Author: Sam Gray Coulton
Instructors: Jonathan Hill, Elizabeth Dow, Matthew Butcher
The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
The project evolved through investigations into Space, Time, Light, Colour, Form and Detail. Beginning with spatial studies of Quantum phenomena, leading to investigations of time and consciousness as a means of defining space. Prevalent in the work are celestial alignments, referencing the passing of time, the sun path has been used to divide the space into areas lit between solstice and equinox.
Citing the immaterial architecture of Yves Klein and exhibiting the weather conditions one can experience here, the design, whilst directly referencing Berlin’s rich history, seeks to add new textures of tangible (im)materiality and layers of somewhat extreme environmental conditions. By celebrating decay and emphasizing the passage of time, the architecture attempts to speak to the past but prepares for a more climatically diverse future.
Mannerist design principles are expressed in the sometimes uncomfortable relationship between fine steel and solid cast elements. Large overhangs and radial, solar informed space contrast more strongly against normative planar architecture. Furthering to the work of Phillipe Rahm, modern climatic analysis is used to inform surface treatments and describe space without physically representing the architecture itself, but also used to enrich the built form. As rain paths and pressure waves hint at a serrated cladding surface, annual radiation analysis is pixelated into landscaped tiled seating, the heights of which equate to the light falling on that tile over the course of a year. Timescales at the micro and macro range are exhibited, whether through the tracking of the sun across a room, the bleaching of the cladding over a year, or through the gradual change in how the building can be used as it submits itself to the changing environmental conditions we face.
Influenced by the ideology of the Smithson’s – exhibited most profoundly at Upper Lawn Solar Pavilion – the climatic conditions of the space are investigated, recorded and celebrated as the occupants and architect enjoy ‘submitting to the seasons’. The project is concerned with how architects use climatic conditions to define space, and how often we find ways to subvert micro and macro-climates. It is designed with the inevitable shifts in the climate that we are seeing, and through doing so, hopefully makes occupants more aware of what is often abstracted.
For more projects from the author, please visit: samcoulton.wixsite.com/sgcarch