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PROVING GROUNDS

PROVING

GROUNDS

|

GRADUATE

STUDIO

FALL

2020

AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE OF A NUCLEAR HISTORY

Jeffrey S. Nesbit


PROVING GROUNDS

AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE OF A NUCLEAR HISTORY


Faculty

Jeffrey S. Nesbit

Student Participants Njia Blair Katherine Boles Lisa Demar Samuel Eberle Samuel Fantaye Alexandre Gomes de Abreu Magdalena Kerkmans Martin Luna William Lyons Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro Dillon Romero Tahsin Zaman

Assistant Editors

Alexandre Gomes de Abreu Magdalena Kerkmans Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro William Lyons, Section Text

Dean

Robert Alexander González

Reviewer & Advisors Katya Crawford, University of New Mexico John Davis, The Ohio State University Antonio Furgiuele, Wentworth Institute of Technology Ersela Kripa, Texas Tech University, El Paso Cesar Lopez, University of New Mexico Rosalea Monacella, Harvard GSD Alessandra Ponte, Université de Montreal Chris Taylor, Texas Tech University Nora Wendl, University of New Mexico

Image Credits The editors have attempted to acknowledge all sources of images used and apologize for any error or omissions. Copyright © 2020, University of New Mexico, School of Architecture + Planning All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from its authors and the Architecture Department in the School of Architecture + Planning at the University of New Mexico

University of New Mexico School of Architecture and Planning MSC04 2530 1 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131 https://saap.unm.edu https://architecture.unm.edu


Table of Contents Introduction

08

Environment Defense Justice Artifact

16

Coda

170

References

194

Jeffrey S. Nesbit

56 96 134


INTRODUCTION Jeffrey S Nesbit

In Aircraft, Le Corbusier suggested “machine civilization” in the new technological age; particularly, the airplane produced a new way of seeing (Le Corbusier, 1935). “Seeing” the world and all its premachine civilization composed of a disorganized, economically driven order. Over fifty years later, Paul Virilio illustrates a different perspective of surveillance--”from the original watch-tower through the anchored balloon to the reconnaissance aircraft and remote-sensing satellites, the same function have been indefinitely repeated, the eye’s function being the 8

function of a weapon” (Virilio, 1989). In this sense, the control over others, land, people, and economies, have continually existed, while dimensions and distances transformed through technological progress. Architectural historian Alessandra Ponte described the impact of operationalized grounds, or what she referred to in “Desert Testing”, blending the human artifact in the American landscape (Ponte, 2003). Illuminating her definition in the proving ground landscape described a “double enhancement,” which is


particularly useful when engaging infrastructure and militarization. Pierre Bélanger argues military infrastructure and political landscape are vital to understanding the transitions from industry to urbanization. Not unsurprising, his earlier work on landscape and infrastructure led to Ecologies of Power, focused on the Army Corps of Engineers. The subject of study turned to recognize civil engineering as a discipline from military practices during peacetime at the end of the 19th century (Bélanger, 2016). Military activity forms a distinctive political landscape perspective,

and for Bélanger, infrastructure is the state control in which “super urbanization opens new territories for occupation, renewal, and redistribution.” “Infrastructure” is a physical and spatial technology formed by military operations and an “expression of power.” If the traditional city can be understood as having military history, remote geospatial territoriality be projected as a form of planetary urbanization. This studio uses proving grounds as a critical subject in architectural design to interrogate questions of placedbased science and its role within a contaminated environment. 9


Iterations

ALTERNATIVE FUTURISM Njia Blair

AIR[SPACE]

Samuel Eberle

10

Vegetation Map

TRINITY FARM

ACHIEVEMENT/ANNIHILATION

TRINITY EXTRACTION

OCCUPYING ABSENCE

Katherine Boles

Samuel Fantaye

Lisa DeMar

Alexandre Abreu


REMAINS

Natasha Ribeiro

BEYOND THE BARBED WIRE Rest Area- Second Checkpoint Dillon Romero

THE INSIDE PATIO Tahsin Zaman

Fig. 1- Facilities

3

2

1

1. Pnuematic Elevator Shaft • 2. 4% Ramp • 3. Glass and Steel Dome Structure

Fig. 2- Circulation

HIDING BEHIND THE SHADOW TECHNICAL IMAGEINTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS Magdalena Kerkmans VISUALIZING EXTERIOR SPACIAL CONDITION OF MUSHROOM CLOUD

Fig. 3- Path Access

OVERSIGHT William Lyons

Martin Luna

11


ENVIRON


NMENT


14

The Trinity ATOMIC BOMB detonation instantly created a wastewilderness.


“To abandon the studio and the city for the desert is not equivalent to a romantic return to nature. Nature had no feeling. It was neither good, nor bad; it was just as it was.” Alessandra Ponte (2003) “Desert Testing” 15


16 Aftermath of Extraction Samuel Fantaye


ENVIRONMENT On July 16, 1945, a new beginning in environmental calamity was on a quiet desert morning. In the decades after Trinity, humans have lurched from incident to accident to incident, coating the planet in radiation. The Earth’s environment has tolerated and abided the cost of humankind’s ambition since the first out-of-control campfire burning down a forest, and the first holes dug to extract rocks deemed more valuable than the others. Humans have used the terrestrial surface as grounds for experimentation in the name of “scientific exploration.” They have penetrated the Earth itself, leaving scars across its surface to extract more rocks with that specific quality that makes nuclear ambition possible. These projects explore questions of extraction, reuse, burial, and the role of scientific research above, on, and within these conflicted landscapes.

17


18 Adandoned Mining Headframe rcgis.com

PROVING GROUNDS


19

Onkalo © Peter Guenzel

ENVIRONMENT

Phillips Uranium Mill nmdigital.unm.edu


Radioactive material from the atomic age require deep SUBTERRANEAN

disposal as storage. 20


“Empires move outward in space as a way of moving forward in time; the ‘prospect’ that opens up is not just a spatial scene but a project future of ‘development’ and exploitation.” Mitchell, W.J.T. Landscape and Power 21


22

PROVING GROUNDS


23

ENVIRONMENT

Site Interventrion Natasha Ribeiro


24

PROVING GROUNDS


25

ENVIRONMENT

Resiliency Katherine Boles

McDonale Ranch Library of Congress


Regulatory framework must provide EQUITABLE retribution. 26


“Dimensions of citizenship begins at the scale of the individual— at the threshold of the self and the collective. Our contemporary moment reminds us that citizenship is not a neutral or assumed mantel. It is an active construction of identity, one that comes with inherent spatial concerns…” Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, Mimi Zeiger (2018) On Dimensions of Citizenship 27


28

PROVING GROUNDS


29

ENVIRONMENT

Geography Samuel Fantaye


30

PROVING GROUNDS Globular Cluster nasa.gov


31

ENVIRONMENT

Trinity Site atomicarchive.com

Bunker Ruins Library of Congress


32 L: Cosmic Observations R: Atmospheric Observations Natasha Ribeiro

PROVING GROUNDS


33

ENVIRONMENT

Undergeround Laboratory Natasha Ribeiro


PROVING GROUNDS

Trinity Site Library of Congress

Was the site really barren before the Trinity test?

Photo from Lisa Marie DeMar

34


Soil Map

ENVIRONMENT

Vegetation Map

Vegetation Map

35

Soil and Vegetarion Maps Katherine Boles


36

PROVING GROUNDS Adaptability Katherine Boles


37

ENVIRONMENT

McDonald Ranch Library of Congress


38

PROVING GROUNDS

Safety Katherine Boles


39

ENVIRONMENT

Topography Samuel Fantaye


40

PROVING GROUNDS

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant wipp.energy.gov


41

ENVIRONMENT

Typology Redux Natasha Ribeiro


42

PROVING GROUNDS

Adaptability Natasha Ribeiro


43

ENVIRONMENT

Adaptability Natasha Ribeiro


44

PROVING GROUNDS

Tyology Redux Samuel Fantaye


45

ENVIRONMENT

Trinity Tower atomicarchive.com


46

PROVING GROUNDS

Geography Samuel Fantaye


47

ENVIRONMENT

Northeast Churchrock Mine epa.gov


48

PROVING GROUNDS


49

ENVIRONMENT

Indigenous History Center Samuel Fantaye


50

PROVING GROUNDS

Safety Natasha Ribeiro


51

ENVIRONMENT

Safety Samuel Fantaye


52

PROVING GROUNDS


53

ENVIRONMENT

Typology Redux Katherine Boles


DEFE


ENSE


56 “Bida Hi”/ Opposite Views Patric Nagatani


DEFENSE Defense industries in the United States are some of the most well-funded and far-reaching public institutions around the world. As industry leaders, defense operations remain comfortably out of sight and out of mind in the public’s visual reach. Such invisibility is not by chance. Defense systems, we are told, rely on safety and security for public interest, yet veiled by anonymity. Military architecture maintains camouflage through its ubiquity across physical ground and the ability to claim land as “technical.” Such activity blends its surroundings, claiming it remote, distant, and occupied. Locations around the world defined by the defense industries deserve reexamination through critical lenses. These technical landscapes are reviewed through the following projects that seek to rectify conflicting narratives of void in military landscapes, countermapping technological landscapes, and the defense complex’s architectural anonymity.

57


58

PROVING GROUNDS


59

DEFENSE

Topography Aerial Map 1 Tahsin Zaman


ositive

ontrol

Negative

PROVING GROUNDS

egative

rtaking

60

Positive Control

Exploitation

Exploitation

Partaking

Directionality

Directionality


tive

d Partake

ce

Negative + Positive Series Alexandre Abreu

Combined

Negative Controlled Partake

Absence

Exploited Direction

Discontinue

Exploited Direction

Discontinue

DEFENSE

ned

61


BUNKERS are symbolic elements of a hidden nuclear memory.

62


“From the original watch-tower through the anchored balloon to the reconnaissance aircraft and remote-sensing satellites, one and the same function have been indefinitely repeated, the eye’s function being the function of a weapon.” Paul Virilio (1989) War and Cinema 63


PROVING GROUNDS

Signs and Symbols

0

1

Sc

64

No


Danila

DEFENSE

“Sarcophagus over a closed shaft which is 4km deep - was one of the deepest scientific shafts in the world at the time. Russia, Murmansk region, 2013”

A replica of the Fat Man atomic bomb Rene Burri

Detection Magdalena Kerkmans

Sarcophagus over a closed shaft which is 4km deep Danila Tkachenko

“Humans are always trying to own ever more than they is the source of technical progress, which was the mean various commodities, standards, as well as the tools of order to keep the power over others. ”

65


mp

Safety Magdalena Kerkmans

PROVING GROUNDS stair + ramp

66

stair + ramp

ramp + landings

ramp + landings

ramp + landings

elevator

elevator

elevator


Extrude Magdalena Kerkmans

fig. 7 + 8 extrude

DEFENSE

fig. 3 + 4 pixel

fig. 6

67

Extrude Magdalena Kerkmans


ETFE

0

15

µm

ed cl

cy

re

te

re

nc

12’

co

68 320- 380nm

PROVING GROUNDS

8’

5’

2’

2’

2’

3’

2’

3’

3’ 6’

2’

2’ 3’

3’

40

M

Pa

bi

sta

lis ed

ca st e

ar th


DEFENSE

Ground Floor

Sub Level 01

Sub Level 02

69

Egress Diagram Alexandre Abreu

Hydrographic tide forecast Magdalena Kerkmans


COUNTERMAPPING reveal

surveillance in the landscape through artifacts of observation. 70


ls

s “The economy of war, which up to now has always tended to transform the human landscape into a ‘defensive redoubt’ through the congruence of fortifications, tends now to reduce arms disparities by transforming military objects into projectiles.” Paul Virilio (1994) Bunker Archaeology 71


PROVING GROUNDS

Ma Ac

Art Exhibition

72


DEFENSE

Building Section Alexandre Abreu

ain ccess

Memorial

73


74

PROVING GROUNDS


Bunker Typology Study Magdalena Kerkmans

DEFENSE Abandonment

Anti-tank pimples (Dragon’s teeth) Tony Watson

Should places of military purpose be left to degradation after the end of their use?

75


Presence of the Hill (Los Alamos embraces the grand symbolog of ANONYMITY. 76


s)

gy Y.

“In December 1942, Secretary of War Henry Stimson ordered the director of the remote Los Alamos Ranch School in northern New Mexico to shut down the elite school. Stimson wrote in a letter that the land was being acquired by the U.S. government for “military purposes.” But school officials were forbidden from saying why the school closed on Feb. 8, 1943, and all records of the condemnation proceedings were sealed.” The Durango Harold (June 24, 2018) 77


78

PROVING GROUNDS

Scenario 1 Tahsin Zaman


79

DEFENSE

Dorothy McKibbin, Gatekeeper to Los Alamos Atomic Heritage Foundation

Do (D rai Sm in pla ac an en Sc for Am ins Fe in de wo ev the ac for


80

PROVING GROUNDS


81

DEFENSE

White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, 1992 Rene Burri

Perimeter Security Magdalena Kerkmans


Heliomorphology Heliomorphology

PROVING GROUNDS

Intagrated solar panel setup

Building-integrated photovltaics

Ind

Intagrated solar panel setup with perforated skin

ire

Intagrated solar panel setup

Scenario 01

82

ct s

un

Combine


nr adi

DEFENSE

ati on Ind ire

83

ct s un ra

Direct sun radiation

Direct sun radiation

Heliomorphology Alexandre Abreu


109 East Palace Atomic Heritage Foundation

PROVING GROUNDS

The offices at 109 Eas Santa Fe were the firs of scientists, engineer Corps, military police heading to the top-sec laboratory.

https://www.atomicheritage.org/tour-stop/109-east-palace

84


85

DEFENSE

Egress Pathway with Fire Escapes Tahsin Zaman


PROVING GROUNDS

Concrete Structure

86


DEFENSE

Wood Beam

87

Structural Diagram Alexandre Abreu


88 NRHP no. 66000493

PROVING GROUNDS


89

14,760 ha

DEFENSE

Counter-mapped Landscape Magdalena Kerkmans


Military View of Pixelated Information TOPOGRAPHY RENDERED VIEW 2

LATITUDE: 33°43’37.97” LONGITUDE: 106°31’46.14”

TOPOGRAPHY RENDERED VIEW 2

LATITUDE: 33°42’57.17” LONGITUDE: 106°32’01.55”

LATITUDE: 33°43’37.97” LONGITUDE: 106°31’46.14”

LATITUDE: 33°42’57.17” LONGITUDE: 106°32’01.55”

LATITUDE: 33°42’57.17” LONGITUDE: 106°32’01.55”

PROVING GROUNDS

LATITUDE: 33°42’04.31” LONGITUDE: 106°30’56.13”

LATITUDE: 33°42’57.17” LONGITUDE: 106°32’01.55”

LATITUDE: 33°42’04.31” LONGITUDE: 106°30’56.13”

Military View of Pixelated Information

Military View of Pixelated Information TOPOGRAPHY RENDERED VIEW 1

TOPOGRAPHY RENDERED VIEW 1

LATITUDE: N 33°42’10.21” LONGITUDE: W 106°33’31.36” LATITUDE: N 33°41’27.87” LONGITUDE: W 106°33’27.68” LATITUDE: N 33°42’10.21” LONGITUDE: W 106°33’31.36” LATITUDE: N 33°41’27.87” LONGITUDE: W 106°33’27.68”

LATITUDE: N 33°41’57.40” LONGITUDE: W 106°32’35.93”

LATITUDE: N 33°41’57.40” LONGITUDE: W 106°32’35.93”

90

Military View of Pixelated Information Tahsin Zaman

Military View of Pixelated Information


Pixelated Color Map Tahsin Zaman

AL MAP 1 110 x 145 PPI 155 x 155 PPI

DEFENSE

145 x 145 PPI

65 x 150 PPI

125 x 125 PPI

91


0 West Instrument Bunker

PROVING GROUNDS

Bullet-proof glass

Wood Door

Interior Walls covered with original wooden form

6� Concrete Slab

92


800 West Instrument Bunker at Trinity Site Alexandre Abreu

Viewing Port 16” in diameter and 8” long concrete pipe

DEFENSE

Viewing Port 16” in diameter and 8” long concrete pipe

The Interior of the bunker measured 6’-0” by 6’-0”

The Interior of theand bunker measured 6’-0”speed Fastax cameras, it was used to6’-0” storebyhigh and it was used to store high speed Fastax cameras, lead-lined steel sleds (4’ wide and 6’ long), and steel lead-lined steel sleds (4’ wide and 6’ long), and steel (1000’ long or more) cables (1000’ longcables or more)

3D Section

3D Section

93


JUST


TICE


96


Adaptabiloty Njia Blair

JUSTICE Justice is portrayed as blind, but the nuclear industry and the military have intentionally deafened her. The nuclear industry, especially that of the military, lacks accountability. Since the Trinity test, populations of people and vast swaths of delicate ecosystems have been ravaged by these industries. From those already disaffected people living where precious Uranium happened to be abundant, to those intentionally used as test subjects to the ravages of nuclear weaponry, to those caught in the path of the accident, Justice has been beyond their reach. These industries’ relentless march has effectually colonized areas and populations well beyond their borders with invisible menace. These projects seek to examine these conflicted histories through alternative Science Fictions, retribution on occupied territory, and exposing historical narratives that grave injustices.

97


98

PROVING GROUNDS


99

JUSTICE

Typology Redux Njia Blair


The trinity explosion birthed a new trajectory of SCIENCE FICTION. 100


“Winning is keeping the target in constant sight.� Paul Virilio (1989) War and Cinema 101


102 Resiliency unknown

PROVING GROUNDS


103

Bombing of Japan time.com

JUSTICE

Survey Lisa Demar


104

PROVING GROUNDS

Typology Redux Dillon Romero


105

JUSTICE

Adaptability Njia Blair


Experience leads to EMPATHY.

106


“Geographical representations—in the form of maps, texts and pictorial images of various kinds— and the look of landscapes themselves are not merely traces or sources, of greater or lesser value for disinterested investigation by geographical science. They are active, constitutive elements in shaping social and spatial practices and the environments we occupy.” Denis Cosgrove, 2008 107


108

PROVING GROUNDS

Flight Mask gettyimages.com


Survey Lisa Demar

JUSTICE 0.5 mi

1 mi

1.5

Detonation Points

109


110

Proving grounds have UNLAWFULLY EXPANDED its testing area to include the surrounding communities.


“Ecology must stop being associated with the image of a small nature-loving minority or with qualified specialists. Ecology in my sense questions the whole of subjectivity.� Felix Guattari (1989) The Three Ecologies 111


112

PROVING GROUNDS


113

JUSTICE

Safety Lisa Demar


114

PROVING GROUNDS

Hiroshima time.com


JUSTICE

Typology Lisa Demar

Hiroshima Hypocenter Memorial & Trinity Site Obelisk

115

Hir


116

PROVING GROUNDS

Typology Lisa Demar


117

JUSTICE

Trinity Site Obelisk Lisa Demar


118

PROVING GROUNDS

Typology Njia Blair


119

JUSTICE

Typology Redux Njia Blair


120

PROVING GROUNDS

Resiliency Dillon Romero


RANCH

121

JUSTICE

Ranch © Tae-Kwang Song


122

PROVING GROUNDS

Typology Redux Dillon Romero


123

JUSTICE

El Corral Cafe © Jonathan Miller


124

PROVING GROUNDS


125

JUSTICE

Typology Redux Dillon Romero

Trinity Site gettyimages.com


126

PROVING GROUNDS


127

JUSTICE

Geography Njia Blair


128

PROVING GROUNDS

Typology Njia Blair


129

JUSTICE

Laguna Pueblo gettyimages.com


130 L: Moonshot © Hope Nickolson

M:Captain Paiute © Theo Tso

PROVING GROUNDS

R: Super Indian © Aridon Starr


131

JUSTICE

Safety Njia Blair


ARTIF


FACT


134 Scenario at Artifact Threshold Martin Luna


ARTIFACT Military and nuclear industries have allowed nations to expand well beyond their borders, colonizing through forwarding presence and technology. By examining the artifacts, they leave behind, and one can begin to understand these industries in new ways. This research has shown the untold destructive power of nuclear systems, and the lowest bidder builds military forces. Nuclear accidents define atomic progress. Artifacts surrounding the bomb itself showcase the dangerous dichotomy in attitudes around atomic technology. Arbitrarily installed thresholds at the Trinity site do little to highlight this critical history’s conflicted nature. Air traffic control towers colonize space hundreds of miles in three dimensions. These projects seek to highlight the conflicted histories inherent to military landscapes and nuclear technology through the artifacts they have left behind.

135


We must make visible the invisible SCARS of the nuclear age. 136


“Just as weapons and armour developed in unison throughout history, so visibility and invisibility now began to evolve together, eventually producing invisible weapons that make things visible—radar, sonar, and the highdefinition camera of spy satellites.” Paul Virilio (1989) War and Cinema 137


138 T+.003 sec

T+ .00 6S e

PROVING GROUNDS

T+ .12 7S ec on ds -6 00 ft ll M ba ire -F

Crater Site - Final Checkpoint William Lyons

t ten Ex ax

Fig. 3: Ground Zero 0ft 30 snd co

150ft dson


139

ARTIFACT

Bikini Atomic Bomb Test, July 1946 National Security Archive


140

Women painting alarm clock faces, Ingersoll factory, January 1932 Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images

PROVING GROUNDS


141

J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves at the ground zero US Department of Energy

ARTIFACT

US personnel watching an H Bomb test Time Life Pictures


While the restricted ground around the Trinity site is open for visitation, the AIRSPACE is not. 142


“With the advent of the airplane and in connection with the development of atomic weapons, the concentrated city becomes obsolete.� Ludwig Hilberseimer (1945) Cities and Defense 143


PROVING GROUNDS

6000m

1000m

144

Stratosphere Troposphere


Scale Samuel Eberle

Middle Cloud Ceiling

ARTIFACT

High Cloud Ceiling

Low Cloud Ceiling

145


146

PROVING GROUNDS


147

ARTIFACT

Trinity Test Atomic Heritage Foundation

Typology Samuel Eberle


Gadget in Elevation as Detonated William Lyons

PROVING GROUNDS

4ft 6in Gadget in Elevation as Detonated

Fig. 2 Gadget in Elevation as Detonated

148


b. (1896) Becquerel discovers radioactivity c. (1898) The Curies discover Radium and Polonium d. (1899) Rutherford discoveres atomic structure, alpha and beta rays e. (1900) Villard discovers gamma rays

5

2

1

g. (1926) Radium Girls take legal action against U.S. government

3

8

h. (1946) First atomic bomb tested is gets tested at Trinity Site, NM

9

i. (1946) Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki j. (1947) U.S. Radium ceases operations

12

k. (1954) USSR produces world’s very first nuclear power plant for electricity

1880

2000

l. (1958) U.S. detonates 35 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands

N

USED NUCLEAR FUEL IN STORAGE AT THE END OF 2010 (in metric tons) 10,000

A Diagrammatic Visualization of Nuclear Martin Luna

GLOBAL CONTEXT A CHRONOLOGICAL VISUALIZATION OF RADIOACTIVE HISTORY

ARTIFACT

10 6 7

f. (1917) “Undark” used by U.S. military

11

4

A Chronological Visualization of Radioactive History Martin Luna

a. (1885) Wilhelm Roentgen discovers x-rays

N

5,000 1,000 100

NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE Shutdown sites Government site Commercial site

REGIONAL CONTEXT A DIAGRAMMATIC VISUALIZATION OF RADIOACTIVITY

149


150

PROVING GROUNDS

Erasure of the threshold Martin Luna


151

ARTIFACT

X-ray of Albert von Kölliker’s hand Wilhelm Röntgen


152

PROVING GROUNDS


Trailer Variations 3

Screening

Pool

Trailer Variations 4

Trailer Variations 5

Ranch

Quonset Hut

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 1

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

ARTIFACT

Jumbo arrives at the site US Department of Energy

Adaptability Studies William Lyons

Trailer Variations 2

153


Circulation William Lyons

PROVING GROUNDS

3

2

1

1. Pnuematic Elevator Shaft • 2. 4% Ramp • 3. Glass and Steel Dome Structure

Fig. 1: Circulation

154


ARTIFACT

Vice Admiral William Blandy celebrating the atomic tests on the Bikini Atoll Stock Montage/Getty Images

Vice Admiral William Blandy, his wife and Rear Admiral Frank Lowry in Washington D.C., celebrating the atomic tests on the Bikini Atoll in 1946. Blandy was in command of the testing.

“In recent decades, several researchers have documented how Project 4.1 scientists intentionally exposed Ma -LA Times 155


The Trinity Site must RESPOND to accessibility in as many ways as possible; environmentally, maneuverability, economically, etc. 156


“Conflict of forms: territories, constructions and naval, aerial and land equipment were all designed—into shapes that combined criteria that were universally valid for anything mechanical, ballistic, aerodynamic or optical, into particular concepts and interpretations that also resulted from firmly held aesthetic positions. It would be too simplistic to immediately define national ‘styles’ in this manner…” Jean Louis Cohen (2011) Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War 157


Environmental Systems Martin Luna

PROVING GROUNDS

POROUS MESH

TEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS CONDENSATION FIBER NETTING UALIZING INTERIOR SPACIAL CONDITION

INTEGRATED RUN-OFF DRAINAGE

90º 85º

80º

RESILIENCY RESERVOIR 75º

80º 75º

70º

65º

RATED ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS VEL TEMPERATURE MITIGATION | INTEGRATED RESERVOIR | POROUS CONCRETE 158


159

ARTIFACT

Marshall Islands atomic test Lawrence Livermore National Lab


PROVING GROUNDS

160 Egress + Path - Vertical Circulation Core Martin Luna

3

4

2

1


161

ARTIFACT

Egress Diagram Samuel Eberle


Trinity Bomb Assembly William Lyons

ded View of the Gadget

PROVING GROUNDS

9

3

4

8 7

6 5 3

2 1

1. Wire Harness • 2. Ignition Points • 3. High Explosives • 4. Uranium 238 Tamper • 5. Aluminum 6. Uranium 238 • 7. Plutonium 239 • 8. Polonium & Beryllium Nuetron Emitter • 9. Iginition Timing Devices

162


163

ARTIFACT

Trinity Site - July 16, 1946 US Department of Energy


Structural Assemblies

2 3

3

9 8

7 PROVING GROUNDS

8

2

9

7

7

164

1. Concrete Retaining Wall • 2. Rigid Insulation 6. Frame Footing • 7. Rough Hewn Granite Panel Facade


Crater Site Structural Assembly William Lyons

ARTIFACT

10

5

3

2 1

4

n • 3. Interior Finish • 4. Slab • 5. Steel Frame • 8. Air Gap • 9. Moisture Barrier • 10. “Green” Roof

165


166

PROVING GROUNDS


167

ARTIFACT

Scenario at Artifact Threshold Martin Luna


CO


ODA


PROVING GROUNDS

GEOGRAPHY

60M

Martin Luna

Katherine Boles

Chelyabinsk-40 Fallout Events William Lyons 1957 Explosion Fallout

History of the Trinity Site is contingent.

170

Conceptualization of Jornada del Muerto as barren facilitated military exploitation.

The nuclear age is defined by Village or Community oversight and accident 1960s Lake Karachay Radioactive Dust Cloud

N


CODA

GEOGRAPHY OF THE IMAGE: DRAWING PHOTO SIGNAL

Signs and Symbols

CENTER LINE OF CONTAMINATION ZONE EXPANDING N. EAST TO CORONA FROM EPICENTER OF FALLOUT. HIGHLIGHTED AREAS OF DATA & COMMUNICATION LINES TO SIGNAL HUMAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND OCCUPATION.

CONTAMINATION DISTRIBUTION & DATA TRINITY TO VAUGHN, NEW MEXICO

0

1

3

Scale sign

Lisa DeMar

Dillon Romero

Magdalena Kerkmans

N North Sign

Magdalena Kerkmans, UNM SA+P M Arch Candidate, Studio 603, Jeffrey Nesbit

The Trinity Site lacks connection to histories and peoples affected by the creation and utilization of the atomic bomb; the site should connect these histories through visual and experiential means since experience leads to empathy.

Proving grounds have unlawfully expanded it’s testing area to include the surrounding communities.

Technical imaging is expansion and control over landscape.

11"

Dimension

171

5


PROVING GROUNDS Samuel Fantaye

Samuel Eberle

Njia Blair

Trinity is tied to questions of sovereignty, identity, and labor exploitation.

Trinity is tied to questions of sovereignty, identity, and labor exploitation.

The trinity explosion birthed a new trajectory of science fiction.

172


MANIFESTED NM FEDERAL LANDS TAHSIN ZAMAN

New Mexico Historical Forts + Military Bases Fort Burgwin

Fort Marcy Santa Fe, NM

near Taos, NM

Los Alamos Demolition Army Base (1943) North Central, NM

Fort Union (1851)

1852

Watrous, NM

Kirtland Air Force Base (1941)

1861

Bernalillo, NM

1854

Fort Wingate

Fort Bascom

1861

near Tucumcari, NM 1851

1944

CODA

near Gallup, NM

1846 1864

1873

White Sands Missile Range (1948)

1868

1863

Otero, NM

Fort Sumner

Fort Sumner (village), NM

Cannon Air Force (1942)

Fort Craig Socorro, NM

1862

Curry, NM

Fort Stanton 1872

Fort Tularosa Aragon, NM

Trinity Site

near Lincoln, NM

1939 1878

1863

Holloman Air Force (1942)

near Alamagordo, NM

1861 1861 1854 1855 1943

Fort Bayard Socorro, NM

Fort Selden

Radium Springs, NM

1867 1866

1865

Fort Fillmore near Mesilla, NM

Fort Cummings

1863

near Cooke’s Springs, NM

1861 1851

Military Uses Land protection Mexican-American War (1846 - 1848) Civil War (1861 - 1865) Indian Wars Lincoln County War (1878 - 1881) German Internment Camp WWII Prison Supplied explosives to the Manhattan Project

Alexandre Abreu

Tahsin Zaman

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

NM FEDERAL OWNED LAND GOVT. COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Post occupancy of military landscapes are key to express historical identity.

Precautionary measures were taken to keep Trinity under wraps.

ROAD JUNCTIONS

WHITE SANDS MILITARY BASE AREA

Paths of nuclear production are enabled by national highway and rail infrastructure

173


TOPOGRAPHY

PROVING GROUNDS

Accident vs. Consequence

TOPOGRAPHY TOP VIEW 1

1:10,0000 N

1

Samuel Fantaye

Dillon Romero

TOPOGRAPHY OF FALLOUT - RURAL TOWN

CORONA, NEW MEXICO

155 x 155 PPI

N

William Lyons “With the invention of the ship came the shipwreck” — Paul Virilio

145 x 145 PPI

Martin Luna

174

Katherine Boles

plan view, illustrating superimpostion of thresholds

125 x 125 PPI

Tahsin Zaman


ned

CODA

Topographic Exploration

Alexandre Abreu

Site Plan

Lisa DeMar

Njia Blair

Manipulation of ground at the trinity site (marked by the + symbol) using civilian flight paths

Trinity Site

Samuel Eberle

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

Magdalena Kerkmans 0

1,000’

3,000’

N

Interventions Created By Map of Distant Stars

175


TYPOLOGY I

Holloman AFB ATC Tower

PROVING GROUNDS

Range Class C airspace

40 nmi cylinder

Horizon (from ground)

3 mi

Horizon (from tower)

12.3 mi

Tower radar

120 nmi radius

1 nmi (nautical mile) = 1.15 miles

umbo’s Trailer

Hiroshima Hypocenter Memorial & Trinity Site Obelisk

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

Samuel Fantaye 35ft

Samuel Eberle

Fig. 2

64 Wheels Towed by Multiple Tractors

Fig. 1

eing Towed to Detonation Site

ft

15

military view, outer trinity site security

Martin Luna

176

Fig. 3

William Lyons

Lisa DeMar


800 West Instrument Bunker

12” Concrete Roof

4” in diameter capped metal pipe

Protective timber wing wall

Defined views

Protective timber wing wall Viewing port

CODA

Timber retaining wall

Wood Door

Controlled boundaries

The bunker was half buried

Structural Landscape

Magdalena Kerkmans

Military Projection

Katherine Boles

Alexandre Abreu

NE, Santa Fe, NM 87501 ries Office

Entrance + 2'-0"

+ 6"

LOUNGE & STEAKHOUSE SPECIALIZING IN NEW MEXICAN CUISINE EST. 2005. PREVIOUSLY DON RICHMOND'S GENERAL STORE. PREVIOUSLY ELBERT OWNEN'S MERCANTILE. CMU W/ STUCCO CONSTRUCTION, TYPE III. 3000 SF

EL CORRAL CAFE CORONA, NEW MEXICO 0 4

Tahsin Zaman

Dillon Romero

32

Njia Blair

177


PROVING GROUNDS

ADAPTABILITY

14,760 ha

NRHP no. 66000493

Site Adaptation S Addition

Samuel Fantaye

Martin Luna

Njia Blair Trinity Site

04:00 MWT

a Castle Fig. 2: Screening

Fig. 3: Pool

ry School

Parking Lot

Fig. 1: Hay Rack

a Dome

McDonald Ranch + 2'-6"

+ 6" -1'-0"

HOUSEHOLD WITH ADJACENT HISTORICAL CENTER. M.O.U. AGREEMENT BETWEEN HOME OWNERS, STATE PARKS DEPT., AND DoD. TO MAINTAIN AND OPERATE BOTH CENTER AND HOUSEHOLD.

RANCH RESIDENCE & HISTORICAL CENTER BINGHAM, NEW MEXICO 0 4

Dillon Romero

178

32

Lisa DeMar

Fig. 4: Ranch

Fig. 5: Quonset Hut

Fig. 6: Crawler

William Lyons

Existing Roads


Free Fall

CODA

Balloon Ride

Iterations

Samuel Fantaye

Lift Ride

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

Njia Blair

109 East Palace Ave. Office

Dominant species: Sporobolus nealleyi and Tiquilia hispidissima

Trinity Site Crater

2 miles

N

0’

500’

1000’ 2000’

McDonald Ranch

Procession Key Plan

Tahsin Zaman

Alexandre Abreu

Katherine Boles

179


RESILIENCY

PROVING GROUNDS

Water circulation

Warm Air

Evaporative Pads

Humid Air

Water Extraction

Cool Air

Samuel Eberle

Water Storage

The public should be allowed to access and occupy this restricted airspace.

180

Martin Luna

Njia Blair

The Trinity Site must respond to accessibility in as many ways as possible; environmentally, maneuverability, economically, etc.

Design intervention should decolonize and demystify the trinity site.

INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS VISUALIZING BICYCLE + FOOT-PATH CONDITION


CODA

West

East

South

Solar Chimney

Samuel Fantaye

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

William Lyons

Upstream mining operations has left a toxic legacy.

Radioactive materials from the atomic age require deep subterranean disposal as storage

Carelessness and fatal intention continue to define the nuclear industry.

181


PROVING GROUNDS

RESILIENCY : PROTOTYPES

site coordinates Latitude: 33° 40’ 38.28” N Longitude: -106° 28’ 31.44” W

species: bouteloua gracilis

koppen climate classification Bsk: (cold semi-arid) BWk: (cold desert)

Lisa DeMar

environmental system of priority arroyo flooding

Katherine Boles

site recommendations 1. Staging conditions in response to the Western transmission of water over the Trinity Site from the Oscura Mountains to the Rio Grande Valley.

Humans have difficulty Chihuahuan Desert ecology comprehending vast and ranch production systems 2. Restoring endangered ground species as method of magnitudes (in the case werecover dismissed. mitigating the movement, storage, and use of shallow flood of the atomic bomb:waters. the size of the blast radius and 3. Each prototype allows for a microenvironments and biodiversity understanding the scale of of plantings. Annual shallow flooding of the site will allow for a gradual passive earth-moving strategy. tens of thousands of deaths). Comprehension of numbers and space best occurs at a scale relative to the human body.

182

ground condition: sloped compacted fields

Magdalena Kerkmans

benefit: perenial blooms grazing seeds-granivorous birds attracts butterflies

The instantaneous view has led to an increased simultaneity of landscape and image.


Heliomorphology

Adaptative solar panel setup

CODA

Adaptative solar panel setup

Adaptative sola

Tahsin Zaman

Dillon Romero

Alexandre Abreu

Presence of “The Hill” (Los Alamos)embraces the grand symbology of anonymity.

The surrounding communities of the proving grounds have: A right to exist A responsibility to exist

Trinity Site is absent of nuclear conflict. WATER MACHINE TRINITY SITE, WSMR, NM

183


PROVING GROUNDS

PERFORMATIVITY

t ten Ex ax

T+ .00 6S e

T+ .12 7S ec on ds -6 00 ft

ll M ba ire -F

0ft 30 snd co

T+.003 sec

150ft dson

Fig. 3: Ground Zero

Samuel Eberle

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

William Lyons

The architecture facilitates this occupation and also gives a commentary about restriction and the military landscape.

Descension into the Earth opens up cosmic archeology.

We must make visible the invisible scars of the nuclear age.

184


600m 600m

600m

500m 500m

500m

400m 400m

400m

300m 300m

300m

200m 200m

200m

100m 100m

1

2

0

100m

3

1

2

3

4

0

4 5

1 5 r / hr

2

0

3

4 5

r / hr

CODA

r / hr

Magdalena Kerkmans

Slow Sand Filter TahsinScenario: Zaman

Lisa DeMar

Introducing new artifacts of observation allows for a counter-mapped landscape.

In order to draw no attention, cloaks were utilized in order for locals to be oblivious.

In order for humans to occupy and traverse the desert, strategies to mitigate sun and gather water must be implemented

oscura mountain canyon

chupadera plateau

185


Heliomorphology “REWILDING” LANDSCAPING Building-integrated photovltaics

PROVING GROUNDS

Perforated skin

Indi

rect

sun

radi

n ra

n

t su

ec Dir

POROUS CONCRETE

Scenario 03

Martin Luna PERFORMATIVITY SCENARIO AT SITE THRESHOLD

Experience of the Trinity Site should not be exclusive to July 16th, 1945.

186

Katherine Boles

Alexandre Abreu

The Trinity detonation instantly created a wastewilderness.

Bunkers are symbolic elements of hidden nuclear memory.

n

tio

dia

atio


CODA Samuel Fantaye

Dillon Romero

Njia Blair

Regulatory framework must provide equitable retribution.

Highlighting the reciprocal histories of these actors and landscapes is critical to the foundation of a post-nuclear future.

Tourism has replaced Indigenous Futurism.

187


SAFETY

PROVING GROUNDS

Paths of Egress

Njia Blair

William Lyons

Samuel Eberle

NOTES: 1. STAIRS 2. ELEVATOR 3. INFORMAL SITTING AREA 4. WATER FOUNTAIN

Safety / Egress

3

xterior access) Space

4

2

Information Space

istrative

1

Prototype for one iteration of programming at the Trinity Site This iteration is intended to be the first stop for the visitor as they walk along the Hiroshima pathways etched into the landscape. This introductory space includes visitor information, administrative offices, exhibit area, and restrooms.

Lisa DeMar

Martin Luna

VERTICIAL CIRCULATION CORE

188

Tahsin Zaman


ress Diagram

CODA

Ground Floor

Sub Level 01

Sub Level 02

Alexandre Abreu

Samuel Fantaye

Katherine Boles

Magdalena Kerkmans

Dillon Romero

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

189


12’

TYPOLOGY II

PROVING GROUNDS

40

M Pa

sta

bi

lis

ed

ca

st

ea

rth

8’

5

3’

Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro

ral Assemblies 10

Ground

-15’

2

exterior cladding air gap wood fiber insulation board clt panel mineral board interior plaster

12 mm/0.47 inch CFRP

xhibition SpaceNjia Prototype Blair

Typology Redux

Magdalena Kerkmans

-30’

3

co nc re te

9 8

le d

2’

9

µm

8

2’ 2

re cy c

3

7

15

0

7

8’ 5

7

3

2 1

8’

4 1. Concrete Retaining Wall • 2. Rigid Insulation • 3. Interior Finish • 4. Slab • 5. Steel Frame 6. Frame Footing • 7. Rough Hewn Granite Panel Facade • 8. Air Gap • 9. Moisture Barrier • 10. “Green” Roof

William Lyons

lique

s

5’

190

Fig. 1: Crater Site Structural Assembly

Lisa DeMar

Tahsin Zaman


Southwest View

Art Gallery

CODA

Memorial

Visitor Center

Martin Luna

Alexandre Abreu

Katherine Boles

Samuel Eberle

Dillon Romero

Samuel Fantaye

191


Samuel Eberle

Ladder Ladder to Ladder theto“Clouds” theto“Clouds” the “Clouds”

Crane Crane Ride Crane Ride Ride

Free Free Fall Free Fall Fall

GiantGiant Swing Giant SwingSwing

GiantGiant Drop Giant DropDrop

Balloon Balloon Ride Balloon Ride Ride

Samuel Fantaye

Martin Luna

satellite view, outer trinity site threshold

BOUNDARY 192 HYSICAL BOUNDARY THRESHOLDS

military view, civilian property threshold

satellite view, trinity site threshold

TYPOLOGY OF BOUNDARY VISUALIZING PHYSICAL BOUNDARY THRESHOLDS

military view, outer trinity site threshold

military view, trinity site threshold


Ladder to the “Clouds”

Crane Ride

Free Fall

Giant Swing LadderLadder to the to “Clouds” the “Clouds”

Giant Drop CraneCrane Ride Ride

Balloon Ride Free Fall Free Fall

Aqualoop Slide Giant Giant SwingSwing

Cantilever Rack Giant Giant Drop Drop

Lift RideRide Balloon Balloon Ride

Aqualoop Aqualoop Slide Slide

Cantilever Cantilever Rack Rack

Lift Ride Lift Ride

satellite view, outer trinity site threshold

satellitesignage view, trinity site threshold military view, atomic veterans highway

military view, white sands signage

military view, trinity site signage

193


REFERENCES Alessandra Ponte, “Desert Testing,” in Architecture and the Sciences: Exchanging Metaphors, Antoine Picon and Alessandra Ponte, eds. (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003). Bruno Latour, Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2018). Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, Fronts: Military Urbanisms and the Developing World (New York: Applied Research and Design Publishing, ORO Editions, 2020), 6-39. Jean Louis Cohen, Architecture in Uniform: Designing and Building for the Second World War (New Haven and London: Yale University and Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2011). Jeffrey S. Nesbit and Guy Trangoš, eds., New Geographies 11: Extraterrestrial (Harvard Graduate School of Design and Actar Publishers: Cambridge and Barcelona, 2019). Kate Orff and Richard Misrach, Petrochemical America (New York: Aperture, 2014). Le Corbusier, Aircraft (New vision. [1]) (London, New York: The Studio; The Studio publications, 1935). Neeraj Bhatia, New Investigations in Collective Form (Barcelona: Actar, 2019). Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, Mimi Zeiger, On Dimensions of Citizenship (Venice Biennale, Inventory Press, 2018). Paul Virilio, Bunker Archaeology (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1975). Paul Virilio, War and Cinema. (London: Verso, 1989). Paul Ozorak, Underground Structures of the Cold War: The World Below (South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2012). Peter Galison and Julie Kruse, “Waste-Wilderness: A Conversation with Peter L. Galison.” (Friends of the Pleistocene, 2011). Peter Galison, “War Against the Center,” in Architecture and the Sciences: Exchanging Metaphors, Picon, A. and Ponte, A., eds (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003). Peter Galison and Robb Moss, dir., Containment (Redacted Pictures, 2015). Peter Galison, and Pamela Hogan, dir., Ultimate Weapon: The H-Bomb Dilemma (national Science Foundation, documentary feature, 2000). Pierre Belanger and Alexander Arroyo, Ecologies of Power: Countermapping the Logistical Landscapes and Military Geographies of the U.S. Department of Defense (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2016), 12-47. Rachel Woodward, “Looking at Military Landscapes: Definitions and Approaches,” in Renaud Bellais (ed.) The Evolving Boundaries of Defence: An Assessment of Recent Shifts in Defence Activities (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Volume 23) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2014, pp.139 – 153. Rania Ghosn and El Hadi Jazairy / DESIGN EARTH, Geostories: Another Architecture for the Environment (Barcelona: Actar, 2018). Reyner Banham, “The Great Gizmo,” in Industrial Design, vol. 12, September 1965, 48-59. Reprinted in Penny Sparkle (ed.), Design by Choice (London: Academy Editions, 1981), 112-113.

194


195


Jeffrey S. Nesbit Postdoctoral Research Fellow / Harvard GSD Office for Urbanization Visiting Associate Professor / University of New Mexico Editor / New Geographies Journal Director / Haecceitas Studio Host / Nature of Enclosure

Student Participants Njia Blair Katherine Boles Lisa Demar Samuel Eberle Samuel Fantaye Alexandre Gomes de Abreu Magdalena Kerkmans Martin Luna William Lyons Natasha Carneiro Ribeiro Dillon Romero Tahsin Zaman

Dean

Robert Alexander Gonzรกlez


GRADUATE STUDIO ARCH 603 | FALL 2020

Faculty

Jeffrey S. Nesbit

Student Participants

Njia Blair Katherine Boles Lisa Demar Samuel Eberle Samuel Fantaye Alexandre Gomes de Abreu Magdalena Kerkmans Martin Luna William Lyons Natasha Carneiro Dillon Romero Tahsin Zaman

In this graduate architecture design studio, students from the School of Architecture + Planning at the University of New Mexico reflect on the impact of the nation’s first nuclear testing “Trinity Site” in New Mexico. As a site of both rich American history and conflicted forms of military strategy and politics, this remote, Cold War site demonstrates how architecture in the background enables an active role in the environment-including territory, culture, and ecologies of power.

Profile for Jeffrey Nesbit

Proving Grounds: American Architecture of a Nuclear History  

In this graduate architecture design studio, students from the School of Architecture + Planning at the University of New Mexico reflect on...

Proving Grounds: American Architecture of a Nuclear History  

In this graduate architecture design studio, students from the School of Architecture + Planning at the University of New Mexico reflect on...

Profile for jsnesbit
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