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Institute of Cloud Colouring

Part 1 Project 2013
Agata Murasko
Newcastle University | UK
‘Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.’

The Cloud Colouring Institute utilises elements found on a post-industrial stretch of coast in Hartlepool to generate coloured clouds that act as a spectacular chronograph for residents, emitting bursts of colour into the sky to coincide with sunsets that vary from month to month. The project aims to recover the image of a derelict industrial site by transforming it into something uniquely positive. The cold grey skies of the North Sea are imbued with vibrancy and joy.

The brief asked students to design a large-scale institute in a derelict post-industrial landscape scarred and contaminated by the processes that took place on it. The starting point was to test the human body and its relationship with its surroundings. The project started with a device that explored the visual distortion produced by the characteristics of different liquids. This apparatus leaked and stained its surroundings, like a miniature of the former industrial works. It generated the possibility that the industrial staining could be used for something positive, with the building acting as a huge printer that used the landscape as its canvas.

The institute uses pollen and seawater to generate colourful clouds. Long channels take high tide water into the architecture, where they are mixed with pollen collected from the site and other natural dyes, pressurised and sprayed into the air. As these clouds are generated, the resulting precipitation stains the landscape, creating temporary artworks across the site. The rain is partly channelled into underground rain archives, which document and store the colours generated as research into the dyes is carried out.

The landscape is a vast ecological park of coloured terrain and plantlife. The architecture, suspended above, is both a machine for the production of the clouds, and a place the residents of Hartlepool can enjoy. In this way it transforms its guarded and polluted industrial heritage into something hopeful and extraordinary.

Agata Murasko

James Craig
Matt Ozga-Lawn
• Page Hits: 7552         • Entry Date: 12 September 2013         • Last Update: 12 September 2013