rudolf Bednar: The Shipyard

The Ringstrasse: The Battleground

U

pon returning to Newcastle University, the first design project was based in Vienna. The brief focused on the urban fabric of the city and how it has been influenced by the continuously evolving and intertwined complexities of its social, phenomenological and physical realities. In order to create an understanding of this, I analogised Vienna, the home of Freud’s psychoanalysis, following the comparison of Rome in ‘Civilisation and its Discontents’, as a damaged collective psyche and, instead of rejecting this analogy as Freud does, pushing it still further by subjecting the city to a rigorous psychoanalysis. The first study, to the left, exaggerated the striking difference in the comforting nature of the historic Inner Stadt to the alienating, 19th Century Ringstrasse to the ongoing, cold development at Rudolf Bednar. The later sites are extraordinarily out of human scale and lack connection to their context; a symptom of Vienna’s damaged collective psyche attempting to project a false image of itself. James Attlee, whilst comparing the work of Gordon MattaClark and Le Corbusier, suggested the design of the spaces we inhabit and the role of the architect can be implicated by wider political motivation. This was evident in Vienna’s Ringstrasse, when the development was constructed, the real threat to the city was no longer external attack but rebellion amongst its growing bourgeois population. Its architecture is one, not of Vienna, but of stolen styles from throughout Europe. This is evident in the politically charged, oppressive and formal nature of the Ringstrasse.


PRELUDE

11

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4

‘ “…a well-mapped-out (housing) scheme, constructed on a mass-produced basis, can give a feeling of calm, order and neatness and inevitably imposes discipline on the inhabitants.” Here we are given a glimpse of the more worrying political implications of Le Corbusier’s thinking; in order to realise his vision, the architect becomes drawn in to maintaining civil order. ’ 1

GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8

This fascination with the production of spacedefined by political motivation continued into the Tools for Thinking assignment through the analysis of the semiotics of these sites in Vienna’s built fabric. The experience of the spatial, visual, symbolic, material and environmental are all impacted by the political intent of the ruling party.

GC9

The concept of what defines a comfortable, domestic space also began to develop here. Beginning with a critique of inhumane architecture, both pre and post industrial revolution, this first semester helped me to define my interests in the experiential and its interpretation.

GA2.2

GC10 GC11 GA2.1

GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5

1) Attlee, J. ‘Towards Anarchitecture: Gordon Matta-Clark and Le Corbusier’, Tate Papers, no.7, Spring 2007, http://www.tate.org.uk/ research/publications/tate-papers/07/towards-anarchitecture-gordonmatta-clark-and-le-corbusier

GA2.6 GA2.7


12


INTRODUCTION

13

SYMPOSIUM Installation Method

GC1

Our group work culminated in a sensory experiment,

utilising diverse mediums to cognitively map Vienna from an emotional and experiential perspective. The group composed films and curated the symposium space to evoke a psychological and bodily reaction to the site. This reaction was documented and we invited participants to engage their freely associated thoughts directly. This established a confidence in installation method which allows the audience to experience considerably more than the typical architectural drawing. The intensity in sound, light and materiality allowed a communication of our visceral impressions of Vienna.

“I confront the city with my body... I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me.� 2 https://vimeo.com/249376979

GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5

2) Pallasmaa, J. and Dawsonera, The Eyes of the Skin : Architecture and the Senses. Third ed. (2012)

GA2.6 GA2.7


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PALIMPSEST Return of the Repressed

‘...the palimpsest: a succession of layers that seem to bury traces of the past, even though none of these traces are extinguished.’ 3

U

nderstanding the deeply embedded travel routes across the Glacis, pre-Ringstrasse, helps to make sense of the spaces currently occupying the site. The historic connection between the Military Base, Imperial Stables and Imperial Palace drives a clear line of inhabitation through the centuries which even the deliberately past-ignorant Ringstrasse could not neglect to acknowledge. The use of Palimpsest drawings to understand a site and how it was previously occupied became an obsession during this project. During the design process, a look towards the past has always been crucial in developing future imaginaries. How do we address this political and architectural, ‘repetition-memory’ to make way for, ‘reconstructionmemory’, where the new is markedly different, but drawing on a reorganisation of the past? 5

3) Bartolini, N. (2014) Critical urban heritage: from palimpsest to brecciation, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 20:5, 519-533, DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2013.794855 4) Ricoeur, P. (2017) ‘Architecture and Narrativity’, in Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies, ISSN: 2156-7808, Vol: 7, Issue: 2, Page: 31-42 (Available at: http://ricoeur.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/ricoeur/article/view/378/185)


PRELUDE

THE CUT Psychoanalysis and Analogy

G

ordon Matta-Clarke influenced the next steps of the design hugely, through his series of disruptive cuts into derelict architecture. This use of psychoanalytic analogy has provided a way to develop design into historic contexts. In order to disrupt the repressive cycle in Vienna, a fracture or cut was made to throw light onto the shadow, an act of transgression to break the rigidity of the Ringstrasse. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5

This violence was met equally with convalescence, through a series of gardens, again working with analogy to heal the collective consciousness of the city.

‘Notre jardin is never a garden of merely private concerns into which one escapes from the real; it is that plot of soil on the earth within the self, or amid the social collective, where the cultural, ethical and civic virtues that save reality from its own worst impulses are cultivated.’ 6

GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7

6) Harrison, P. (2008) Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition; The University of Chicago Press p. x

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PRELUDE

BUILT FABRIC Detailing Experiences

‘‘By means of analogy he replicates the archetypal acts of life; through irony he lucidly acknowledges the ultimate sentence.’ ‘Birth, Love, and Death are the underpinnings of tragedy’s classic structure’ 7

F

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7

ollowing the large urban scale of the previous semester, this brief took the inverse. It required an investigation of fine details, materials and technologies, and, through those, the design of a building. Our studio brief required a museum extension to existing buildings within Vienna, the Host. As well as this, the extension should focus on the design methodologies and principles of a chosen architect, the Ghost, who worked in the city in the 60s and 70s, arguably Austria’s most experimental and radical artistic period since the Second World War. Investigating the host building and taxonomising its key features and details allowed me to really respond to both its flaws and to its strengths. Marrying this with the discourse of Walter Pichler and understanding his individual architectural principles of analogising life through space was a really valuable experience to identify my own interests and the moments where they clash. The collage to the left is an an accumulation of many investigative images. The original axisless drawing sits beneath a study of the historic Glacis Lines, a flow study and a series of axis which pull out lines towards other artistic hubs around the city. This style of representation was inspired by Walter Pichler’s drawings which depict intensely the occupation of the body within space. This attempts to analogise the movement of a city’s body through space. 7) Emilio Ambasz, (1975) Curator of Design The Museum of Modern Art, New York

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INTRODUCTION

19

NARRATIVES Life Analogies

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4

Using Pichler’s method of analogising life moments, the

design takes on the narrative of ‘Birth, Love and Death’. The spaces blend and merge together creating transitional intercises between. The location of each element is also crucial to the narrative. ‘Birth’ will be born out of the existing structure of the MAK, inheriting elements of its identity through composition and form. ‘Love’, sited within the historic city boundary, at a major crossroads into and out of the centre, will create a dynamic, open space with moments of encounter and crossed paths. ‘Death’, located in the Stadtpark, will create a space for collective solitude, with narrowing opportunities for social interaction and allowing a solitary reflective experience. The design allowed me to pull together multiple threads of my architectural interests: an investigation into personal narrative and complex site contexts leading to a manifestation through collective experience in a responsive and dynamic space.

GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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‘the terms absence and presence have lost their binaried distinction. Instead, absence can be thought of as a kind of presence and presence as a kind of absence.’ - Amanda Bell, The Chicago School of Media Theory

Valentin Weicht

Circa. 1955


INTRODUCTION

21

STAGE 6 IN ABSENTIA

‘does not the collective memory require a personal experience and interpretation?’ - Marc Treib, Spatial Recall

I

n Absentia calls for an analysis of an individual’s meaning of ‘home’ in a state of absent presence following the destructive influence of the second world war. This involved a psychoanalytic approach to develop spatial interrogations of the individual and, from this research, understand the ways they came to understand ‘home’ in foreign environments. This project follows the journey of my grandfather, Valentin Weicht, who (as a Ukrainian refugee) escaped Soviet oppression to eventually settle in Bradford, UK. It will investigate how he, and the displaced Ukrainian community, found ‘home’ in a foreign environment and how these lessons can be applied to a new generation of immigrants in an increasingly diverse, but often segregated, world.

‘il n’y a pas de hors-texte’

and allow us to function in our given society. Any culture can be seen as a set of symbolic structures, which govern social behaviours, language and art. These rituals map out life’s rhythms and bond communities together, creating sense of place and home.

‘ Symbolic exchange is fundamental to the nature of ‘society’ ... Crucially, symbolic exchange establishes a relationship between signs and reality. It allows signs to “mean”. ’ 10 When large groups of people are forcibly displaced, these symbolic structures and rituals are disrupted, planted into a foreign place where they clash with new cultural realities. This generates an environment of tension, where neither group has a full understanding of the other’s way of life. In this way, the fear of the unknown and xenophobia can take hold, causing tears in the social fabric of cities.

8

Derrida’s critique of the metaphysics of presence introduces a play of absence and presence, being is not inexplicable or transcendent, but exists within a framework or state. It is this framework and the differences and similarities between cultures which I wish to investigate through studying the nature of longing for home.

'The first step of living in a community starts with the narratives of life that we exchange. These narratives only make sense in this exchange of memories, of experiences and of projects.' 9 We all have learnt a set of symbolic signifiers and rituals allowing us a method of social exchange, which ground us

I’ve chosen to investigate his narrative, both as a personal attempt to understand his story, as well as to use the intimacy brought by a family relationship to begin similar conversations with others. Often in architectural design we, as architects, disassociate ourselves from the lived realities of our designs. This project attempts to bring the intimacy of individual narrative experience and its interpretation of domesticity into the forefront of design for the collective.

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4

8) Derrida, J. (1967) De la grammatologie, Éditions de Minuit, Paris 9) Ricouer, P. (2017) ‘Architecture and Narrativity’, in Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies, ISSN: 2156-7808,Vol: 7, Issue: 2 10) Robinson, A. (2012) Jean Baudrillard: Symbolic Exchange, Ceasefire Magazine, [Available at https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/in-theorybaudrillard-1/]

GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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INTRODUCTION

23

DISPLACEMENT Dualistic Ukraine

U

krainians in Bradford hold a dual identity of their country of origin. They suffered immensely under the Soviet regime and never want to return, however they also have huge pride in their identity as Ukrainian and keep their cultural rituals in tact. This initial collage investigated the two conflicting identities, the surface of the window depicting the idealised view of Ukraine, the national flag is blue and yellow for the sky and the rich wheat fields. Where the window has been shattered there are glimpses through to the refugees’ lived reality of genocidal famine during the Holodomor.

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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CONTEXT AND HISTORY

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VALENTIN WEICHT In Absentia

T

he first weeks of this studio involved a deep investigation of our protagonist to understand both their journey and their psychological reactions to their transitions. This continued my interests in the ‘Ghost’ study from stage 5, by investigating an individual, creating an understanding and interpretation of their place in a wider historic context. Valentin Weicht, my grandfather, was born in Paulograd (Eastern Ukraine) in 1927 as the youngest of 5 brothers to a middle-class family. He endured the Holodomor, a genocidal Soviet famine which resulted in the deaths of over 3 million Ukrainians. During the Great Purge of the second world war, his father was exiled to a Siberian Gulag and his brothers forcibly conscripted to the Soviet army. Following the Nazi invasion of Ukraine in 1941, at the age of 14, he fled to neighbouring Poland with his mother, Stefania. Together they journeyed across Europe, eventually making it to Germany where, after the defeat of the Nazi’s in 1945, they wound up in a refugee camp in the Rhine. In the following months the Soviet army began to gather their displaced citizens to return them to Eastern Europe. However, it was discovered that this forcible repatriation actually was an effort to exterminate those who the Soviets deemed to be dissenters and would result either in exile to Gulags or execution. Having learnt of the situation through rumours at the camp, Valentin and Stefania changed their identities through forged papers to Polish to avoid this fate. Eventually, they were granted passage to England in 1947 under worker’s visas and began a new life under false identity. It wasn’t until 1956, in an attempt to discover what had become of the rest of the family, that Valentin and Stefania felt safe enough to reveal their true nationality and names.

GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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VALENTIN WEICHT The Escape

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THE PHYSICAL TIMELINE

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PRIMER - JOURNEY

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JOURNEY

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Mapping the route

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T

o understand the journey undertaken by Valentin during his life, a mapping exercise which blended time, place, imagery and emotion was required.

‘Architecture is not simply about space and form, but also about event, action, and what happens in space.’ 11 Inspired by Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts, I endeavoured to develop a way that coalesced the moments and actions of his life and produce a drawing or model which mapped more than the simple physical journey or the factual timeline.

GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5

Image Above & 10) Bernard Tschumi Architects. (1976-81) The Manhattan Transcripts, [Available at: http://www.tschumi.com/projects/18/]

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PRIMER - JOURNEY

JOURNEY Analogising Life

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he primer investigation was used as a way of researching and representing Valentin's journey from East to West by using a model to collect and curate my Grandpa’s artefacts and memories. During the process I searched through photographs, notebooks, postcards and old documents to piece together the moments of his life. All of these objects hold their own individual significance and when collated create a collection which 'marks the space of nexus for all narratives, the place where history is transformed into space, into property.' 12 GC1 GC2 GC3

I was influenced by the work of Joseph Cornell and his curation of boxes filled with found objects. The use of collection to form a narrative was crucial to the layout of the suitcase contents.

GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7

11) Stewart, S. (1993) On Longing : Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham, N.C. ; London: Duke UP

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Closed : Fear : In Transit

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PRIMER-JOURNEY

Semi : Glimpse : Peep Show

PRIMER - JOURNEY

‘ We keep projecting meaning and signification onto everything we encounter... ’ 13

Object Relations

The object chosen was a small suitcase, owned by him,

as its own symbolic narrative naturally relates to the act of travel. The model questions the human capacity to distil a life to its crucial elements to ‘pack’ and ‘transport’ them, as well as connotations regarding the privacy of these moments in their internal/external environments.

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Open : Home : Soul Laid Bare

‘ The significance of objects in our processes of remembering is the main reason why we like to collect familiar or peculiar objects around us; they expand and reinforce the realm of memories...’ 14 By using a collection of objects and curating them, rather than through the typical drawing, it pushes the limits of the audience's interpretation as the object relations are tangibly present. Amplifying the concept that 'the vision of the reader is larger than the vision of the text.' 15

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13 & 14) Pallasmaa, J. (2009) Space, Place, Memory and imagination: The Temporal Dimension of Existential Space 15) Stewart, S. (1993) On Longing : Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham, N.C. ; London: Duke UP

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THE DOMESTIC TABLE

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BRADFORD Mapping the Domestic GC1 GC2

The cross-review called for a change in focus and a more

direct analysis of Valentin’s relationship to Bradford and, in turn, how that related personally to me, his Granddaughter. This required moving on from the individual psychological analogy of the suitcase to a more communal object. After considerable thought, a table with its surface and symbolism as the heart of the domestic household seemed the most appropriate object for the beginnings of mapping Valentin’s relationship with Bradford. The table has three leaves, and following from the studio brief ’s requirements to install directly into the space, it seemed logical to use these defined parts to analyse different areas of his life.

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Valentin’s Home Rituals

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Valentin’s City Rituals

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My Home Rituals

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My Working Rituals

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The dinner table

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Mapped Bradford Routes

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Comfort in drawing

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My Working Space

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BRADFORD Valentin’s City Rituals

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he central leaf was removed from the table to create the map of ‘city rituals’. The map, at surface level shows the journeys undertaken by the Ukrainian community to places of everyday ritual throughout the city of Bradford. Everyday Bradford Memories of Escape However, below the surface, representing the unconscious, there is a map of the escape across Europe. Both maps use photographs to show snapshots into the moments and lived experience in all the journeys depicted.

‘ ... photographs, for all their abstraction, have an oddly constitutive power in the shaping of reality and the perceiving of place and time. ’ 16 16) Corner, J. & MacLean, A. (1996) Taking Measures across the American Landscape. New Haven ; London: Yale


THE DOMESTIC TABLE

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DRAWING BOARD Mapping my Domestic

‘ ...appurtenance as appendage, the part of that is a whole, the addition to the body which forms an attachment, transforming the very boundaries, of outline, of the self. ’ 17

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o begin to map my own relationship with my Grandfather, whilst relating to the notions of comfort and ritualistic domesticity, I converted a leaf of the table into a drawing board. This is the ritual which I personally practice to feel in the presence of home. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5

17) Stewart, S. (1993 ) On Longing : Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Durham, N.C. ; London: Duke UP

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INTRODUCTION

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Dniprov Community Centre

St Mary the Protectoress Orthodox Church

Home 30 Wensley Avenue

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THE DOMESTIC TABLE

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CROSS REVIEW Valentin’s Home Rituals

' Inhabiting is made of rhythms, stops and starts, settlement and movements'

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icouer describes the 'configuration' of time through narrative as a parallel to the way architecture 'configures' space.18 This parallel converges through ritual, where cyclic everyday narratives configure our spaces and they become place. The next stage of the project began to examine Valentin's 'home' rituals and an investigation into the intimacy of the domestic. For the third leaf of the table, an experiential installation would communicate the qualities of the way Valentin found home in Bradford. This would begin with the set of a dinner table, allowing the audience to experience the atmospheric qualities of a family dinner in a way that couldn't be communicated through a simple drawing.

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Alongside this, individual elements, such as the placemats and tablecloth, were imbued with symbols alluding to the places of 'home' within Valentin's life.

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18) Ricouer, P. (2017) ‘Architecture and Narrativity’, in Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies, ISSN: 2156-7808,Vol: 7, Issue: 2

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THE DOMESTIC TABLE

CROSS REVIEW Domestic Memory

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hese photographs show the cross review installation, which involved constructing elements of the dining experience at 30 Wensley Avenue. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1

Ricouer wrote that, 'memory was brought to both language and works by means of narrative, by the act of putting things into narrative.'19 By choreographing an event, using traditional foods and incorporating the communal act of eating together, I was able to 'configure' both time and space through narrative. To communicate the memory of dining at home, I served Vareniki (A traditional Ukrainian dumpling) and whiskey. This allowed the audience to experience more directly through taste and smell. The communal act of serving and consuming, sharing and recieving also heightened the thesis propositions regarding the 'rituals' of social exchange which bind societies together. By incorporating fragments of the investigation of domestic intimacy through enclosure of the audience with wallpaper, dimmed lighting and communal seating around a table, the installation manipulates a visceral reaction from the body, communicating a much stronger spatialised memory. Afterall, as said by Pallasmaa, ‘there is no memory without body memory’ 20

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19) Ricoeur, P. 20) Pallasmaa, J. (2009) Space, Place, Memory and imagination: The Temporal Dimension of Existential Space

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INTRODUCTION

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Church Hall - Ground Floor

Church Hall - Ground Floor Movement Diagram

Church Hall - Basement

Community Centre - Ground Floor


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MEMORY DRAWING

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Church - Ground Floor

Vera Gair (Mother)

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One of the explorations undertaken, to better understand

the lived experience of the buildings within the Ukrainian community, was to engage my mother, Vera Gair, within the research process. These drawings were made on the table, within the studio environment and she drew out her memories of the Church, the Church Hall and the Community Centre. These drawings, made by a member of the community with little architectural experience, are an exceptionally raw and direct insight into the everyday rituals of Ukrainians in Bradford.

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'Places are points where something happens, where something comes to be.' 21 The richness of the drawings comes from the movements and moments depicted, where human narratives are played out across these buildings and they develop meaning as a places through use.

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Church - First Floor

21) Ricoeur, P.

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RITUAL CARTOGRAPHY

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HOME MAPPING 30 Wensley Avenue GC1 GC2

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ollowing the cross review, it was established that one of the fundamental drivers in the project was an investigation into the intimate and domestic qualities of ‘home’. To understand what makes the body experience comfort and familiarity, it was necessary to map the rituals undertaken by my grandfather across the city and isolate and chart their domestic qualities. The drawings produced by Mark Dorrian and Adrian Hawker during the Metis : Urban Cartographies studio was instrumental in providing a mechanism to analyse these narratives. By taking an individual’s journey, unfolding it and extracting key experiential elements:

- Spatial - Individual - Social - Visual - Thermal

- Temporal - Olfaction and Gustation - Textural - Light - Audible

These drawings will then act as a catalyst to define key social and experiential moments to draw upon and feed into a design for Bradford.

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Image Above: Dorrian, M. & Hawker, A. (2002) ‘A Taxonomy of Narrative Strips’ in Metis : Urban Cartographies, Black Dog Publishing Limited

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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION

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RITUAL CARTOGRAPHY

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CHURCH MAPPING St Mary the Protectoress Church

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he Church was the second ritual I chose to map, due to it being one of the places I had fractured memories invested within. I had not visited the building since my Grandpa's death in 2000, therefore all my memories were considerably more visceral than usual and warped to the scale of a child's eye. I began inserting drawings instead of photographs as I was working from memory.

‘As I recover it in calling my child-wrought memories… it is all broken up inside me; here is a room, there is a room, and here a piece of hallway that does not connect the two… it is as though the picture of this house has fallen into me from an infinite height and has shattered against my very ground.’ 22 The much larger space meant that it was harder to pin down moments of interaction, so a new method that isolated intimate zones was developed. The large hall meant the ritual was more fragmented, and less obvious than the house regarding a central element. However, because my memories of the place are so fractured, it automatically defined the fundamental spaces and experiential features of the Church. These centred around the thresholds, heavy wooden doors and the temporal rhythms of moving from the exterior into a texturally almost overwhelming interior full of incense, colour, sound and light.

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22) Rilke, R. (1910) The Notebooks of Malte Laurid’s Bridge

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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION

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RITUAL CARTOGRAPHY

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C H UR C H H A L L M A P P I N G Orthodox Event Space

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djacent to the St. Mary Protectoress Church, sat the Orthodox Church Hall, now converted to flats. It was a crucial event space for the community where performances, dances and communal meals took place. I only was able to visit this building once in my childhood, it was derelict and the windows were smashed through. I can only remember the height of the ceiling and the smell of worn timber. However, this drawing stems from the 'memory' drawings undertaken by my mother on her visit. They start to depict three of the routes taken by different occupiers of the building. The first is of the women in the kitchen, a space men weren't allowed, then the flow out into the main hall to serve the food. The second is of the actor, hiding backstage excitedly interacting with other children before the performance. The third is of my mother's usual experience of a festival dinner as a child, mostly in the main hall, occasionally sneaking to the kitchen to overhear the gossip and smuggle some extra food.

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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION

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RITUAL CARTOGRAPHY

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BAKERY MAPPING Kolos Ukrainian Bakery

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he Kolos Bakery, in the South of the city, has been an integral part to the Ukrainian community since it was established by a member of the group of refugees who settled in Bradford following WW2. I was able to find a documentary depicting the everyday life of the three sons of the original baker, including their routines and rituals in the practice of making bread. For this building, I separated the narratives into 4; one for each son and another for the customer. The building itself speaks of the relationship between Bradford and the Ukrainian community, with huge flurries of activity and social family dynamics on the interior with the exterior customer only allowed a brief glimpse.

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Left: 5 Screenshots from 'Taste with Janis Robinson' [Accessed 12/04/2019 https://youtu.be/ZO62vtKlsuU ]

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The Church : The Pew

The Church : The Pew

The Church : The Altar

The Church : The Steps

30 Wensley Avenue : The Dining Table

30 Wensley Avenue : The Kitchen Table

The Church : The Hall

30 Wensley Avenue : The Hallway

30 Wensley Avenue : The Hallway

Presence of intensity

Absence of intensity

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Intermediary of intensity

INTRODUCTION

RHYTHM Presence and Intensity

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y creating these drawings which attempt to cartographically represent experience through ritual, it became apparent that there are moment of presence and absence of intensity of experience. Can begin to notice patterns and rhythms in rituals.

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Absence of intensity: Hallways / transient spaces Presence of intensity: Thresholds / Tables / Events

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‘Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm.' 23 The Church : Leaving the Hall

30 Wensley Avenue : Leaving The Dining Table

Intermediary of intensity: Greeting / Leaving

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23) Lefebvre, H. (2004) Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life, Continuum, p.15

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NARRATIVE MODELS Coding Experience

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uring the process of creating the ritual cartography drawings, it felt necessary to begin to work back towards models and the work earlier in the year with the table and a more tactile translation. Therefore, I began playing with ways of using the unfolded spatial drawings by laser cutting them and further extracting and highlighting aspects which were crucial to that specific experience. I began with 30 Wensley Avenue, seen below and to the left, where a lot of the ritual features the relationship between the body and the furniture. Therefore, the furniture is coded with blue card and the human journey through is interwoven with metal wire. For the model on the right, taken from the Bakery drawing, the focus was on different journeys taken by the three brothers and the parts of the baking process they were in charge of. The coding developed for this model with heat picked out in red over the ovens.


NARRATIVE MODELS

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NARRATIVE MODELS

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NARRATIVE MODELS

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Translating Experience

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his model is the first translation of the dining experience following the ritual cartography. After analysing the dining experience, the key relationship between the user and the table became apparent. This 1.20 model extracts and spatializes this relationship, with the geometry of the space pulled from the table. Key textures are highlighted with real materials in the translation, although only as fragments. This occurs in the wallpaper strips on the walls and the timber table surface. A further coding begins here with the use of yellow card for people sitting at the table.

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NARRATIVE MODELS

NARRATIVE MODELS Translating Experience

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his model is the second translation of the dining experience following the ritual cartography. After the first translation of the dining experience, the tectonic relationships between the user and the table and their environment became apparent. This 1.20 model further extracts and spatializes this relationship, with the geometry of the space pulled from the table. Key textures are highlighted with rich textures which emulate but move away from the mimickery and fragmentation of the initial translation. The walls are constructed with arches that create a sense of journey and rhythm as you pass through them in sequence. The infill is porous to absorb the smells of the food and reflecting the textured wall paper at 30 Wensley Avenue. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7

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NARRATIVE MODELS Translating Experience

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his model is the first translation of the kitchen experiences following the ritual cartography. The overall plan is extracted from the Bakery, with large units for processes in sequence. Large bays overlap for storage, prepping, cooking and plating, with smaller domestic kitchens, derived from the 30 Wensley Avenue analysis, dispersed through out. Wire frames mark out the volumes of the spaces without clearly defining walls. Textural elements have once again been extracted, such as the Formica table tops which covered all the kitchen surfaces in both the domestic and Church Hall kitchens. A further coding has been added to this model, with brown string picking out the source and dispersal of smells. The model is heavily populated with people and begins to pick out all their interactions and inhabitation of the spaces.

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Bradford, ethnic segregation map, 2011 census.


CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT

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BRADFORD Social Segregation

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look to the present day: although the Ukrainian community is largely dissolved, Bradford is still a city of immigrants... 'Bradford is multicultural only insofar as there are pockets of different cultures living side by side. Segregation both ethnic and class-based is problematic because it limits contact with those who are different and this, in turn, can lead to insularity.' 24

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This map shows the current ethnic segregation in Bradford: Blue = White British Yellow = Non - British (City Centre/Shipley/Keighley)

'It [Rhythm] is on the one hand a relation of the human being with his own body, with his tongue and his speech, with his gestures within a certain place, with an ensemble of gestures - and on the other hand, a relation with the largest public space, with the entire society and, beyond this, with the universe.' 25

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The city lives in parallel, the individual rhythms undertaken by each community never meeting or coalescing, creating a 'Polyrhythmia' which, left unchecked, could begin to conflict and cause 'Arhythmia', causing fractures and tears

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24) Akhtar, P. Sociology Lecturer, Bradford University, https://www. theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/19/bradford-one-city-two-culturescommunities-lead-parallel-lives 25) Lefebvre, H. (2004) Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life, Continuum, p.95

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R aws on Market 86


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INTRODUCTION

 

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2019

            () /              () / 


THESIS OUTLINE

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RAWSON MARKET A Site of Traces

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Following discussions around sites of importance for the

Ukrainian community, it was asked whether there was a site where all cultures would gather in the city centre? Was there a communal place in the everyday lives of a Bradford citizen to condense the narrative research and communicate it to the rest of the city. The historic Rawson Market seemed the obvious choice, a place where all members of society would buy the raw ingredients and components of their cultural meals.

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METHOD Narrative Condensation

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eflecting on my thesis year, I have been challenged to investigate a displaced individual's biography and their manifestation of 'home' in a foreign environment. I immediately chose my Grandpa's story to ensure that the investigations undertaken in the thesis carried the personal, lived intimacy I endeavour to communicate within my design. During the first phase of my research, as I was discovering more about my family history, I looked deeply into the ways we can communicate narrative through architectural drawing. Katie Lloyd Thomas asks the question, ' Why do architectural drawings copy the ideal lines of geometry and not the messy substantiality of the buildings they represent?'26 Arguing that the standard methods of representation exclude everything subjective beyond the realm of the orthographic. To understand the individual's meaning of 'home' and how it is constructed, it became important to go beyond the typical architectural drawing in my thesis. Building on this concept, I experimented with the communication of human narratives and experience through installation method. By using food, furniture (a central dining table), textures and choreographed presentation, I have found a way to manipulate environments and this has proved a really successful way of extending the drawing into something comprehensible through multiple senses. Following this, I looked to create a dialectic between the experiential and the drawing by cartographically analysing

the routines and rituals undertaken by my Grandpa in the city of Bradford, where he found 'home'. This investigation went beyond the traditional floor plan and extracted all the cumulative threads which, when combined syntagmatically, created his environment of intimacy. I chose to investigate my Grandpa's narrative, both as a personal attempt to understand his story, as well as to use the intimacy brought by a family relationship to begin similar conversations with others. Often in architectural design we, as architects, disassociate ourselves from the lived realities of our designs. This project attempts to bring the intimacy of individual narrative experience and its interpretation of domesticity into the forefront of design for the collective. This then begs the question, how do you collide the individual narrative and the collective interpretation of 'home'? Following from my research into cultural psychology, it was established that we all have learnt a set of symbolic signifiers and rituals allowing us a method of social exchange, which ground us and allow us to function in our given society. Any culture can be seen as a set of symbolic structures, which govern social behaviours, language and art. These rituals map out life’s rhythms and bond communities together, creating sense of place and home. When large groups of people are forcibly displaced, such as the Ukrainian refugee community, these symbolic structures and rituals are disrupted, planted into a foreign place where they clash with new cultural realities. This


THESIS OUTLINE

generates an environment of tension, where neither group has a full understanding of the other’s way of life. In this way, the fear of the unknown and xenophobia can take hold, causing tears in the social fabric of cities. ‘Symbolic exchange is fundamental to the nature of ‘society’... Crucially, symbolic exchange establishes a relationship between signs and reality. It allows signs to “mean”. ’ 27 According to Bandura, human development (learning) is socially situated and knowledge is constructed with interaction with others. "Symbolic communication influences human thought, affect and action".28 The theory shows how new behaviour diffuses through society by psychosocial factors governing acquisition and adoption of the behaviour. Within my work, I always try to use critical historical analysis of context to enhance the contemporary environment. Therefore, with a look to the present day, although the Ukrainian community is largely dissolved, Bradford is still a city of immigrants. 'Bradford is multicultural only insofar as there are pockets of different cultures living side by side. Segregation both ethnic and class-based is problematic because it limits contact with those who are different and this, in turn, can lead to insularity. ' 29 So, how do we begin to create points of interaction between these cultural groups? Can the architectural drawing build upon the method of Donna Haraway and adopt the figure of 'modest-witness' who reviews the facts not as the traditional (male) observer of science but is a 'a more corporeal, inflected, and optically dense kind of witness? Ricouer states that, ‘The first step of living in a community starts with the narratives of life that we exchange. These narratives only make sense in this exchange of memories, of experiences and of projects.’ 30 By the sharing of one story or history, it begins a dialogue and people can begin to understand each other through experience. Therefore, to begin to create bonds between these alienated cultural groups, the obvious outcome for my thesis should be a form of narrative condenser of the lived Ukrainian experience within Bradford, with the aim to trigger this type of social communication to manifest. At the heart of the table and the heart of the city, upon the ghost of cultural interaction I have placed a hypothetical condenser of experience and narrative. Coalescing a series of extracted memories and moments into an architecture of intimacy. These spaces within the condenser are the result of a ‘re-configuration’ of narratives and spaces which were important within the Ukrainian community. The audience

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will sit on the axis of specific sites as they pull towards the centrifugal point of the Rawson Market site. The drawings behind you are analysis of the spaces and the rituals undertaken within them, extracting and mapping all the qualities beyond the typical drawing which make up these narratives, such as spatial orientation, image, light, taste, smell, sound and heat. At the centre of this method is the use of furniture objects, working directly into a table which functioned both at 1:1 for dining, but also at a multitude of scales, including a representation of the city of Bradford. Blundell writes, that ‘a door handle serves to open a door, but it also invites the approaching visitor to enter, and if it failed to indicate this purpose, the door will never be opened... the ‘promise of function’ addresses both anticipation and memory, for we are trying to decide how and if to enter, while at the same time relating our present experience to past doors and past entries.’ 31 In a similar fashion, I hope to invite conversation through the 'promise of function' and manipulation of the audience with fragmented 1:1 elements and their individual relations between present and past. By mapping these fragmented journeys and rituals, collapsing their fundamental experiential qualities and symbolic exchanges whilst communicating them through the practice of installation, it is hoped to find a new architecture of intimacy and cultural exchange.

‘The prime function of memory is not to preserve the past but to adapt it so as to enrich and manipulate the present. Far from simply holding on to previous experiences, memory helps us to understand them. Memories are not ready made reflections of the past, but eclectic, selective reconstructions based on subsequent actions and perceptions and on everchanging codes by which we delineate, symbolise, and classify the world around us.’ 32

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26) Lloyd Thomas, K. (2016) Lines in Practice: Thinking Architectural Representation Through Feminist Critiques of Geometry, University of East London 27) Robinson, A. (2012) Jean Baudrillard: Symbolic Exchange, Ceasefire 28) Bandura, A. (2001) Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communication 29) Akhtar, P. Sociology Lecturer, Bradford University, https://www. theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/19/bradford-one-city-two-culturescommunities-lead-parallel-lives 30) Ricoeur, P. (2017) ‘Architecture and Narrativity’, in Études Ricoeurienne 31) Blundell, P. (2016) Architecture and Ritual p.5 32) Blundell, P. (2016) Architecture and Ritual p.4

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3

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2 1 7

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1 Central post of the table 2 Rawson Market @ 1:200 3 30 Wensley Avenue 4 Church 5 Church Hall Axis 6 Kolos Bakery Axis 7 Bradford City Map on table surface


NARRATIVE TRANSLATION

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INSTALLATION Narrative Translation

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rawing the work back to the furniture object from the first semester, I began to use the table as the site of Bradford. I used the map of Ukrainian sites in the city and transferred it into the table surface and sited the narrative models onto the their places within Bradford. The narrative models all pull towards the central leaf of the table, where the site of Rawson Market will sit at 1.200, acting as the centrifuge for all the rituals. This will allow viewers to interact with the table at 1.1 and view down the axis to the central point which will act as a condensation point of all the narrative. The post which hold up the table acts as a marker for the atrium of the condenser, drawing a negative space and centre for all the narratives.

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R aws on Market

Narrative Re-Configuration

INTRODUCTION

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NARRATIVE RECONFIGURATION

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BASEMENT Event Space

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he event spaces, located underneath the site, embedded within the fabric of the city and the table surface. Side by side, as the Church and the Church Hall, each space echoes elements of the experience and narratives within the Ukrainian buildings. To the West, the Church centres around an atrium with hovers as a negative to the table's central post. The space floods with light and the forest of columns spread out into the dark and secluded pews. The timber colossal door seals in the scent of incense and smoke. To the East, divided by Rawson Market's historic circulation route, the Church Hall reflects the three journeys through. The child, the cook and the actor. The tables stack above each other and chaos and sound and smells overlap. The backstage winds around the perimeter, providing small spaces for quiet conversations.

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NARRATIVE RECONFIGURATION

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GROUND FLOOR Domestic Kitchen Commercial Kitchen Market Stall

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onnecting to the city and the table surface, at ground floor are the spaces of production and creation. Commercial and domestic kitchens and a market stall are reconfigured from the analysis of the Kolos Bakery and 30 Wensley Avenue. The commercial kitchen spreads across the site, the long chambers of process overlapping. Mixing, baking and storage all produce their own architectural language with the secret 'yeast' room at its core, with only one member of the kitchen permitted entry at a time. Punctuating the dense fabric of the kitchens are two market stalls, echoing the experience of buying bread from Kolos bakery, with long thin metal corridors focusing and leading to a point with a single product for sale. Scattered within are the domestic kitchens, rich with Formica textures and compressed to intensify heat and smell.

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NARRATIVE RECONFIGURATION

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FIRST FLOOR Dining Rooms Walkway

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t the highest level, the peak of the hierarchy, sit the dining rooms, perched above the kitchens. The heat and smells rise from the kitchens and permeate the spaces, embedding themselves in the rich textural wall surfaces. The walkways circle the site, radiating from the central table post cutting through the kitchens and gardens. They provide a point of reflection away from the social chaos but still within it, an isolated vantage point to understand the experiential, social intensity below.

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Table Manifest at i on

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SITE MODEL Rawson Market

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At the centre of the table, on the highest level, sat the

Rawson Market site model. I continued the aesthetic of the smaller narrative models by using laser cut card to catagorise and signal different sections of the manifestation. I carved the event space into the table surface, embedding it within the fabric. Above that sits the floor plan of the different kitchens in pinks and reds, with the market stall carving through in silver. At the top sat the walkway in white card and dining rooms in rich textured paper. The clarity of the site model is only visible if the audience stand up from the view points, otherwise they sit amongst the fragments and cannot view the whole picture.

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INSTALLATION

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FRAGMENT MODEL Rawson Market

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t the centre of the table, embedded within the table surface is the 1.50 fragment model, this is the final piece of the installation, drawing diners to look down their axis into the centre. Each piece of the fragment aligns to a specific axis and highlights elements crucial to that narrative experience.

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INSTALLATION

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30 Wensley Avenue Axis Dining Rooms Domestic Kitchen

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he domestic setting's textures are referenced and highlighted on this axis. The wallpaper hangings, brickwork and Formica are reflected in the texture of the walls, The diner also walks to his chair over a carpeted floor, again giving reference to the experience of dining in the family home.

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INSTALLATION

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Kolos Bakery Axis Commerical Kitchens Market Stall

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The Kolos Bakery has the most sprawling fragment, with

the overlapping bays for the mixing, baking and preparation processes. The Market Stall reflects the model above, picked out in silver, dramatising the experience of meeting the facade and extruding the journey to the counter to buy bread. The wall sits between, screening the Commerical Kitchens from view. The yeast room, shown to the left, also reflects the experience of the bakery owners, a private space which can't be viewed unless the diner stands and walks around the table. The orange semi-circles eluding to the smell radiating from the store.

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INSTALLATION

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Church Axis Event Space

The Church fragment highlights the huge timber doors, out of scale and screening the viewer from the activities inside. However, the door is open to allow a glimpse in...

Inside sits a forest of columns, radiating out from the circular atrium where light falls through, illuminating the centre. Here sit two colossal blue candle sticks where the Ukrainian community light flames to commemorate the dead. Beneath the candles is the intense red carpet, thick with the smells of incense and muffling footsteps. The congregation sit among the wooden pews watching and reflecting.

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INSTALLATION

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Church Hall Axis Event Space

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The Church Hall fragment depicts aspects of the three

journeys within the space. The stage, the long tables and the drinks station. The timber floors are picked out and begin to melt into the table surface.

The long tables are depicted in their full occupied chaos, spilling over one another with people, sound and chaos filling the space. The drinks table is enlarged, the focal point for impromptu chats whilst refilling glasses, the smell of whiskey permeating the room.

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Pamphlets on the chairs

Valentin's objects

Whiskey glass

Valentin's German knife

Valentin's notebook

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Installation Additional Objects

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selection of extra objects were placed throughout installation that had been used during the year. The plate holders shown on the bottom left also played a crucial role by allowing the diners to eat directly within the installation. Their plates neatly resting above the narrative models below.

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INSTALLATION

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Installation Pamphlet

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The Pamphlet was made by re-using Valentin's identity

card. It overlays his real name and place of birth in white over the false name. It also shows the map of Bradford as the Ukrainian community came to understand it, all of the key places highlighted. It also holds a key quote by Paul Ricouer,

'The first step of living in a community starts with the narratives of life that we exchange. These narratives make sense only in this exchange of memories, of experiences and of projects.'

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LINKED RESEARCH [Re]Defining Dunelm House


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INTRODUCTION

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INTRODUCTION

“How does agency affect the conservation of buildings and the determination of value? Using Dunelm House as a live case study”

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e are investigating the different agencies involved in relation to the current SaveDunelmHouse campaign and how they influence the determination of what is of value and worth conserving or demolishing. We’re mapping this campaign as a live case study and aligning it against other examples of both successful and failed architectural activism to establish if there are any correlations between differing political pressures and agendas and the consequent translation into efforts of conservation. This research is going to cover a broad range of topics, focusing on the concept of ‘what is valuable’ in architecture, not simply from an aesthetic perspective, but from a deeper study of the contextual, historical, social and practical value of existing buildings and how different perceptions of the importance of each of these elements determine whether a building is worth saving. We are using the Save Dunelm House Campaign as a live case study as it has recently been submitted for a Certificate of Immunity from Listing by Durham University, with plans for demolition in their 20172027 masterplan. The five-level concrete building was constructed between 1964 and 1966 by the river Wear to the designs of Richard Raines of the Architects’ CoPartnership, under supervision of the partner Michael Powers. It connects to Ove Arup’s Kingsgate Bridge, which was constructed four years earlier. Arup acted as structural engineer and architectural advisor and is famously

featured in a bust on one of the outside walls. Dunelm House is of local significance as one of last remaining Brutalist buildings in the North East of England. Architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner, called the block ’Brutalist by tradition but not brutal to the landscape… the elements, though bold, [are] sensitively composed’. Positively reviewed at the time of its completion and subsequently praised many times over by critics; the building has been allowed to fall into disrepair with a growing list of outstanding issues allowed to accumulate by Durham University. The Save Dunelm House Campaign group have been actively organising lectures and a design charrette to raise awareness of the value of the building and challenge the university’s and the general public’s negative views towards it. We will be tracking their movements as well as the differing agencies and their opinions towards the building. We’ve decided to use documentary as our method of creative practice and we will analyse this process and reception of our work alongside the central question. We’ve chosen this method, in an age where architectural documentaries are becoming increasingly popular, in order to investigate the relationship between the general public and the media. As well as this, will be researching cinematography to ensure a creative and coherent aesthetic language.

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Critical Theory Rsearch

Save Dunelm House Campaign

January

February

Initial meeting with James Perry

March

Meeting with James Perry and Ian Rammage

Research on DH history

Initial meeting

Meeting to identify SAVE / RAZE research topics / define HIGHPOINT question

www Defining Value blog set up

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Interviews

June

July

DESIGN CHARETTE @ DUNELM HOUSE

Review of campaign mapping with Claire Harper

Readings selectied to analyse

Research on Film as creative Durham County Council views of DH practice research

www

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Storyboard Save/Raze Interview / reflection Highpoint film technique reflection reflection

Reading Group

architecture as Defining marking Reflection Readings selec documentary analysis of first semester criteria to analyse

Exploration of value Investigation of public Analysis of B Rock n Roll in architectural discourse Concrete seminar perception towards brutalism Pool as cas

‘Privacy and Publicity’ - Beatriz Colomina

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Reflection on charette outcomes

Reflect on content of interview transcripts

www

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Reflect on Reflect on documentary editing techniques tutorial

www Reflect on editing tutorial

www Reflection on charette technical difficulties

Initial Draft of Agency Diagram

Cinematography

May

Write up charette outcomes for campaign website

Research on DU strategy

Identifying issues at DH

Write Up

April

Watch Jonathan Meades

Watch Interviews: Interview Simon Thurley preparation Catherine Croft (C20) Claire Price (C20) Adrian Green (Durham Uni Historian) Tim Collett (6A Architects) Roger Hawkins (HawkinsBrown) Rosie Jones (Skelly and Crouch) Prepare interview Write up interview Felicity Raines (Wife of Architect) ethics /consent forms questions

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B-Roll footage

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Teaser video edited

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Rough cut of charette transcripts

Write up interview transcripts

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This detailed diagram describes the research and actions carried out during the Linked Research project.

Research Project Plan From January 2018 - Linked Research submission deadline

Review of unedited footage

Tutorial with Craig Hawkes: how to transcript on premier pro

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Read ‘What Types of Documentaries are there?’ - Bill Nichols


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LINKED RESEARCH August

Analysis of CCI as case study

September

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January

Analysis of Birmingham library as case study

Broomhill Analysis of UEA as se study case study

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Post-war university reflection

Reflection on architectural documentary

Reflection on interview transcripts

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Reflection on interview with Ian Rammage

Collaborative Collaborative Storyboard Storyboard created revised

Collaborative Storyboard revised

Formal write up of filmmaking process

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www Reflection on case studies

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Approach potential interviewees and organise filming sessions

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Meeting to London Interviews: Newcastle Catherine Croft Interview: write up new Tim Collett Steve Parnell storyboard Ewan Graham Owen Hatherley Elaine Harwood

Durham Interview: Interview preparation: Interview preparation: Ipswich Interview: Madeleine Cater composition consent form, checklist Alan Wilkinson and itinerary Cambridge Interview: Mike Rands

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Meeting to discuss storyboard

Chase interview with Ian Rammage

Meeting with Screening of Graham Farmer Documentary to finalise submission

Durham Interview: Meeting to discuss Ian Rammage storyboard

Meeting to review documentary draft

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Research documentary music

Meeting to review documentary draft

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Corresponding with Craig / James about logistics & progress

Norwich Interview: Martin Lovatt

Editing Editing First rough transcripts transcripts cut draft

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Group Edit Day

Editing drafts

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Dunelm House // The Issues 15th February 2018

Dunelm House, circa 1967.

Identifying Present Issues [1] Waite, R. (2016) Culture secretary rejects listing for Durham Uni’s Brutalist students union building. Available at: https://www. architectsjournal.co.uk/news/culture-secretary-rejects-listing-fordurham-unis-brutalist-students-union-building/10015639.article (Accessed 20 August 2018). [2] Ibid. [3] Twentieth Century Society (2017) C20 Society Fights to Save Dunelm House. Available at: https://c20society.org.uk/news/c20-society-fights-tosave-dunelm-house/ (Accessed 20 August 2018). [4] Durham University (2016) Dunelm House / Durham Students’ Union. Available at: https://www.dur.ac.uk/dialogue/signposts/ staff/?itemno=29940 (Accessed 20 August 2018). [5] Durham Students’ Union (2018) Supporting the University’s efforts to obtain a certificate of immunity from listing and the University’s plans to demolish Durham house. Available at: https://www.durhamsu. com/main-menu/voice/assembly/supporting-the-university-s-effortsto-obtain-a-certificate-of-immunity-from-listing-and-the-university-splans-to-demolish-durham-house (Accessed 20 August 2018).

(opposite) Norman, S.A. (2018) Views of Dunelm House, Durham University Student Union Building [Photograph].

In December 2016, the culture secretary of state Karen Bradley rejected Historic England’s advice on behalf of C20 Society’s Grade II listing application for Dunelm House (DH), announcing that the building design was flawed leading to its current notable problems with water ingress. [1] According to extract from the Historic England explanation letter to the C20 Society, the secretary decided that DH ‘does not possess the special architectural or historic interest’, but most notably specified that ‘technical flaws mean that it does not exhibit sufficient design quality to be of special architectural interest’ such as flawed roof design causing leaks and insufficient concrete wall construction requiring extensive repairs. [2] Bradley’s decision on the building’s insufficient heritage value could be questioned since Dunelm House won a Civic Trust award and the RIBA Bronze Medal for 1966. As the building has received widespread recognition among notable architecture critics over years, the latter statement


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Dunelm House sitting on a sloping site to the River

‘does not possess the special architectural or historic interest’

describing the building as technically flawed becomes more important to investigate in depth as Durham University had a consulting role in the decision. [3] The first step is to determine what are those difficult parts of the building that require such a substantial cost; in order to contrast with other case studies where similar problems have been successfully mitigated. According to the official statement released by Durham University, the existing building is not able ‘to accommodate new uses or to endure without very considerable investment in its redesign and repair, estimated at £14.7m’, and university estates team seeks a

replacement facility on another site as part of the campus redevelopment plan of the New Elvet area. [4] According to objectives from the Durham University Student Union Officer’s Assembly meeting to back the demolition plans, Dunelm House has been criticised for poor accessibility, lacking a suitable lift for disabled students, not providing a range of spaces suitable to host various activities, meetings and events; as well as maintenance problems such as the leaking roof, damp and mould that affect its everyday occupation. [5] The factual struggle in case of Dunelm House campaign, which still remains a challenge, stems from a lack of publicly disclosed evidence that could either challenge or support the University Estate Team’s claims of an estimated £14.7m cost. The absence of an in-depth analysis of the building’s condition leaves critics relying on rare excerpts in the press and personal observations from site visits.


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Approach to the upper entrance from the street.

Approach to the main entrance from the street.


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Elevation of Dunelm House from the river side with a picture window in top-left corner.

Since there was no published feasibility report and the university representatives were operating with limited information in press, campaigners (including C20 Society) stated that ‘the minister is wrong to accept at face value the university consultants’ argument that the building is technically flawed as this claim has not been proven’. [6] And yet, these reasons have been deemed sufficient to undermine the architectural quality and heritage value of the building. After failed attempts to challenge the Secretary of State’s renewed decision not to Grade II list Dunelm House, the C20 Society has requested a disclosure of all available documentation upon which the decision was made via a Freedom of Information appeal to the DCMS and Historic England. [7] [6] Twentieth Century Society (2016) The Future of Dunelm House now in Jeopardy. Available at: https://c20society.org.uk/news/the-future-ofdunelm-house-now-in-jeopardy/ (Accessed 20 August 2018). [7] Twentieth Century Society (2017) C20 Society to challenge renewed decision not to list Dunelm House. Available at: https://c20society.org. uk/news/c20-society-to-challenge-renewed-decision-not-to-list-dunelmhouse/ (Accessed 20 August 2018). [8] Youde, K. (2016) Durham seeks listing immunity for Brutalist students’ union. Available at: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/ durham-seeks-listing-immunity-for-brutalist-students-union/10006731. article (Accessed 20 August 2018). (opposite-top) Norman, S.A. (2018) Views of Dunelm House. (opposite-bottom) Ibid. (top-right) Ibid.

In April 2016, Durham University applied to Historic England for a Certificate of Immunity from Listing (COIL), which can potentially allow the building to be demolished.[8] Following previous the request for disclosure of information, the C20 Society and campaigners were able access to Dunelm House COIL Application as well as the Engineering Considerations report commissioned to Arup by University of Durham on 23 March 2016. The document presents a detailed assessment of the building; focusing on its practical and technical design features in relation to their ability to perform in the future, stressing that building’s key


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[6] Twentieth Century Society (2016) The Future of Dunelm House now in Jeopardy. [7] Twentieth Century Society (2017) C20 Society to challenge renewed decision not to list Dunelm House. [8] Youde, K. (2016) Durham seeks listing immunity for Brutalist students’ union. [9] Mace, H. et al. (2016) Dunelm House COIL Application: Engineering Considerations. Internal Report (Ove Arup & Partners). Unpublished.

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(below) Norman, S.A. (2018) Views of Dunelm House. (opposite) Nutt, B. (2017) Dunelm House, Durham. Available at: https:// barnabynutt.com/2017/05/21/travelogue-3-hit-the-north/ (Accessed 20 August 2018).

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Structurally integrated window fin detail.

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Leaky “gravestone” roof.

• Extensive damage of external walls with spalling concrete, exposed reinforcement and discolouration of the walls due to poor craftsmanship. • Replacement of the roof is required to mitigate occasional leaking caused by fault in its original design. • Deteriorating M&E systems with concealed pipework, partially inaccessible with replacement requiring complete removal of internal finishes. • Inflexibility of structural design that imposes limitations on any substantial changes of original layout inevitably affecting the appearance of the building.

• Poor energy efficiency (D Cat according to UK’s ranking) due to cantilevered design and inability to provide a solution that consistently seal the building without significantly affecting building’s exterior. • Difficulty in providing effective disabled access requiring an installation of lift considering limitations of the structure and inflexible internal layout.[9] The conclusion drawn by the Save Dunelm House Campaign regarding the Arup report is that any potential refurbishment option is going to significantly impact on the iconic brutalist appearance of the building, which does raise some reasonable questions towards the usefulness in its protection by Historic England.


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Inside the ballroom - Alvar Aalto inspired ceiling painted

[10] Moore, R. (2017) Save Dunelm House from the wrecking ball. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/feb/12/ durham-university-dunelm-house-threat-of-demolition-brutalism (Accessed 20 August 2018). (above) Norman, S.A. (2018) Views of Dunelm House. (top) Ibid. (opposite-right) Ibid. (right) Ibid.


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Inside a meeting room - painted yellow. Inside the dining cantine - Alvar Aalto inspired ceiling is stripped of its original timber battens and painted white.

Circulation spaces with mix-and-match furniture and walls riddled with posters.

The director of the C20 Society Catherine Croft, who advocates for the listing of Dunelm House, is not against introducing some necessary changes to the building, but in her own words it needs ‘to tip the scales in favour of a more imaginative approach’ and find a solution that ensures both ‘preservation and future usability’. [10] The demolition option for energy inefficient Dunelm House inevitably imposes its own environmental issues associated with concrete removal. In support of this, Rowan Moore argues that, ‘those wishing to demolish combine protestations against an existing building’s environmental wastefulness with silence on the question


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Spalling concrete exposing reinforcement bars

of embodied energy – that is, the large amount of resources and materials that is lost when a building is destroyed and rebuilt’. [11] All current steps undertaken by the university estates team indicate their strong aspiration to replace the Student Union building with a brand new facility. The following remedial works are required to prolong the lifetime of the building: • Repairs to the spalling on the external walls and a waterproof coating or rendering applied to the walls to limit further deterioration. Wall insulation applied to internal walls where feasible, and replacement double glazed windows.

[11] Moore, R. (2017) Save Dunelm House from the wrecking ball. [12] Mace, H. et al. (2016) Dunelm House COIL Application. (above) Pitts, M. (2016) Dunelm House. Available at: https://mikepitts. wordpress.com/2016/12/16/dunelm-house/ (Accessed 20 August 2018). (opposite-left) Norman, S.A. (2018) Views of Dunelm House. (opposite-right) Ibid. (overleaf) Ibid.

• Replacement of the roof with something which remedies the long standing leaks and provides a better level of thermal insulation. • Replacement of the Mechanical & Electrical systems, much of which will have to be surface mounted given the lack of voids and risers in the building • Improve disabled access with lifts - such work will entail significant re-planning and is likely to involve relocating


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toilet blocks and changes to the roof profile. [12] Within our case study research, we will try to focus on particular remedial measures suggested within the Arup assessment report that could be compared with our other case studies of brutalist post-war campus buildings to support the option for potential refurbishment.

Area outside Dunelm House’s boathouse is poorly kempt and dirty. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7

Surface mounted sockets and wires throughout the building.


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Diagram of our the key agencies relating to the case of Dunelm House, categorised as internal, external and statutory..

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The Design Charrette 23rd March 2018

Introduction Dunelm House (DH) was designed between 1962-64 by the Architects Co-Partnership (ACP). Described as a “delightful huddle” of a building, it clings to the bankside of the River Wear gorge, in the shadow of the famous Durham Cathedral towers, providing weighty counterpoint to the elegant Kingsgate Bridge. However, whilst the bridge is now Grade I listed, its partner, DH, is in a much poorer state of repair, and was recently the subject of an application for Immunity from Listing (COIL) by Durham University. The building is not only a behemoth of new Brutalism and the last remaining Brutalist building of significance in the North East region, but a fine example of contextual modernism and post war University architecture. It was described in an English Heritage report on Durham as “the greatest contribution modern architecture has made to the enjoyment of an English medieval city”.

(opposite-top) Norman, S.A. (2018) Save Dunelm House Campaign Design Charrette [Photograph]. (opposite-bottom) Ibid.

Following notice of the COIL application, the campaign group Save Dunelm House was formed with the intention of raising awareness about the contribution of this building to the landscape of Durham, and as part of the rich architectural legacy of Durham University. A petition in December 2016 attracted more than 3,000 signatures and buoyed by this success, last year a crowdfunder was organised to fund the campaign to save the building. This design charrette is the first in a series of activities planned, intended to challenge Durham University to recognise DH as an asset with the hope to generate a range of thoughtful, creative, and indeed, viable proposals for how the building could be reconfigured, repaired and imagined differently as part of the future of Durham University.


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Architects and engineers working collaboratively to generate proposals for the future of Dunelm House

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Proposals and Comments 1. Levitt Bernstein’s sensitive restoration of DH addressed the practical repair and maintenance of the building fabric and services, with clear and sensible ways to overcome accessibility issues. The lack of a strong vision for DH (repurposing the building as a teaching and conference centre) left the panel unenthused but acknowledged that resolving key practical issues was a great place to start.

A telling of Dunelm House’s past by Felicity Raines, wife of the Richard Raines, the architect who designed Dunelm House

2. Second up was the Hawkins\Brown team led by Roger Hawkins who suggested for the building to become a boutique hotel, “the best hotel in Durham”. Overall, the panel appreciated the need for DH to become more outward facing, attracting other visitors and users of the building. However, Owen Hatherley whose greatest delight in the building was the sense of being in a multilayered and cascading set of spaces, felt this would be lost if DH was subdivided into hotel rooms. 3. For 6a Architects, spearheaded by Tim Collett who was the project architect of Newport Street Gallery, there was a desire to return DH to its original social agenda. The scheme proposed a new tower, both to relieve pressure on space within the building as well as mediating access between the five levels in the building. Though initially appearing acontextual, the tower addition grew on the panel who enjoyed the narrative of continuing the building’s radicalism. 4. Newly established London practice Studio Shaw proposed a radical transformation of DH with the introduction of an outdoor public cloisteresque park for students, locals and tourists to rest and dwell. An indoor hall for cultural events and concerts was also suggested, removing partitions inside DH. At which architectural integrity was raised by the panel. 5. Finally, Mawson Kerr paired with Steve Webb (cofounder of Webb Yates), reimagined a re-use of DH that engaged with the wider community of County Durham; an artisanal training college in partnership with Durham University. The scheme sought to maximise useable floor area, providing studio, workshop and exhibition spaces in the large interior volumes and turning the problem of concrete repair into its own use, an idea that Graham Farmer particularly enjoyed as a kind of live experiment.

(top) Norman, S.A. (2018) Save Dunelm House Campaign Design Charrette [Photograph]. (above) Mawson Kerr (2018) Design charrette proposal. (opposite-top) Levitt Bernstein (2018) Design charrette proposal. (opposite-middle) Hawkins Brown (2018) Design charrette proposal. (opposite-bottom) 6a Architects (2018) Design charrette proposal.

Maybe unsurprisingly, Ian Ramage from Durham University was unconvinced of each proposal and questioned their viability and use for the university. At the end of discussions, the reason given for the reluctance of the university to reinvest another 50 years into Dunelm House, given the durability of the building thus far, was the contentious issue of flexibility.


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What next? The design charrette was, by all measures, a great success, generating thoughtful and intelligent solutions and potential futures for Dunelm House. Yet the continued pessimism from the University demonstrates that the greatest challenge to overcome, before any actual redesign can take place, is that of changing the perception of Durham University towards Dunelm House, from a cumbersome problem to a valuable asset. It’s this concept of ‘value’ which needs to be assessed, beyond functionality, or aesthetic value, situating this important work of post war university architecture within the historic social and architectural fabric of Durham City. As has been the case throughout history for many buildings, not only brutalism, the tide of public opinion about what is (or isn’t) aesthetically fashionable is often what can condemn a building to an early grave. This factor can’t be disregarded, especially in the case of increasingly corporate and commercially competitive universities in which a well-defined campus ‘image’ can help attract students from all over the globe. However, aesthetic fashions weave in and out of history, as can clearly be seen by the clearing of swathes of Victorian building in the early post-war period, only to be missed once their architectural merit was realised post-demolition. Brutalism’s own merits in radical, sociopolitical ethics and design capture a pivotal moment in our built history and, with Dunelm House as a prime example, it too will undoubtedly be missed if it is lost. The question is, how to change public opinion before it is too late? Perhaps the catalyst of this change could stem from activating the student body who, in this age of education with increasingly business-like structures, hold more sway than they realise. Or possibly it is a question of engaging the wider public in understanding the socio-political ethics in Brutalist design. Then, in the case of Dunelm House, could an affection for both this unique socially motivated, deeply contextual design galvanise public support and sway the decision making of the University? Whatever the case, the campaign around Dunelm House raises fundamental questions about how architecture is valued today and the role of civic institutions as custodians and curators of our cities and towns.

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Value in Architectural Discourse 23rd May 2018

Exploring how values are established/ cultivated in architectural discourse (and possibly outside of it). Our documentary focuses on the question: ‘Using Dunelm house as a case study, how does agency affect conservation and the determination of value?’ It discusses who finds what valuable and why this is relevant. Why do certain buildings get deemed unworthy of retaining and what criteria do we use to ascertain value? We have been reading further around the topic in order to contextualise the documentary within current theoretical discourse.

[1] Cairns, S., & Jacobs, J. (2014). Buildings must die : A perverse view of architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press. [2] Cairns, S., & Jacobs, J. (2014) p.49. [3] Gibson, L. and Pendlebury, J., 2009. ‘Introduction: Valuing historic environments’, in Gibson, L. and Pendlebury, J. (ed.) Valuing historic environments. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 1–18. [4] Cairns, S., & Jacobs, J. (2014) p. 53. [5] Ibid. p. 55. [6] Ibid. p. 56. [7] Ibid. p. 56. (above) The MIT Press (2018) Buildings must die : A perverse view of architecture. Available at: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/buildingsmust-die (Accessed: 23 May 2018) (opposite) Gibson, L. and Pendlebury, J., 2009. ‘Introduction: Valuing historic environments’, in Gibson, L. and Pendlebury, J. (ed.) Valuing historic environments. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 1. [pdf]

Barbara Herrnstein Smith describes there being “double discourse of value” with which architecture sustains itself: economic and cultural. [1] This is further explained by Stephen Cairns & Jane M. Jacobs as being on one side, ‘a sanctified and aestheticized cultural sphere of value (understood as inspiration, creation, taste, test of time, intrinsic and transcendental value)’and the other, ‘within an economic sphere of value (calculation, references, costs benefits, princes and utility)’. [2] The former, cultural, value is considerably more fluid and transient way of defining value. Unlike economic value, it is ‘not an intrinsic quality but rather the fabric, object or environment is the bearer of an externally imposed culturally and historically specific meaning.’ This meaning can be interpreted differently by parties and in turn attract ‘value status depending on the dominant frameworks of value of the time and place.’ [3]


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introduction: Valuing Historic Environments lisanne gibson and John Pendlebury

Introduction

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The latter, economic value, relates to the production of space which feeds into a lack of conservation as we constantly demolish existing to produce the new. ‘Society is invested in the irreversibility of quantative growth,’ [4] and this capitalistic desire for ‘the new’ and its ties to constant production undermine cultural value associated with buildings. In the case of Dunelm House, it is certainly true that the Estates department is under immense pressure to demolish and rebuild the student’s union in favour of a more market appropriate building to entice prospective students to the university. Under capitalism there is the need for a more business-like marketing approach to attracting students, forcing the university to follow, ‘the vicissitudes of competition and the fluctuations of the market rather than any presence or absence of intrinsic value,’ and it is this, ‘that will determine the fate of buildings.’ [5] ‘Steven Groak notes, buildings are only ever sustained as coherent and permanent artefacts because of the incessant micro renewals – a mending here, a replacement there – that their inhabitants or proprietors perform on them.’ [6] Perhaps this is why Dunelm House has been condemned as having little value. The original building has not been sustained as a coherent whole due to incessant alterations rather than micro renewals. The building has been so damaged internally by inappropriate paint schemes, new service fittings and general clutter that the original design is almost illegible. The exterior has benefitted from a lack of alterations; however, it is in a state of disrepair after little to no maintenance over the last 15-20 years. It no longer retains the crisp aesthetic value it did when it was originally built.

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It is worth questioning whether the general attitude towards Dunelm House could change as ‘the value of objects is socially produced, contingent and malleable. Object value can mutate from that of a durable to that of rubbish, and back again, sometimes regardless of material

there is a contemporary imperative to consider different cultural, historical an social values as equal. If we accept this and take it take seriously, how do w overcome the practical issues this presents for the management as heritage o historic environments and cultural landscapes? this single question is probabl the most significant issue facing contemporary heritage management and policy. I is this challenge to heritage management that this rich compilation of essays on wide diversity of environments (physical and institutional) and landscapes aims t address. if the socially democratic context for our contemporary understanding o value is one of pluralization, involving the validation of multiple conceptions o value, what does this mean for acts of preservation which are, by their very nature based on processes which involve the fixing of meaning and value? all of the authors contributing to this collection proceed on the basis tha concepts of cultural, historical, or social value are culturally and historicall constructed. this theoretical orientation posits most crucially that value is no an intrinsic quality but rather the fabric, object or environment is the bearer o an externally imposed culturally and historically specific meaning, that attracts value status depending on the dominant frameworks of value of the time and place Such an orientation has consequences both for the assessment of significance an the heritage management of a building, object or environment. that concepts of value are constructed has become the dominant theoretica approach across the humanities and social sciences. in a democratic society it is argued, definitions of value cannot be singular but must allow for plura interpretations and meaning. In the heritage field this ‘cultural turn’ has le to a questioning of what constitutes value.1 this has resulted in erosion of th previously dominant notion of value which understood it as intrinsic to the objec or environment and able to be revealed by the correct processes of investigatio which could be conducted only by a limited body of experts.

1 see for instance, avrami, E., et al., Values and Heritage Conservation, (los angeles the getty conservation institute, 2000) and De la torre, m., Assessing the Values o Cultural Heritage, (los angeles: the getty conservation institute, 2002).

quality or integrity.’ [7] Brutalism has already seen a rise in socially produced value through the gentrification of structures such as Park Hill as well as the fetishisation of the compositional aesthetics on social media such as instagram. See also: John Pendlebury (2013) ‘Conservation values, the authorised heritage discourse and the conservationplanning assemblage’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 19(7), pp. 709-727. doi: 10.1080/13527258.2012.700282


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Case Studies Conservation in Practice

To develop a reasoned argument around the conversation of Dunelm House, it was necessary to research other case studies conservation in practice. The buildings to the left were chosen for their variety and all brought significant questions to the discussion. Park Hill, exceptionally contraversial and one of the most prominent examples of conservation of a Brutalist building. Due to its fame it was easy to find source material and contrasting opinions. The David Attenborough Building was an excellent example of how a Brutalist building can be repurposed and retained without the Listing process. The UEA ziggurats were an example of the Heritage Partnership agreements with Historic England and have been accused of too aggressively attempting to return to the original built form in their restoration. Broomhill Lido brought intersting questions about the role of activism in building conservation and how people's memories of place can almost be more important the architectural built fabric.


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Park Hill, Sheffield

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David Attenborough Building, Cambridge

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UEA Ziggurats, Norfolk

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Broomhill Lido, Ipswich

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Interviewees Diverse Opinions

We were exceptionally lucky to interview a large range of

people with very different views during the making of the documentary.

Alan Wilkinson Ewan Graham Roger Hawkins Tim Collett

KLH Architects HawkinsBrown Architects HawkinsBrown Architects 6a Architects

Catherine Croft Clare Price

Twentieth Century Society Twentieth Century Society

Elain Harwood

Historic England

Owen Hatherley

Journalist

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Madeleine Cater Dr. Stephen Parnell Dr. Adrian Green

Durham University Student Newcastle University Durham University

Martin Lovatt Dr. Mike Rands Ian Ramage

Felicity Raines Michael Eatherley Rosie Jones

UEA Estates Director CCI

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Durham University Estates

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Wife of the Architect Arup Engineer

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Screen Launch Diverse Opinions

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association with Newcastle University Architecture Society, the screening was held in Newcastle University’s Architecture Building, on Friday 18th January from 4pm6pm. We set up in their Crit 1 Space with a projector and a sound bar. As the draft was still awaiting copyright checks we were unable to screen it publicly, meaning the audience was unfortunately limited to architectural academics and students; who already have an awareness of the subject matter. The attendees were asked to comment via post-it notes during the screening and also through an informal discussion at the end of the documentary. Although, few of them had specific knowledge regarding Dunelm House or the topics covered in the documentary, it was a fantastic opportunity to test the delivery of our narrative.


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Screen Launch 24th January 2019

What did we set out to do?

How agency affects conservation of architecture and the “How does agency affect the conservation of buildings and the determination of value? Using Dunelm House as a live case study”

[1] Historic England (2015) Setting up a Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreement. Historic England Advice Note 5. Available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/setting-uplisted-building-hpa-advice-note-5/heag008-listed-building-hpa-an5/ (Accessed: 23 Jan. 2019) [2] Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd (2006) Conservation development strategy for the University of East Anglia: Issue 1 April 2006. Internal Report (Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd). Unpublished. Available at: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/documents/6207125/12391477/ UEA+Conservation+Development+Strategy+2006_reduced+size. pdf/7ecfa4c5-22ba-4aaf-bb4e-c50281153bb6 (Accessed: 23 January 2019) [3] Pendlebury, J. (2013) ‘Conservation values, the authorised heritage discourse and the conservation-planning assemblage’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 19(7), pp. 709-727. doi: 10.1080/13527258.2012.700282. p.714. [4] Ibid.

determination of value? Using Dunelm House as a case study. In January 2018, we set out to investigate the different agencies involved in the ongoing Save Dunelm House campaign and how they would influence the determination of value and what is worth conserving or demolishing. The initial aim was to map the campaign as a live case study. However, this evolved into a broader examination of Dunelm House as a whole, which we aligned against other case studies, their related agencies, value systems and subsequent conservation efforts. This research aimed to cover a broad range of topics, focusing on the concept of ‘what is valuable’ in architecture, not simply from an aesthetic perspective, but from a deeper study of the contextual, historical, social and practical value of existing buildings and how different perceptions of the importance of these elements determines whether a building is worth saving. We decided to use documentary as our medium of creative practice and planned to analyse both the process and reception of our work alongside the central question. We chose this method, in an age where architectural documentaries are becoming increasingly popular, to investigate its influential relationship between the general public and the media, as well as its potential role in architectural activism. Alongside this, we also intended to research both the critical theory and practice of cinematography to ensure a creative, convincing and coherent narrative.


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Reflections

Defining Value by Agency

Over the past year, the team has learnt how to develop and define a research topic from an initial point of interest. From our first meeting, we established a series of subquestions, focusing on the theoretical construct of value, conservation and cinematography as well as identifying physical case studies to develop a critical context around the main topic. Working with such a wide range of topics and then producing a research plan to hit these targets was challenging. However, the extensive time frame of the project allowed us to contextualise our sub-questions and prepare a large amount of content for our documentary.

Over the course of the project, we have developed a critical understanding of the definition of value in architecture (and how it’s constructed) from many different perspectives. Our case studies demonstrated that ‘buildings and places have different kinds of value to different stakeholders.’ [3] In the case of Park Hill, this resulted in a final design which is deemed as exemplary by some, who perceived the value to be do with profit margins (Urban Splash) and retaining the building, namely its structural frame (Historic England). Whereas, others (Owen Hatherley) saw it as a ‘failure’ due to the loss of its original design features and social agenda. However, when contrasted with the refurbishment of the David Attenborough building, the developers engaged with different external agencies, realising that ‘understanding values in this way helps good decision making.’ [4] This resulted in a building deemed by a wide range of agencies, developers, users and heritage organisations alike, as a successful development. Not only did the building experience a successful transition of re-use, retain critical aspects of its Brutalist architectural character and features, it also achieved to provide a contemporary and sustainably driven environment for its occupants.

Conservation The opportunity to work in this way, aligning theoretical research with a realised built output, especially within the often solely theoretical context of an architectural school, has allowed us to really understand and question the effects of agency in conservation of architecture. The experience has provided an in-depth perspective into the statutory criteria and systems for valuing Britain’s architectural heritage. From our discussions with Historic England and Twentieth Century Society, we learnt a great deal about UK’s listing process. Most importantly, we began to appreciate the perspectives of various agencies involved in this conservation method, allowing us to examine and challenge whether this method is as constructive or appropriate as it may first seem. Given Dunelm House’s on-going listing application, we carefully investigated how other universities approached conservation and the listing process of their Brutalist heritage. In the case of the UEA Lasdun campus, it provided an alternative method to standard listing procedures, through a Heritage Partnership Agreement and Conservation Development Strategy (CDS), to ensure the most important architectural features of the building are preserved. [1, 2] Similar measures could be applied to ease the process of the refurbishment and expansion of Dunelm House, without requiring approval from Historic England. On the other hand, the David Attenborough Building was unlisted, but the owner (University of Cambridge) and the client (The CCI) set up a collaborative approach to the building’s redevelopment, engaging a range of agencies that included the end user, heritage organisations and the public. Our study concluded that in both cases, it was the progressive actions of the owner which enabled these alternative methods of conservation to result in successful refurbishment. However, as Durham University intends to replace Dunelm House, this innovative practice will be difficult to achieve at this time.

Moving forward with our future architectural practice, resolving to identify and engage different agencies throughout the design process when working with heritage buildings will be extremely beneficial. Our practice in determining and visually diagramming agency will prove useful in both our own understanding of inevitably conflicting opinions involved in any project, but crucially, our ability to communicate and mediate this to clients. Documentary Film as Research Method By carrying out our research through a documentary film, we directly discussed relevant issues with different agencies in an interview format; a much more engaging and interactive medium for processing information than the typical, written publication. Consequently, our findings were heavily dependent on and restricted to the interview content. Therefore, a distinct, creative approach was adopted unlike anything we had previously experienced in architectural education. Namely, developing an interview style that elicited specific responses to be used to construct the documentary narrative. Practically, this involved developing tailor-made questions, both before and during each interview, that would produce relevant and insightful discussions. Our lack of experience in this method meant that we improved through practice as we learnt from mistakes made.

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It must be noted, at the early stages of the project, after researching a variety of documentary styles, we decided to adopt an ‘observational mode’ that sought to present a more balanced argument without biased participation as filmmakers; so not to antagonise any of the agencies within the documentary film, especially Durham University representatives. Whilst working collectively as a group helped achieve a degree of objectivity, having regular, external reviews of the film’s progress proved critical for us in maintaining the desired stance. Following our analysis of texts such as ‘Privacy and Publicity’ (B. Colomina), we were also very conscious of the film’s potential to directly influence and even invent a viewer’s perception of Dunelm House, depending on how we edited the film. Through a relentless process of editing and re-editing interview content, cutaway footage and music, the film’s portrayal of Dunelm House underwent several drastic changes and numerous refinements. The establishment of a storyboard narrative proved foundational to the documentary filmmaking process. Early on during the editing process, it very quickly became clear that translating the structure of a written essay into a compelling visual output was not a satisfactory technique. Rather than following a linear format, our collaborative working approach was informed by the editing process using Adobe Premiere Pro. By its very nature, this generated a constant to and fro between writing and editing activities, an in-between state; it became a thoroughly iterative process led by the ‘making’ of the film. The commitment to this practice has resulted in a concise, efficient and creative storytelling approach. It is probably these aspects of the project that will go on to affect our architectural practice in the most direct way. It has reaffirmed the importance of ‘telling a story’, and has broadened our methods of communicating that ‘story’ to the relevant agencies as a core facet to design and creative practice. Practical learning outcomes Over the course of this project, we have built our understanding of various cinematographic methods and how they can express a research topic to the public more informally, but also more directly, than a typical academic written piece of work. The most important skill that we developed from filmmaking was making a script for the documentary; using a cinematic storyboard method to collate all the gathered information in a consistent compartmentalised format, which could be easily edited

(opposite) Gair, E. (2018) Documentary filmmaking process.

and swapped around. We also gained skills in constructing and improvising interview questions, which further helped us to adjust our research with more detailed information. From the technical side of filmmaking, we acquired a practical knowledge of how to construct a professional interview scene, as well as how to operate various audio, video and lighting equipment. In this process, we also tested various camera settings and angles to achieve the most convincing shot of the interviewee. Another useful outcome was to learn how to manipulate the audience with captured footage using complex video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, which will prove to be a very useful tool to use for the development of our Masters thesis projects. All the editing process was carried out collaboratively by taking turns on each other’s work after editing of particular part of the film, which helped us to keep a consistent speed of production and avoid any arguments over the content. Working in a group context has been challenging at times, especially given the intrinsic collaborative nature of the research method. Nonetheless, it has been rewarding to experience how the group became increasingly holistic and the dynamic more natural, each contributing their individual personalities and strengths to the team. Subsequently, we have learnt a great deal from each other and will take these communal work ethics beyond the conclusion of this project. Fundamentally, this experience has allowed us to step outside of the design studio and given us the unique opportunity to engage with filmmakers, journalists, historians, architects and other experts we would otherwise have struggled to contact. The documentary has challenged both our technical and cognitive abilities, resulting in a final cut which we are extremely proud of and hope to screen to much wider audiences. The project we have developed has been one of genuine enjoyment and insight into this contemporary, relevant issue facing us as a society and as aspiring future architects. It has been a thoroughly exciting process working with documentary filmmaking as a method of research.


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DEFINE RESEARCH TOPIC

Define Sub-questions

Identify Case Studies

Identify Experts Identify Agencies

Write questions Storyboard a narrative

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Rough cut footage

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Group review

Film Interviews

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Edit footage

Storyboard narrative

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Documentary One Ruin Too Many

Link: https://vimeo.com/321510485

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Password: DunelmHouse

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Group Forum

Chris Bryant

Pooja Agrawal

Chris Hildrey

Pippa Goldfinger


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Radical Practice Symposium

Hosted by Dr Stephen Parnell, the Radical Practice Symposium encouraged students to think of different ways in which they might practice architecture, other than the traditional model. Four guests were invited in a "chain-reaction" format, Dr Parnell invited the first, and asked them to invite someone who they'd be interested to interview, and so along the chain. This resulted in the following guests who presented their work and interviewed their invited guest: Chris Byrant of alma-nac Chris Hildrey of Hildrey Studio Pooja Agrawal of Public Practice

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Pippa Goldfinger of Frome Town Council and the Architecture Centre in Bristol The talks given by Pooja Agrawal and Pippa Goldfinger gave me the most food for thought, as they were such nontraditional methods of achieving change. Pooja described Public Practice as 'non-radical' as it deals with mostly planning and the everyday, something I have been wanted to delve into since my undergraduate degree. This initiation of dialogue between different sectors in the construction industry seems incredibly beneficial, as it was by far the greatest challenge whilst I worked in practice before university. However, I would like to see it expanded beyond London to the regions.

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SIGNAL

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SIGNAL Technical Difficulties

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Another exciting aspect to the year has been the launch of SIGNAL, a new student led movement in association with Newcastle University Architecture Society. Throughout the year we held events such as skills sharing, student discussions, external lectures and a huge launch party at Star and Shadow cinema.

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STAGE V Architecture as Analogy Return of The Repressed


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INTRODUCTION

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VIENNA Return of the Repressed

Vienna is a city at the cusp of East and West, with an identity bound in the power AustroHungarian Empire, now broken and fragmented during the great wars of the last century. It clings to a decaying image of itself as a melting pot of culture and the arts, whilst attempting to project itself as progressive and relevant on the global scene. In this project, the brief focused on the urban fabric of the city and how it is inevitably influenced by the ever evolving and intertwined complexities of its social, phenomenological and physical realities. In order to create an understanding of this, I have analogised Vienna, the home of Freud’s psychoanalysis, following the comparison of Rome in ‘Civilisation and its Discontents’ as a damaged collective psyche and, instead of rejecting this analogy as Freud does, pushing it still further by subjecting the city to a rigorous psychoanalysis. The Second World War signalled the greatest period of change for Viennese culture. Although the city has a long history of anti-Semitic persecution, it had been living in a state of peace and progression, with its Jewish population welcome, growing exponentially and contributing hugely to the cultural identity of Vienna. The Anschluss (12th March 1938) brought with it a cultural decimation of the Jewish population and consequently the modern movement within the city. The city’s collective role in the war is something that to this day is dangerously under acknowledged and puts the city at risk of a repetition of history.

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During our week visit to Vienna, we focused our investigation on the most obvious sites of repressed memory. These were the Military Flak Türmes as well as the Ringstrasse Development. These all are centrally located around the InnerStadt, creating a protective as well as isolating barrier to the surrounding city. Vienna’s indestructible FlakTürmes were the initial focal points, with six of these colossal structures looming over their surroundings but seemingly ignored by the occupants of the city. They were commissioned by the Nazi Regime to defend against British Aircraft attack during the Second World War and thus stand as the most physical representation of the occupation.

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However, as our stay in Vienna drew to a close, the striking difference in the nature of the historic Inner Stadt to this 19th Century Ringstrasse drew our attention. This Beaux-Arts development was built over the Glacis (open-fire) zone originally retained as wasteland to protect the city centre against the threat of external attack. However, when the Ringstrasse was constructed between the 1860s and 1890s the real threat to the city was no longer external attack, but a rebellion amongst its growing bourgeois population. Its architecture is one, not of Vienna, but of stolen styles from throughout Europe. Extraordinarily out of human scale and touch with its surroundings, it is a clear symptom of Vienna’s damaged collective psyche attempting to portray a false and exaggerated image of itself. In order to address the cyclical nature of Vienna’s repression, now in 2017, we must create a disruption within the city to shine a light on its dark history that is masked by the corpse of its past culture. This will allow the hope of a new culture, reflective and aware of all the success and flaws in its own history, to break out from the repressed interiors Vienna is so famed for.

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NARRATIVE RECONFIGURATION

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SYMPOSIUM Installation

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ur group work culminated in a sensory experiment, utilising diverse mediums to cognitively map Vienna from an emotional and experiential perspective. The group composed films and curated the symposium space to evoke a psychological and bodily reaction to the site. This reaction was documented and we invited participants to engage their freely associated thoughts directly. https://vimeo.com/249376979

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RETURN OF THE REPRESSED

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ANALYTICAL MAPPING Vienna in Shadow

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eflecting on the brief, demanding a response to the repressed, hidden and the missing in Vienna, my initial mapping of the city employed a method of discovering places where history has been forgotten or overlaid. Today, the wound of fascism runs deep in the emotional language of the city, evident only through the thunder of its own silence, as Vienna attempts to write its legacy in the pages of history as the first victim of the war. The monumental Nazi FlakTürmes stand as the physical embodiment of this silence; their spectre looming over the cityscape and yet their presence largely repressed and ignored. But the further they are cast into the darkness, the further the warnings of history go unheeded and threaten a devastating return. The brief invites a response to tackle Freudian psychoanalytical theories of repetitive compulsion, which are afflicting Vienna, where the ‘nothing is worth anything except the well-known, [pre-war culture] and the new [modernity] is odious.’1

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1) Ricoeur, P. (2017) ‘Architecture and Narrativity’, in Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies, ISSN: 2156-7808, Vol: 7, Issue: 2, Page: 31-42

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PAMLIPSEST Overlaying Built Memory

Isolating sites across the city from my initial mapping showed a concentration of Repression connecting the Heldenplatz to the Military Flak TĂźrme, so I decided to focus my investigations more heavily on this specific zone.


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‘...the palimpsest: a succession of layers that seem to bury traces of the past, even though none of these traces are extinguished.’ - Nadia Bartolini (2014)

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Understanding the deeply embedded travel routes across the Glacis, pre-Ringstrasse, helps to make sense of the spaces currently occupying the site. The historic connection between the Military Base, Imperial Stables and Imperial Palace drives a clear line of inhabitation through the centuries which even the deliberately past-ignorant Ringstrasse could not neglect to acknowledge.

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1. Military Base Flak Turme 2. MuseumQuartier (previously Imperial Stables) 3. Natural History Museum 4. Art History Museum 5. Heldenplatz (site of Hitler’s speech during the Anschluss) 6. Imperial Palace 7. Parliament Building 8. Site of the Volksgarten 9. Site of the City Walls


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BARRIERS Historical, Psychological & Physical

Prior to the violent cultural decimation of WW2, Vienna was already caught in a self-induced stranglehold of anxiety regarding its identity and future in an increasingly global environment. The political answer, to assuage its people whilst simultaneously presenting itself as a cultural omphalos on the world map, was the Ringstrasse. A Potemkin, Beaux-Arts style 19th Century development over the Glacis wasteland, is evident of Vienna’s apprehension over its future presence within a growing international stage; appropriating foreign neo-classical imagery and styles.

‘Whenever I stroll the Ring, it always seems to me as if a modern Potemkin had wanted to carry out his orders here, as if he had wanted to persuade somebody that in coming to Vienna he had been transported into a city of nothing but aristocrats...’3 In attempting to develop new modes of representation, one of my experiments was to model the physical and psychological barriers in the site. The model to the left shows the intensity of the barrier of each building through verticality, the banal exterior keeping hidden the mysterious interiors for which Vienna is famed.

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‘Thought starts in the middle, at the point of intersection of series, events or processes which, however temporarily, share a common milieu.’4

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3) A. Loos, The Potemkin City (1898) 4) Elizabeth Grosz, Architecture from the outside : essays on virtual and real space , (2001)

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Shadow

Persona

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MAPPING JUNG Archetypes

‘The unconscious . . . is the source of the instinctual forces of the psyche and of the forms or categories that regulate them, namely the archetypes.’5 This project explores a Jungian approach to analyse the built psyche of Vienna; identifying the imbalances within the archetypes of Shadow, Persona and Anima to find a balance of the collective Self. In this instance, the Shadow archetype is synonymous with primal urges, desires and aggression; the collective unconscious. The Persona is the protective barrier, the serene mask concealing the turmoil of the inner Shadow to the outside world. The Anima is the repressed, the creative and the cultural – the very thing that was so alive in Vienna prior to WW2 and the cultural annihilation that began in 1938.

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Under this analysis, it is evident that physical and phenomenological barriers of the Ringstrasse embody the Persona of Vienna and dominate the site. This false image needs to be disrupted through means of the Anima to allow an acceptance of the Shadow. Over a centuries old historic route, the connection between the Imperial Palace and Stables (now the MuseumsQuartier) is well driven into the unconscious memory of Vienna. The site is also deep with repressed images from the Anschluss; the Heldenplatz being the stage on which Hitler delivered his first speech to cheering crowds, now used as a car park. This clearly is the strongest example of the interplay between persona and shadow being enacted within the city, and therefore where the first urban intervention shall be sited.

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5) Carl Jung; The Structure of the Psyche; CW 8, par. 342.

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INTERIM CRIT Jung’s Archetypes

‘It seems to me that it would be far better to stoutly avow our spiritual poverty, our symbol-lessness, instead of feigning a legacy to which we are no legitimate heirs at all.’6 My initial design solution broke down the site into elements of the unconscious. The Flakturme embodying the Shadow, the Ringstrasse as the Persona and the MuseumQuartier as the Anima. I struggled with a sequence of moves attempting to represent the healing processes of Jung Theory through Dream and Symbol Analysis, Free Association and Creative Output. However, it quickly became apparent that this would not be sufficient as the Archetypes, although imbalanced, are present in all elements of the built environment. A more subtle approach would be necessary .

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6) Carl Jung; Archetypes and the Unconscious, p. 15

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DEVELOPED DESIGN Il Faut Cultiver Notre Jardin

‘…human gardens, however self-enclosed their world may be, invariably take their stand in history, if only as counterforce to history’s deleterious drives. When Voltaire ends Candide with the famous declaration “Il faut cultiver notre jardin,” the garden in question must be viewed against the background of the wars, pestilence and natural disasters evoked by the novel. The emphasis on cultivation is essential. It is because we are thrown into history that we must cultivate our garden…. History without gardens would be a wasteland. A garden severed from history would be superfluous.’7 This analogy of the garden as the psyche inspired me to begin looking at the rhythms of permeations within the Ringstrasse Development as a way to begin to fragment its formality and strengthen the Anima. However, having followed this line of inquiry it seemed clear that a more invasive and disruptive methodology was required to allow for a deep enough cut to awaken the repressed in Vienna.


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GORDON MATTA-CLARK Anarchitecture

‘to realise an order that is a pure creation of his spirit … a well-mapped-out (housing) scheme, constructed on a mass-produced basis, can give a feeling of calm, order and neatness and inevitably imposes discipline on the inhabitants’. Here we are given a glimpse of the more worrying political implications of Le Corbusier’s thinking; in order to realise his vision, the architect becomes drawn in to maintaining civil order.’ James Attlee, whilst comparing the work of Gordon MattaClark and Le Corbusier, suggests that actually the role of the architect can be implicated by wider political motivation. This is evident in the out of human scale, politcally charged, oppressive and formal nature of the Ringstrasse. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8

In order to disrupt this repressive cycle, a fracture or cut must be made in order to throw light onto the shadow, an act of transgression which breaks the rigidity of the Ringstrasse.

‘Instead of causing us to recoil in horror, Matta-Clark suggests with dark humour, the rat, along with the shadowy unexplored regions it inhabits, should be cherished.’7 ‘ANARCHITECTURE WORKING IN SEVERAL DIMENTIONS (sic) MAKING THE DISCUSSIONS THE SHOW AND THE WORK. KEEPING IT AN ONGOING PROCESS. NOT FINISHING JUST KEEPING GOING AND STARTING OVER AND OVER’8

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7) Harrison, P. (2008) Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition; The University of Chicago Press p. x 7) James Attlee, ‘Towards Anarchitecture: Gordon Matta-Clark and Le Corbusier’, Tate Papers, no.7, Spring 2007, http://www.tate.org.uk/ research/publications/tate-papers/07/towards-anarchitecture-gordonmatta-clark-and-le-corbusier 8) Gordon Matta Clark, Art Card related to Anarchitecture Images to Right: http://www.sympathyfortheartgallery.com/ post/29927430648/alecshao-gordon-matta-clark-splitting-1974#

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FINAL DESIGN The Cut

The proposal seeks to fracture the formal, rigid, inhuman nature of the Ringstrasse – casting light into the Shadow. The gardens will also allow an encounter with the Anima through creative spaces, filling what was once void, to be occupied by both the Viennese and their artist community. In Jung theory the creative outlet allows a sublimation of the Shadow, an expression which would otherwise be repressed. GC1

‘Notre jardin is never a garden of merely private concerns into which one escapes from the real; it is that plot of soil on the earth within the self, or amid the social collective, where the cultural, ethical and civic virtues that save reality from its own worst impulses are cultivated. Those virtues are always ours.’ 8

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The proposal of ‘Notre Jardin’ stems from the lack of the Anima, the creative and the caring. As well delving yet deeper into the historical palimpsest of the site, to preRingstrasse where the forms of ‘Volksgarden’ underlay the Heldenplatz. Using forms from the deeply embedded built psyche to systematically and therapeutically break the barriers of the Persona, the proposed pockets of urban garden (Anima) will utilise utopian method to cultivate the collective Self of Vienna.

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8) Harrison, P. (2008) Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition; The University of Chicago Press p. x

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2 3

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Artist Studios & Workshop Spaces Formal Reflective Interior Gardens Fractured Working Exterior Community Allotments


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FINAL DESIGN The Cut

1. Artist Studios & Workshop Spaces These spaces will act as a catalyst drawing the Viennese into a void in their city currently occupied purely by tourists. Through means of creative outlet and the collective notions of ‘care’ it will allow its citizens moments of encounter with each other. The floor plan also draws on themes from earlier in my design work, reconstructing and fragmenting the form of the Natural History Museum.

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2. Formal Reflective Gardens These gardens, at the heart of the fracture into the existing building will retain ruinous elements of the structure and memories of its formal nature. Inviting the Viennese to reflect on the disruption and fragmentation.

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3. Fractured Allotments

Community

‘A garden that comes into being through one’s own labour and tending efforts is very different from the fantastical gardens where things pre-exist spontaneously, offering themselves gratuitously for enjoyment.’9 These allotments, will act as a vessel for care, allowing the gratification permitted only by one’s own work. Allowing healing through productive and creative outlet.

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FINAL DESIGN The Cut

As occupants traverse these creative spaces, they navigate the path to self and collective reflection – gaining a wider perspective of their city, with focal points bringing sharp focus to the concealed military Flak Turm and sites of repressed memory such as the Heldenplatz. This model was made to display ‘the cut’ and how it would disrupt the site. However, on reflection , it shows the break in the structure in too cleanly a manner - something I think works against the intention of attempting to fracture the rigid nature of the site. Therefore, my drawings show better the roughness of ‘the cut’ which in built reality would display the coarseness of the raw, disruptive nature of the intervention. GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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SELF REFLECTION Stage V Semester I

This semester truly challenged me, as a developing designer, to think about architecture from a completely different perspective. The brief, Return of the Repressed, combined with the reading list, provided a springboard for diving into innovative ways of analysing architecture.

‘Can architecture work (its or an) outside? What is it to open up architecture to thought, to force, to life, to the outside? ... Can it become something - many things - other than what what it is and how it presently functions?’10 A focus on Utopian method (thinking outside architecture) of pushing design to its theoretical limits has provoked a way of thinking that goes beyond the simple built function of buildings, towards a deeper, more critical interpretation of the wider scope of architecture as an academic subject. Working so intensely with an unknown city also provided a set of unique challenges, especially in the context of a brief which required an in depth knowledge of Vienna’s psyche. To develop this understanding, I had to delve into the underlying causes of the ‘symptoms’ of repression. This was achieved by a deep study of the history of Vienna, something I had previously never attempted in my architectural education. I found pursing the history behind individual sites fascinating and inevitably influential in my design work. The brief also required a deep investigation into works which I would previously never have associated with architecture. I looked extensively at the psychoanalytical work of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and the philosophical work of Robert P. Harrison to develop a design thesis prior to the development of a design itself. Analogising a city as a collective psyche allowed me to investigate architectural methods completely alien to anything I had previously attempted. Looking retrospectively at my development, it is clear

that my perceptions of both the role of the architect and the definition of ‘radical architecture’ have fundamentally changed. Following from my reading of Ricouer’s Architecture and Narrativity, I would now consider the ability to form a coherent critique of the past and present as integral to creating a ‘reconstruction’ architecture that confronts issues facing society, rather than ‘repeating’ them.

‘The encounter with a great artwork always represents not only an ‘aesthetic’ but also a theoretical, moral and emotional experience, which engages the person at all levels and leads us to speak of art’s truth, of its cosmic nature, and of its ontological meaning.’ 11 Furthermore, I now have a greater appreciation for the role of fine art and architectural discourse in influencing my design strategy. Having researched the bold work of Matta-Clarke’s Anarchitecture, my appreciation of the role theoretical projects can play in influencing the built environment has grown exponentially. As a result, I will look to theoretical and artistic projects more for inspiration in the future and also continue to research and critique the precedents I use, rather than simply judging them based on their aesthetic value. When reflecting on the above, I think the overarching theme of my development as an architect this semester concerns the role of theory in guiding design. I will continue this method of thorough site investigation leading to the creation of a thesis into the future.

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10) Elizabeth Grosz, Architecture from the outside : essays on virtual and real space , (2001) 11) Gianni Vattimo, Art’s Claim to Truth (New York: Columbia, 2008), p.158

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STAGE V Architecture as Analogy Detailing Experiences


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CATALYST Museum of Applied Art (MAK) GC1

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ollowing from the large urban scale of the previous semester, this brief took the inverse. It required an investigation of fine details, material and technologies, and, through those, the design of a building. Our studio brief required a museum extension to existing buildings within Vienna, the Host. As well as this, the extension should focus on the design methodologies and principles of a chosen architect, the Ghost, who worked in the city in the 60s and 70s, arguably Austria’s most experimental and radical artistic period since the Second World War. The MAK, built in 1868, was part of Vienna’s Ringstrasse development, sited to the East of the city centre. The building was originally designed to both house a museum and the University of Applied Arts. It is an anomaly in the Ringstrasse, being of Neo-Renaissance style and faced in brick, instead of Neo-Baroque or Classical like much of the rest of the development. The building lacks relationship to the human scale and, designed on Beaux-Arts principles, is axis-less, its boundaries infinite and unconstrained by the limits of its site context. These two initial investigative sketches start to analyse its repetitive nature and demonstrate how this manifests at both the urban and detail scales.

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Top Left: The location of the MAK pre-Ringstrasse (1858)

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GROUP MAPPING Site Access & Façade Studies

Site Access Reflected

During our first week of investigation of the MAK, we worked together as a group mapping its context, history, environment, materiality and detail.

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This exercise in multiple methods of survey proved to be exceptionally useful in informing our later projects. For example, this map to the left shows the main access routes into the site, displaying the two major U-bahn stations to the East and West, which are the most common points of access for visitors.

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Façade Studies

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The MAK’s façade was designed by architect Heinrich Ferstel and its exposed brickwork is unusual for Viennese buildings of this era. Façades with intentionally exposed brickwork in Vienna were used more for factories or barracks, but rarely for public or residential buildings. The architect introduced visible bricks and terracotta ornaments on the new museum and school for the arts and crafts on the Ringstrasse from 1866 to 1873 (Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie, Kunstgewerbeschule). It was inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum following Rudolf von Eitelberger’s visit to the world exhibitions in London, in 1862. At this time the new movement for ornamental design, in reaction to neoclassic purism, was spreading from England. The Austrian Museum for Art and Industry, later called the Museum for Applied Arts, was a working tool for new and high-quality design for the crafts and industry. The well-preserved façades of the MAK show yellow and red brickwork with basement and square quoins made from limestone.

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WALTER PICHLER Analogies of Life

‘‘By means of analogy he replicates the archetypal acts of life; through irony he lucidly acknowledges the ultimate sentence.’

‘Birth,

Love, and Death are the underpinnings of

tragedy’s classic structure’

Walter Pichler is my chosen Ghost. These drawings which depict intensely the occupation of the body within space. He was obsessed with analogising life movements through the medium of drawing and sculpture, often drawing himself into his work. This intensity is something which I aim to emulate in both my architecture and drawing style for this semester. GC1 GC2

Colliding Monument

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‘[Pichler]introduced a radically adventurous new plasticity to architecture ... in which cities might be buried underground as single units or dispersed as continuous sculptural topographies in the landscape ...

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‘where sacred spaces would be constructed from the interstices between colliding monumental forms.’

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Emilio Ambasz, (1975) Curator of Design The Museum of Modern Art, New York

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MODEL OF PICHLER Monuments of Life

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Combining these two elements of Pichler’s discourse; I analogised and collided two monumental moments of life: Love - a place of ambiguity, encounter and warm textures, followed by death - a place of solitude, reflection and coldness. This model attempts to analogise love and death moments and analyse how the collision of materiality and occupation affects the threshold between spaces. The rougher, warmer, dynamic textures of timber on the side of love have an inevitable draw to the entrance of death where a cold, dark series of cellular chambers can be glimpsed, cast from concrete to analogise the permanence and solitude of death. This model is at 1:20 scale and directly draws on the length of limbs and body parts as shown on the previous pages.

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I have tried to respond to Pichler’s drawings through depicting how the human body would inhabit and move through the chambers in my drawings whilst I planned the model as well as my photographs once it was complete.

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WALTER PICHLER Houses for Sculpture

‘Ever since I began working, I never understood how sculptors could pay so little attention to the space that surrounds their work, why space should be treated so carelessly.’’ - Walter Pichler

In Pichler’s later life, he created houses for his sculptures at his farm. This method of creating a space which relates to (and often amplifies) the sculptural form and atmospheric elements of a work is something I wanted to incorporate into my design.


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RELATING TO THE MAK Houses for Identity

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Following from Pichler’s houses for sculptures, I decided to treat the MAK as a sculpture for my next investigative model. When taxonomising the MAK as a series of sculptural forms, the defining form is the arch of the window frame. They are the strongest shape, as well as the only connection between interior and exterior. This I chose to be the identity of the MAK.

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CATALYST Timber meets Concrete GC1

The model photographed on the left, brings the openings to human scale, relating to my previous model’s tectonics, it grounds these dynamic timber moments into a sunken, solid concrete base designed to be reflective and static. The main concept model was the result of smaller test models such as the one below. It was a real challenge learning how to cast the negative to create a flush timber to concrete surface.

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CONTEXTUALISING THE MAK Finding New Axis This collage investigates the wider context of the MAK within Vienna. It overlays the historic city onto the existing highlighting the original major routes into and out of the inner city. The MAK sits on the Eastern access road across the Glacis. The collage also picks out and draws new axis toward current artistic hubs within the city: The MuseumQuartier, the Flak Turme store, and the Wittgenstein Museum.


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CATALYST Reorientating the MAK The collage to the left is an an accumulation of many investigative images. The original axisless drawing sits beneath a study of the historic Glacis Lines, a flow study and a series of axis which pull out lines towards other artistic hubs around the city. This style of representation was inspired by Walter Pichler’s drawings which depict intensely the occupation of the body within space. This attempts to analogise the movement of a city’s body through space.


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BIRTH New Lobby Seminar Rooms BAU Magazine Exhibition LOVE Cafe Temporary Exhibition/Flea Market Workshops Library DEATH Pichler’s Friends Exhibition Archive Solo Study Space Reeection Axis


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SITING THE EXTENSION View to the Site from the East

Pedestrian Flow

Using Pichler’s method of analogising life moments, this initial site plan takes on the narrative of ‘Birth, Love and Death’. The spaces will blend and merge together creating transitional intercises between. The location of each element is also crucial to the narrative. ‘Birth’ will be born out of the existing structure of the MAK, inheriting elements of its identity through composition and form. It creates a new pull into the MAK as it draws pedestrian traffic by blocking the obvious route into the city and enveloping the street. View to the Site from the West

‘Love’, sited within the historic city boundary, at a major crossroads into and out of the centre, will create a dynamic, open space with moments of encounter and crossed paths. It iss entirely glazed and accessible at ground floor level, allowing a view path into the new building, inviting in passers-by. ‘Death’, located in the Stadtpark, will create a space for collective solitude, with narrowing opportunities for social interaction and allowing a solitary reflective experience. The new entrances at Birth and Love will capture pedestrian flow coming to the site from the East and West via the historic road into the inner city, as well as foot flow from the nearby U-Bahn Stations. They will be strikingly different in their Ringstrasse context, whilst being respectful of the scale and stature of the existing.

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BIRTH Inheriting the MAK

Expose the Glacis

The first building in the sequence inherits the taxonomised elements of the original building, whilst addressing its lack of relationship to the external street. The corner of the building is first demolished, along the lines of the preRingstrasse Glacis paths, opening up the interior spaces. The characterising weight of the thick exterior wall is pushed out and envelopes the street, pulling in passing foot traffic and creating a focal point on the corner of the building with the most visual exposure. The strong sculptural form of the arches on the existing MAK is exploited to create openings whilst framing the defining shape of the windows.

Cut the Identity

Push the Wall

Extend the Envelope

The roof rafters are extruded to create a semi-enclosed space, connecting the new to the existing, enveloping the external street.


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INTRODUCTION

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BIRTH

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BIRTH A New Beginning

The new extension will draw pedestrian traffic by enclosing the foot way, impacting directly on passers-by by making them aware of the interior of the MAK. This plays on Viennese conceptions of interior an exterior by creating a colossal physical barrier, mimicking the walls of the existing, but pushed out into the public realm encapsulating anyone who walks by. The flow studies below show the movement into the new lobby. There are multiple access points, through the arches from across the street, and also by directly disrupting the existing pathway. This then pinches to a point around the central reception desk, creating an initial point of interaction and orientation to both the existing MAK and the new extension. This is the point where a tourist’s journey through both the buildings begins, they can take the lift to the bridge and access the new extension, or they can see glimpses into the floors of the existing MAK and chose one to explore.

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PRIMER - JOURNEY

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BRIDGE

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BAU BRIDGE Expanding opportunities

As the bridge begins to expand towards the Love building, there are moments which highlight the transition between spaces and expansion of routes. The façade to the bridge also signifies a transition between the two buildings, with concrete rib panels which gradually break up, interspersing with timber slats. This creates an internal environment which slowly becomes brighter and less enclosed. The connecting bridge from the MAK to the ‘Love’ building holds the beginning of Pichler’s career - the BAU Magazine, bottom right. The top perspective shows the view from the ramp leading directly to the top floor of the cafe, giving glimpses into the BAU magazine library and the lower level of the cafe space. This point really highlights how the building is about to expand into multiple levels with multiple uses. The lower perspective shows the view from the lower floor of the cafe, back towards the MAK. The tilt of the ramp and the lines of the internal structure all converge towards the Birth building, drawing the eye to that single point of access. This emphasizes the concept of birth opening up to the rest of the building.

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The flow studies to the left show the movement across the bridge between the Birth and Love. The journey begins at the pinch point of the Birth building, a single entrance and locus of flow. As the occupants enter this transitional space, moving in the direction of love, they begin to be presented with new routes and choices. This reflects the younger stages of life, where there is some guidance and routes which begin to open up and expand as they’re travelled.

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Catalyst Model

Structural Glulams

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Cafe & Bar

Fleamarket

Artisan Workshops

Library

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L O V E Analogising Life in Vienna

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The second building analogises the life moment of ‘Love’. It uses the dynamic elements from my previous catalyst model in the form of colossal structural glulams. These pinch and pull apart to create different routes and a constantly shifting environment as one passes through. The building’s schedule also reflects upon crucial social elements of Viennese life. The top two floors draw the majority of visitors, with a cafe and bar. The first floor contains a market for resident artists and artisans to sell products made on the ground floor which also provides communal workshops. This takes a new spin on the currently exceptionally popular Viennese Fleamarkets, connecting this element of Viennese life to the MAK. The basement reflects Vienna’s desire for learning and education with a library dedicated to art and artisianal craft.

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THE DOMESTIC TABLE

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ENCOUNTER CafĂŠs and Bars

The top two floors reflect the Viennese traditional social spaces of cafĂŠs and bars. They are deliberately placed on the top two floors to draw occupants through the other floors, creating the possibility of encounter with activities on different levels. The flow studies on the previous page show the many routes into and out of the bar. The main route from the bridge opens up as it enters the building, filtering into an open plan, allowing occupants to make choices about where to explore. The atria provide glimpses into the lower floors, whilst flooding the space with light, creating a dynamic constantly changing space as shadows are cast by the structural glulams and the facade.

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L O V E Reinventing the Fleamarket

The First floor relates to Vienna’s fleamarkets, a huge social pull for both tourists and Viennese citizens. A place for browsing, chatting and observing.

First Floor Entry to Love

Looking at the flow study above, the majority of tourist traffic from the MAK will enter the Love building at this level, having crossed the bridge through the BAU Magazine gallery. At the point of connection with the building, the occupants are faced with a multitude of opportunities for different routes, as well as glimpses into activity on all floors through the central atrium. At the point of entry, they can chose to browse through the fleamarket, which allows a space for pop up stalls selling goods made by local artists and artisans on the floor below. This use reflects the concept of encounter by allowing a point of informal communication between the artists and their buyers.

Stair to Ground Floor

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However, the occupants can also bypass the fleamarket by taking the escalator to their left, taking them directly to the basement level library and moving straight onto the tunnel galleries.

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They’re also presented with a stair to the Ground floor level, with a focal point of the doors at the South West corner of the building, leading them into the heart of the city.

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The Ground Floor is to be completely accessible for pedestrians, with sliding doors across the perimeter walls to the North, West and South. As shown in the diagrams above, this means it’s permeable in nearly all directions, absorbing much of the foot traffic from the city. The main point of access at the ground floor will be from the South West, the direction of the nearby U-bahn station. The glulams have been manipulated to direct this traffic towards the main MAK building, straight through a central street in the heart of the building, shown in the perspective to the right. However, reflecting the theme of ‘Love’, and this being a building of encounter, dynamism and glimpses, there are many fluctuating choices of routes through the space. Many draw the majority of new visitors with clear, wide stairs and corridors, others are smaller cut throughs for well-versed occupants of the building. Just like the city, with unknown passages revealing themselves with familiarity.

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STRUCTURAL STRATEGY Inspiration from the Tate Modern

The second building analogises the life moment of ‘Love’. It uses the dynamic elements from my previous Catalyst model in the form of colossal structural glulams. These pinch and pull apart to create different routes and a constantly shifting environment as one passes through. A visit to the Tate Modern Switch House really inspired the manifestation of these structural glulams. I designed a structure which is legible horizontally from the exterior, reflecting the stratification of the floors. However, the vertical elements are only legible from the interior, again analogising the Viennese social culture of revealing everything only when you’re on the inside.


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L O V E Detail Model : Structural Study

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I built this model in order to explore the tectonic relationship between the materials and to experiment with the lighting conditions the facade would induce. Materially, the contrast between the heaviness of the concrete base and the glulam and CLT upper floors is really apparent in this model.

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L O V E Detail Model : Form Study The first, second and third floors float on the glulams as platforms, each with its own staggered balcony - allowing glimpses down to the lower floors, slowly covering more of the floor area and emphasizing the transition between Love and Death. This is shown in the model photographs to the left showing the views from the Third and Ground floors through the spaces.

Below: Precedent, Tate Modern showing concrete interior and glimpses up the structure


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STRUCTURAL STRATEGY Timber: CLT and Glulam After investigating The Wood Innovation Centre building, I began using the glulam columns to free the internal CLT floors from touching the external facade. This would allow the glimpses of activity between platforms necessary to communicate the building’s concepts of encounter.

Below: Precedent, Wood Innovation Centre

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L O V E Precedent: Library and Toy Library in Spiez

Detail Model : Facade Study The extract from my Tell the Tale Detail shows the build up of my external wall at 1:25. 3) 40x100 mm wrot and stained softwood facade strips, 60x60x20 mm plastic distance pieces, 20 mm sawn and stained softwood vertical boarding, 30x50 mm battens & counterbattens, windproof barrier, 180mm rigid insulation, vapour membrane, 120mm CLT panel,50x50mm battens at600 centres, 50mm acoustic insulation, 20mm STIL Acoustic Groove R insulation panel in Siberian Larch

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I was hugely influenced by the Facade system for the Library and Toy Library in Spiez. (Shown in the image below) The use of the fine timber slats originated from my Pichler detail model, with creating varying elements all cut from the same profile. The use of stained timber on the exterior reflects the design intention to separate the interior and exterior, contrasting the natural unstained CLT.

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L O V E Detail Model : Facade and Lighting Study

I built this model in order to explore the tectonic relationship between the materials and to experiment with the lighting conditions the facade would induce. As can be seen from these lighting studies, the timber slats on the facade create a really dynamic interior space which will respond to the changing lighting conditions throughout the day and seasons. The balustrade detail is designed to reflect the exterior and add another layer of dynamism to the shadows internally.

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Internal Wall: 20mm Plywood, 100mm Insulation, 20mm Plywood Larch Seated Bench Larch Workbench Acoustic Beading 10mm Polished Concrete Finish 70 mm Underfloor Heating Screed Polythene Separating Layer 25 mm Impact-Sound Insulation Polythene Separating Layer 2x 50 mm EPS Insulation 500 mm Reinforced Concrete Floor Suspended Soffit: 40x60 mm Battens, 40 mm mineral-fibre acoustic insulation, Sound Absorbent Felt, STIL Acoustic Groove R Panels

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L O V E Internal Furniture

I wanted to reference the timber columns within the smaller details in my design. This resulted in these benches which have angled timber elements supporting platforms. These will be nestled onto the plywood framed internal walls. The walls to the workshop also include acoustic separating beads to provide some insulation between the louder spaces and the main building.

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Internal Wall and Furniture Details 1 : 1 0

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L O V E Balustrade

The balustrade detail is designed to reflect the exterior facade and add another layer of dynamism to the shadows internally. The balustrade also fluctuates on different levels, depending on the use of the space. The top two floors have extended rails which act as a place to rest drinks, creating an environment where occupants can pause and chat. The first floor fleamarket has a shortened rail, allowing for more movement around the floor, reflecting the design intentions of open plan free flow.

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LOVE TO DEATH Pichler’s Friends Exhibition

Narrowing Pathways

The next part of the journey takes you underground, a journey analogising the later years in life as opportunities begin to close and a greater sense of purpose and direction is found. This tunnel leads you between Love and Death, beginning with three routes which gradually descend further underground, merging into a single pathway. Like the previous connecting building, this space reflects a part of Walter Pichler’s life. As he slowly became more reclusive, the work of his friend’s became more prevalent. This exhibition looks at the works of Hans Hollein, Friedrich Achleitner and Raimund Abraham. All three approached architecture in very different ways, Hollein made buildings, sculptural forms. Achleitner focused on discourse and Abraham obsessively drew imaginary worlds. However, despite three very different methods, they all had one single, uniting draw : Architecture.

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Again, albeit somewhat ironically, this curation reflects that all paths inevitably lead to a single conclusion.

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DEATH GROUND LEVEL PARK

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Outer access ring in the archive

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DEATH Collective Solitude and Reflection

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Collective solitude space in the heart of the archive

Leading the occupant on an ascending route into the Stadtpark. The ramp is framed by a series of arches, linking to my original catalyst model, reducing the windows of the MAK to a human scale and referencing the original building. As the ramp ascends, there are views through windows to either side of the archive, providing glimpses into the underworld.

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The upper perspective on this page shows the effect of the circular floor plan of the archive. The winding path never allows the occupant a full view of the space, but creates a series of repetitive corridors which narrow toward the centre of the archive. The lower perspective shows the solo study spaces. They all face the central void through translucent glazing, this allows the occupant an awareness of other individuals but no direction connection. A place of collective solitude.

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CRTICIAL REFLECTION Stage V Semester II

This semester truly challenged me, as a developing designer, to think about architecture from a completely different perspective. The brief, which focused on obsessively analysing another architect’s work and reflecting that investigation into a design, allowed me to run my own ideas in parallel to discover where my own design principles lie Working with Walter Pichler was exceptionally eye opening as he was such a reclusive and obsessive character. He really designed for the individual experience and very heavily involved himself with materiality and detail. I really learnt a lot about how to manipulate occupants through buildings from obsessing over the movement of the human body through space, although I focused more on collective flow than the individual as perhaps Pichler would have done. Pichler has also challenged my representational techniques, I have been heavily influenced by his drawing style and will continue to develop methods of capturing movement in my images. The brief was dramatically different to the previous semester, starting from the fine detail and working out. I found this way of designing particularly difficult as I have always followed the more traditional method of creating a concept site scheme long before developing the detail. I have learnt from starting the design process this way that, whilst the initial detail can be very focused and related to the human scale, it has the ability to carry an entire body of theory with it and this can translate into an overall form and strategy. I found this to be the case when I translated my tectonic Pichler model from a 1:20 detail to a full building superstructure. Making a detail model from representative materials rather than card was also exceptionally fruitful, it allowed me to understand the difficulties of casting as well as the relationship between the warmth of timber and the coldness of concrete.

Integrating technology into design at an early stage was also a very different change in methodology, however I think I learnt a significant amount about how to manifest the atmospheric qualities I wanted to communicate through the manipulation of lighting, materiality and details. This is something I would like to further explore next year in my thesis project, especially following from my Tools for Thinking essay which focuses on the way we process symbols and apply meaning.

‘The detail expresses the process of signification; that is, the attaching of meanings to man-produced objects. The details are then the locii where knowledge is of an order in which the mind finds its own working, that is, logos.’ Marco Frascari – Tell the Tale Detail

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Looking retrospectively at my development over the year, it is clear that my perceptions of both the role of the architect and the definition of ‘radical architecture’ have fundamentally changed. Following from my reading of Ricouer’s Architecture and Narrativity, I would now consider the ability to form a coherent critique of the past and present as integral to creating a ‘reconstruction’ architecture that confronts issues facing society, rather than ‘repeating’ them. This has manifested in my design for semester two through critically analysing the existing built form of the MAK and looking to find moments of identity and reconstruct them. As a result, I will look to theoretical and artistic projects more for inspiration in the future and also continue to research and critique the precedents I use, rather than simply judging them based on their aesthetic value. When reflecting on the above, I think the overarching theme of my development as an architect this semester concerns the marrying the role of theory with technical application in design. I will continue this methodology leading to the creation of a thesis into the future.

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STAGE V Architecture as Analogy The Locus of Politics in Architecture


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‘…architecture can somehow never get out of politics, but must learn to dwell in it on a permanent if uneasy basis…’ 1

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n this essay, I will broach the topics of interpretation and invention of architecture and the dialectic role they play in the production of space. Specifically, I am looking to explore the inherent influence of the social and political in the expression and repression of forms and symbolism within the production of architecture. More importantly, how does the ever-changing political landscape shape the zeitgeist of its time, ours being one of intensification and consumption, and thus influence the architectural language deployed within cities? Furthering this, how does the context of this political historiography influence the way we interpret past architectural languages? And therefore, how do we learn from the past to project a more successful future? I will focus specifically on Vienna over the past century and how the nature of the city’s empirical and ideological politics has contributed to the interpretation and invention of its built environment. Ultimately, this will aim to seek out how the complexities of socio-political practice both shapes and is shaped by its architecture. By undertaking an analysis of this, can we learn how architecture (filled with ideological content) has the potential to be instrumental, operative, and strategic? ‘Where, in effect, is the locus of politics in architecture?’2

1. Jameson, F. (1995) ‘Is Space Political?’ in Rethinking Architecture, 1997, Neil Leach, London: Routledge p.255 2. Blau, E. (1999). The architecture of Red Vienna, 1919-1934. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: The MIT Press. [https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ NCL/reader.action?docID=1375302]


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METHOD

always extremely vague, dubious and unmanageable,’7. To demonstrate this, I will investigate various temporally situated interpretations of developments in Vienna and how their reception differs between the time of construction and the present day. The importance of this will be to seek out the elements which retain continuity in their interpretation and how that ultimately could provide markers for a new production of architecture.

To ask this question is to propose a methodology that dualistically examines a close reading of the architecture alongside ideological themes of social, economic and political history, one that allows for both the agency of a form of knowledge particular to architecture and the mechanics of ideology. By starting from a consideration of Vienna itself, I am hoping to excavate such a methodology. Jameson writes, ‘architecture is business as well as culture,’3 and as such building is inherently political, as it is bound in economics and we live in a time of capitalism. However, as the cultural Zeitgeist sways between different political motives with time, it is clear that architecture moves with it. This is evident from the Austro-Liberal movements in the building of the grossly over scaled and ornamented Ringstrasse to the Austro-Marxist movement and their obsessive building of mass social housing for the working class.

During this essay I will investigate the complex political and historic contexts of these developments alongside the current capitalist socio-political climate in Vienna in order to establish what lessons can be learnt from their collective successes and failures. The purpose being to break harmfully static ‘repetitive’ cycles and draw from past experience to form a new architecture of ‘reconstructionmemory’8, including how the fluid over-arching nature of utopia within politics continues to influence the ways we invent and interpret architectural semiotics today.

In ‘The Production of Space’, Lefebvre describes how, ‘… the quest for the relevant productive capacity or creative process leads us in many cases to political power…’4, and how we perceive our built environment in relation to its contextual politics. The visual and spatial architectural semiotics in Vienna provide clear historical markers which can be utilised to investigate the influence of politics in the invention of architecture. However, these symbols and their associations are fluid, ‘as volatile as the arbitrariness of the sign,’5 as they are appropriated and re-assigned so regularly. This results in the coding with which we interpret architecture to be left in a constant state of flux. However, despite this fluidity, Eco argues that we have no hope of creating anything which responds to the human body, ‘without the support of existing processes of codification,’6 which make it legible. Therefore, it must be necessary to analyse these semiotics and how they can be read through a plurality of lenses to invent an architecture that sensitively responds to a greater plurality of social, political and economic strata. Furthering this, Roland Barthes suggests there is need to, ‘multiply the readings of the city,’ from alternate perspectives to expand and develop, ‘a more scientific nature: definition of units, syntax, etc.’ although, he too warns that these should not be taken as concrete as, ‘these signifieds are

To provide a coherent analysis which investigates the historic socio-political narratives in Vienna, it is essential to create a framework through which to assess them. I will be asking specific questions of each chosen development to provide a reading that, although brief, will critique certain essential elements. Firstly, what were they trying to achieve on the ground? What image were they trying to project? What were they trying to conceal? Who was behind them and what were their motives? Were they successful in achieving their goals? How were the developments interpreted at time of conception and how does that differ to their reception now? How do different political agendas provide alternate syntaxes for interpreting their semiotics? What’s missing? Finally, what are the points of intersection between these developments and how do we learn from these findings?

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3. Jameson, F. p.256 4. Lefebvre, H. (1974). ‘The Production of Space’, 1991, Donald NicholsonSmith (Trans.) Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p.116 5. Jameson, F. p.258 6. Eco, U. ‘Function and Sign: The Semiotics of Architecture’ in Rethinking Architecture, 1997, Neil Leach, London: Routledge p.179 7. Barthes, R. (1986) ‘Semiology and the Urban’ in The City and the Sign, 1986, M. Gottdiener and A. Lagapoulos, New York: Columbia University Press p.88-98 8. Ricoeur, P. (2017) ‘Architecture and Narrativity’, in Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies, ISSN: 2156-7808, Vol: 7, Issue: 2, p.42 (Available at: http://ricoeur.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/ricoeur/ article/view/378/185)

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RINGSTRASSE Austro-Liberalism In 1860, at the advent of the right to municipal selfgovernment beyond the jurisdiction of the emperor and the beginnings of capitalism as we know it today, Austria’s Liberals took control of the Empire with Vienna at their centre. However, this change, coinciding with constitutional revolutions across Europe, put the city in a state of anxiety regarding its identity and future in an increasingly global environment. At this time, in the mid to late 19th Century, Vienna – a city at the cusp of East and West at the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – no longer faced external threats from invasion but from internal bourgeoisie revolution. The political answer, to assert control over its people whilst simultaneously presenting itself as a cultural omphalos on the world map, was the Ringstrasse .9 When analysing the semiotics of any development, it’s key to

break down the elements into a semantic code of significant units, this can stretch from the overall layout right down to the detailing of a door frame, all of which possess ‘denotive’ (functional) as well as, although often more elusive, ‘connotative’ (symbolic) meanings10. I will begin from the wider urban context then focus in and slowly pull apart the signifiers and their denotive and connotative meanings. It is clear that the Ringstrasse’s basic form is politically charged with notions of civil control, the military required a wide boulevard circling the inner city, allowing a quick response to any sign of revolt as well as hindering any efforts by civilians to blockade streets, as in Paris. At this point it is crucial to discuss this desire by the dominant class to retain power and their methods in doing so. Historically, ‘repressed and stability and harmony are secured through intense surveillance and control.’ 11

Figure 1. The Ringstrasse development plan itself is plastered with imperialistic reference and ornamentation 9. Schorske, C. (1981) Fin-De-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.27 10. Eco, U. p.181


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The layout of the Ringstrasse, with a denotive meaning for easy military access encircling the innerstadt, eludes to connotative meanings of repression, surveillance and control. Continuing this analysis at a deeper level, the reversal of typical Baroque planning to situate colossal civic and educational buildings around the periphery of the boulevard creates an ‘internal spatial ordering coupled with hierarchical forms of authority.’ In simpler terms, an emotional sense of being watched with the intention of discouraging ‘conflict or deviation from a social norm.’12 Lefebvre writes how capitalism inevitably is fraught with contradictions concerning social mobility, and therefore to retain stability the dominant class must exert its hegemony over the others. ‘Hegemony implies more than an influence, more even than the permanent use of repressive violence.’ It is in the developed design of the Ringstrasse, where the liberals stationed imposing legions of constitutional, educational and residential blocks, that this hegemony can be seen to be, ‘exercised over society as a whole, culture and knowledge included.’13 Under the guise of creating a new cultural face for Vienna, ‘The planning of the Ringstrasse was controlled by the professional and the well-to-do for whose accommodation and glorification it was essentially designed.’ 14 It is therefore

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unsurprising that the heavily ornamented, Beaux-Arts style developments were to be the ‘beautification’15 of Vienna. A move which, through symbolical historical association, kept the Ringstrasse bound to the semiology of a powerful monarchical empire, further cementing the hegemony of the dominant classes at the time. This was not lost on the contemporary artistic community in Vienna, Loos described the development as a Potemkin city; accusing the Liberals of intense contradiction. His interpretation attacked the Ringstrasse’s projections of stolen Beaux-Arts identities and artifice, filled with decaying Imperial connotative meaning, which he saw as neutralising any utopian ideologies of a new democratic, constitution or progressive, intellectual culture. Over a century later, our readings of the Ringstrasse have Figure 2. The Ringstrasse development is aligned along this boulevard artery, encircling the innerstadt 11. David Harvey, Spaces of Hope, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2000. 12. Ibid. 13. Lefebvre, H. p.116 14. Schorske, C. p.26 15. Suess, E. (1916) ‘Erinnerungen’, Leipzig. p.171

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similar themes although, with the benefit of an additional retrospective of the ensuing collapse of the empire and world wars, arguably now thrown into sharper focus. The imperial semiology, complete with its out of scale public buildings adorned with excessive baroque ornament, now eludes to that part of what makes the Ringstrasse so strange, so ghostly. That it is also a spectre of dead empire. Not only this, but also of the horrors its dissolution ultimately unleashed? The fact that Hitler idolised the imposing styles during his formative years, only to return as conqueror during the Anschluss and choose the Hofburg as the site for his speech to the welcoming Viennese masses only amplifies this reading. In Fin de Siecle, Schorske writes that during the 19th Century, ‘the fathers “projected their image” no less consciously than the managers of the Chase Manhattan Bank… Not utility but cultural self-projection dominated the Ringstrasse.’16 This comparison is particularly relevant when read alongside Jameson’s more recent observations regarding the shift in our great public buildings no longer being civic, but instead, ‘the great insurance centres, the great banks, the great office buildings,’17 This desire to project an aggrandised image of oneself is clearly deeply intertwined with the political trappings of capitalism. Despite this, it is important to maintain the fact that the Ringstrasse remains one of Vienna’s top attractions – the city’s tourist website describing it as ‘the most beautiful boulevard in the world.’18 Whilst it is largely successful in attracting external visitors to the area, through the original ambitions of the Austro-Liberals to project an image of Vienna as a progressive, artistic, cultural hub, Jameson would argue that precisely that is its failing. It is reduced to spectacle, a utopian image of ‘cultural artefact’ which ‘ends up itself reproducing the system, and ratifying, reconfirming the uses of culture as mere window dressing, a sandbox, an inoffensive area of sheer aesthetic play that changes nothing.’19

Figure 3. Facade study of the Ringstrasse emphasizes the heavy ornamentation and potemkin facade

The Ringstrasse acted as a repetition of the existing qualities which encouraged class stratification and repression, rather than a radical reconstructive social change. Cutting off the inner stadt from the outer suburbs, ‘what had been a military insulation belt became a sociological isolation belt,’20 complete with imperialistic symbologies of hegemony. The question here, is how do we break this cycle of political and architectural, ‘repetition-memory’ to make way for, ‘reconstruction-memory,’21; where the new is markedly different, but drawing on a reorganisation of the past?

Figure 4. Colossal and highly ornamented, the Ringstrasse acts as a social isolation belt devoid of any relation to the human scale 16. Schorske, C. p.26 17. Jameson, F. p.258 18. WienTourismus, (2017)[https://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/ ringstrasse/construction-of-ringstrasse] 19. Jameson, F. p.260 20. Schorske, C. p.26 21. Ricoeur, P. p.42


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RED VIENNA Austro-Marxism

Following WWI, within the context of a broken empire and a period of great poverty, Vienna made a valiant attempt to perform this revolutionary change. The tide of politics in Austria swayed to the left in the face of Communism from the East and saw the rise of the Social Democrats and ‘Austro-Marxists’ in Vienna. This was the birth of ‘Red Vienna’ and a dramatic shift in political ideology towards a utopian socialism, evident architecturally in the many social housing schemes (Gemeindebauten) present in the city. The Social Democrats began with a series of municipal reforms from the ground up, designed to reshape the traditional Volkskultur (popular or folk culture) of the Viennese working class into a new Arbeiterkultur (socialised working class culture).

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To contextualise the development, it must be noted that the Social Democrats inherited a city at the brink of famine, with huge economic and social instability following the demise of the empire. A huge source of this unrest was the, often violent, conflict between landlords and their working class tenants over whom they held a monopoly due to the Viennese social housing shortage, one of the worst in Europe at the time. There was an urgent need to combat this instability, especially juxtaposed against the backdrop violent Soviet revolution, the social democrats opted for a politically conciliatory rather than revolutionary approach. By 1934, 64,000 dwellings were built in which 200,000 people were rehoused. These developments were ‘financed out of taxes, which were sharply graded to put the burden on the rich, and built at a non-recoverable cost to the municipality.’22 Going beyond this socialistic financial resourcing, the Gemeindebauten were fiercely politically driven in their Figure 5. The vast social housing scheme of Red Vienna spread throughout the city, intricately woven into different localities and social divides 22. Blau, E. (1999). The architecture of Red Vienna, 1919-1934. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: The MIT Press. p.6 GC1 GC2 GC3 GC4 GC5 GC6 GC7 GC8 GC9 GC10 GC11 GA2.1 GA2.2 GA2.3 GA2.4 GA2.5 GA2.6 GA2.7


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entirety; from conception, to layout, to construction, to inhabitation. The semiology here, unlike the Ringstrasse, constituted a localised eclecticism which stemmed from the use of ‘thousands of additional skilled workers, craftsmen and artists.’23 This was deeply politically motivated, deliberately ignoring the zeitgeist for pre-fabricated German modernist architecture and keeping as many of the population in employment as possible. At this point it is worth noting that opposing sides of the political spectrum interpreted these housing schemes in radically different ways at the time, the same ‘signifiers’ connoting ‘transient’24 meanings to alternate perspectives. The right attacked not only their methods of financing but also the Gemeindebauten themselves as border line anarchical ‘voter blocks’ and ‘red fortresses’25 strategically placed within upper and middle class areas to disrupt historically conservative electoral zones, fearing the desire for social revolution they might instil within the populous. However, the developments were also attacked by the left as well as the artistic community for being too regressive in their pluralistic typology in comparison to the unified nature of the contemporary German Siedlung projects. This is evident in the critique given by W. Hegemann 1926, where he mockingly blames the lack of coherent design strategy on the, ‘expert opinion and improvement by building department bureaucrats,’26 implying it was a complete lack of clear policy that resulted in their typologies. In another, more favourable, previous article published by the same journal, Hirschel-Protsch reads the eclecticism of the Gemeindebauten as a direct reflection of the Social Democrats pluralistic ideology which allowed for difference and self-expression. 27 When we investigate the development’s changing interpretation in a historiographical manner, the dominant influence of fluctuations in the political zeitgeist is

Figure 6. The monumental Karl-Marx-Hof was adorned with art and sculpture works by local artists and artisans Figure 7. An emphasis was put on intricate detailing which required craftsmen and could not be pre-fabricated to keep the population in employment

thrown into sharp focus. As Eco suggests, ‘in the course of history, both primary [denotive] and secondary [connotative] functions might be found undergoing losses, recoveries and substitutions of various kinds.’28 To demonstrate: the eclecticism (seen as regressive by purists) of the Gemeindebauten largely left it ignored in modern architectural history. A change in perspective then occurs with the transition of time, read in the context of later currents of phenomenological, self-reflective, sensitive post-modernist thought, the way the developments were intricately woven into the existing city fabric with a humanistic semiotic language was exceptionally progressive for its time. However, despite all the best intentions, the largely leftwing ‘red’ capital stood politically isolated within its contemporary fascist ‘black’ state which ultimately resulted in the atrocities of the Second World War. In this case, Blau argues that, ‘The urban architectural project of Red Vienna, therefore, was shaped as much by conflict and by the encroaching forces of Fascism, as it was by socialist ideology.’29 23. Ibid. 24. Barthes, R. p.162 25. Blau, E. p.7 26. Hegemann, W. (1926) Kritisches zu den Wohnbauten der Stadt Wien, Wasmuths Monatshefte fur Bankhunst und Stadtebau. p.368 27. Hirschel-Protsch, G. (1926) Die Gemeindebauten der Stadt Wien, Wasmuths Monatshefte fur Bankhunst und Stadtebau. p.362 28. Eco, U. p181 29. Blau. E. (2014) ‘A Capital without a Nation’ in Power and architecture: The construction of capitals and the politics of space, Minkenberg, M. (2014). (Space and place; v. 12). New York: Berghahn Books. p.184


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Figure 8. Red Vienna was nicknamed ‘The Working Man’s Ringstrasse’, this image was published in the Die Unzufriedene in 1930

Perhaps it could be read that the semiology of the monumental estates, such as Karl-Marx-Hof, with their inward facing gardens, were reflective of the internally focused policies of the Social Democrats? Although, compared to the Ringstrasse, their form is considerably more sensitive, woven into the urban fabric of Vienna filled with local artisanal semiology, rather than choking it with contradictory, aggrandised, alien ornamentation. Every element of the Gemeindebauten, from conception to resourcing to construction to inhabitation, was deeply saturated with their social ideologies, the very embodiment of Austro-Marxism.

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RUDOLF-BEDNAR Late Capitalism

Jumping forwards in history, with capitalism having been played out over the past decades, initially celebrated as ‘a place of freedom, a kind of playground of consumption’30, following the rigidity of socialist planning. The current housing development of the Rudolf-Bednar Park stands as a starkly contrasting marker of late capitalist values; commodifying human lives as resource. The development, began in the 1990s and ongoing till 2025, is part of Vienna’s large scale social housing scheme. Consequently, there is little written discussion regarding the development plots, despite this I shall attempt to critique it with a mind to our contemporary political, social and economic situation. Vienna still retains its status today as a city with exemplary social housing, with large resources of existing as well as huge developments underway. Despite this, it must be noted that Austria’s most recent election saw a shift from

Figure 9. The Rudolf-Bednar Park, collaged to emphasize the feelings of isolation and human commodification

left to right wing politics – something that will inevitably influence the current social housing situation in Vienna. Focusing on Rudolf-Bednar, with its colossal plots of mixed social and private apartment blocks, it is markedly different in both form, location and semiology when contrasted with the Gemeindebauten, highlighting the influence of late capitalism on these developments. The slow decline of socialism and its ideologies in Vienna, coupled with the ever increasingly global capitalism, has undoubtedly had an effect on the design as Tafuri notes, there has been a ‘surrender to the politics of things brought about by the laws of profit.’31 This is clearly visible in the urban layout, as individual plots have been arbitrarily cut into uniform grids, with no contextual reference to the surrounding existing Zwischenbrucken area, and sold to a variety of social and private development companies. These blocks have no intertextual urban language and lack any human scale, creating isolated boxes for ‘physiological 30. Jameson, F. p.268 31. Tafuri, M. (1976) Architecture and Utopia, MIT p.47-48 32. Rykwert, J. (1957) Meaning and Building in The Necessity of Artifice, (1982) New York: Rizzoli, p.9


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automata with brains attached’ missing the humanistic sensitivities required for the reality of ‘complex beings moved by irrational urges.’32 I had the unique opportunity to visit one of the housing blocks, so I will focus on my impressions and interpretations from that experience. Titled ‘Residential Housing Project’, the scheme was championed as a new model for noncapitalist social enterprise, comprising of 40 residential units of varying size, it houses the Assembly: Wohnprojekt Wien.33 It appears to be a highly successful bubble of utopian social practice, with shared communal spaces and a focus on sustainable materiality. The design functions to the great appreciation of its inhabitants who, after a time on a highly competitive waiting list, are carefully approved for their like-minded, communal and socialistic values. Semiotically, the building layout and contents are full of similarities with Red Vienna, with a library, vegetable garden, communal kitchen and workshop. It is also clear that it is designed for social cohesion, with staggered balconies allowing moments of encounter between inhabitants. However, it is precisely this nature of a ‘bubble’ which could be interpreted as the flaw in the scheme’s political and social motivations. Interpreting the language of the building, when taken out of isolation and read in context with the surrounding developments invites a criticism of its inherent insular nature, providing an internally successful solution but at the cost of excluding ‘the other’. When seen through our contemporary lens of global capitalism, obsessed with imageability and abstracted from localised context, this mode of housing almost feels inevitable, creating

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an elitism mirroring that of the insular world of social media where our reality is warped through algorithms of familiarity and lack of contact with those of alternate backgrounds and perspectives. ‘The space of non-place creates neither singular identity nor relations; only solitude and similitude.’34 Instead of solving problems, it creates increase in social stratification, with social revolution only for the few, activist individuals, creating pockets of inaccessible utopia. Is it inevitable that the conditions of globalisation with its ‘new and enormous global realities [which] are inaccessible to any individual subject or consciousness,’35 creates localised disconnectivity which, in turn, results in developments like Rudolf Bednar? Here the late capitalist need for, ‘aesthetic production [which] today has become integrated into commodity production generally: the frantic economic urgency of producing fresh waves of ever more novel-seeming goods,’36 has resulted in an

33. EinsZueins. (2017) Residential Project Vienna [Available at: https://translate.googleusercontent.com/] translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google. co.uk&sl=de&sp=nmt4&u=http://www.einszueins.at/project/ wohnprojekt-wien/&usg=ALkJrhgM3Zyz6mPtPCvgvjvq_XghEKaTDg] 34. Augé, M. (1995 [1992] Non-places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, London : Verso. p.106 35. Jameson, F. (1988) Cognitive Mapping in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, USA: University of Illinois. p.350

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Figure 10. The front facade of the ‘Residential Housing Project’, with staggered balconies and tactile materiality Figure 11. View from the housing project at other development blocks

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Figure 12. This series of aerial photographs, all at the same scale runs from left to right: InnerStadt, Ringstrasse, Rudolf-Bednar. This really highlights the grossly over-scaled and isolated nature of the housing blocks, which even manage to compete with the aggrandised capitalist Ringstrasse in size.

incoherency in its architectural urban language with each block communicating a different, secluded identity. Although it could be argued that the pluralistic aesthetic nature of Red Vienna was what made it so successful, the pluralistic aesthetic nature of Rudolf-Bednar lacks the fundamental ideological drives which allowed it to relate to its wider community in Vienna. Instead, Rudolf-Bednar stands as a mass human shipyard, out of human scale, its reality one of social isolation.

36. Jameson, (1991) ‘The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’ in Rethinking Architecture, 1997, Neil Leach, London: Routledge. p.227 translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google. co.uk&sl=de&sp=nmt4&u=http://w w w.einszueins.at/project/ wohnprojekt-wien/&usg=ALkJrhgM3Zyz6mPtPCvgvjvq_XghEKaTDg]


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CONCLUSION

The recurring theme in this essay, is that there is much to be learnt by studying intertextuality of developments in their contemporary and present day perspectives. From my brief analysis of these few Viennese developments, it is clear that politics, with its ever fluctuating motivations, has a huge impact on the interpretation and invention of architecture. One conclusion to be drawn from my methodology of analysis itself is that semiology is purely a descriptive way of breaking down the syntactic code of a building. Therefore, to find a deeper way to extract interpretations it is necessary to break the, ‘rigorously formal aspect of codes… instead putting the stress on their dialectical character. Codes will be seen as part of a practical relationship, as part of an interaction between ‘subjects’ and their space and surroundings.’37 Analysis in this method allows a way of crystallising moments of political ideology which have their ‘own structure; and like all structures it is both historical and transient.’38 Through the study of the architectural language from these differing ideological perspectives it allows each ‘to bring its specific characteristics to light, and evaluate its degree of usefulness with respect to general aims proposed by the dominant forces in any given phase of development.’39 Under this intertextual analysis, the failings of the Ringstrasse and Rudolf Bednar seem bound in a capitalistic approach to building. Although at surface level they may appear semiotically very different, their political motives (and social architectural flaws) certainly have correlations. Economy, image and social control were the driving factors behind their architectural invention, with colossal blocks

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37. Adorno, T. (1997 [1965/1979]) ‘Functionalism Today’, in Rethinking Architecture: A reader in Cultural Theory, Neil Leach (Ed.), London and New York: Routledge, p. 6 38. Jameson, Is Space Political, p.257 39. Adorno, T. (1997 [1970]) ‘Situation’, in Aesthetic Theory, London: Continuum, p.17

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adorned with empty signifiers, devoid of any relation to the human scale. The same analysis brought to the fore how the deep rooted relationship between the use of local, historic, pluralistic language of the Gemeindebauten and its ability to strengthen communities amongst its working class inhabitants. As said by Rykwert, ‘There is no humanity without memory and there is no architecture without historical reference,’40 countering the claims by radical modernists that the schemes were regressive for retaining ornament. For such ‘criticism of ornament means no more than criticism of that which has lost its functional and symbolic signification…’41 and arguably the richness of the ideological, artisanal approach, with the retention of their localised semiotic meanings, ‘with respect to life in society the “symbolic” capacities of these objects are no less “useful” than their “functional” capacities.’ 42

starchitects of the day simply reiterate glossy images and semiology of capitalism. The private sector, driven by profit margins, as is the case in Rudolf-Bednar, has ‘reduced the noble art of building to a graphic art,’46 creating false facades (in a similar vein to the Ringstrasse 150 years earlier) which sell rather than buildings which respond to human needs. What I am suggesting, is nothing less than a rethinking of the current state of architecture practice at large through an interdisciplinary, intertextual method which breaks the isolated confines of architectural discourse in which, ‘people believed for quite a time that a revolutionary social transformation could be brought about by means of communication alone.’47 Instead, critically assessing how it has been negatively influenced by capitalism, extracting those pieces and reconstructing with the locus of politically socialistic ideology at the very heart of design practice.

Despite being by far the most successful in terms of achieving its social and political mandate, Red Vienna’s failings are arguably bound in the insular nature of the Social Democrats plans for the city, without a coherent dialogue with the wider perspective of the right wing state.

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Therefore, what we must be mindful of – not ignorant to, as so often is the case for architects - is this place of politics in architecture. We cannot dictate the radical, ideological architecture we desire without the political practices which would permit its existence, this is clearly evident in the Rudolf-Bednar developments, where the motives of capitalism act in direct opposition to social improvement. Jameson writes, ‘politics surely always has the vocation of realizing a collective ideal,’43 and in this way, instead of working against it, if centrally located in design strategy, politics could be harnessed to achieve this architecture of social change, as in Red Vienna. Looking at the examples of Red Vienna, this must be driven by a cultural shift that extends beyond the surface level of aesthetics in design to a deeper semiology of urban strategies and form, then deeper still to the level of economic and social practices. Gabu Heindl, architect and chairwoman of the Austrian Society of Architecture writes, ‘There has to be a self-confident political strategy of redistributing common wealth – including the wealth of space and city-access – to all of society, not in a paternalistic way.’44 Placing socialist political ideologies at the centre of architectural and societal development. To enact these changes, we need to ensure our interpretation of today’s architecture is read alongside a critique of our society of commodification and consumption at large. Adorno writes that, ‘by serving customers, they [the artists] themselves are betrayed.’45 This is perhaps why the

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40. Rykwert, J. (2004) The Seduction of Place: The History and Future of the City, Oxford: Oxford University Press 41. Loos On Architecture, p76 42. Lefebvre, H. p.29 43. Jameson, F., Is Space Political?, p.257 44. Gabu, H. (2016) Quoted in ‘Story of cities #18: Vienna’s ‘wild settlers’ kickstart a social housing revolution’ by Rumpfhuber, A. (2016) Guardian [https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/08/story-cities-18-viennaaustria-cooperative-self-build-settlers-social-housing-revolution] 45. Adorno, T. ‘Situation’, in Aesthetic Theory, p.17 46. Loos, A. (1910) ‘Architecture’ in On Architecture, (1995) Michael Mitchell (Trans.), Riverside, CA. Ariadne Press. p.76 47. Lefebvre, H. p.29

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Profile for Ellie Gair

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Newcastle University 2017-19 Ellie Gair

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