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A Tajo Abierto

Part 2 Project 2019
Joaquin Garcia Calderon Mendoza d
Royal College of Art UK
A Tajo Abierto challenges the notion that buildings are designed as commodities. As such, it questions what architecture can mean today. The project is realised through film, drawing and making. It reconsiders attitudes towards the ground in Peru, where it is culturally, politically, and economically charged. In the southern city of Arequipa, copper mining has created a form of physical detachment and abstraction that lies beyond human sight. Using the desolate mining–landscape as a site and embracing Andean cosmo–visions, the project constructs a new view of the ground and below–ground. Symbolic architectural form is employed as a means of remediation, which arrests the mining process through the erection of a series of replicable buildings across the landscape. The totemic foundations to these architectures are cast from high–grade copper, representative of globally-traded – but largely unseen – minerals. The earth that is extracted from the burial pit is placed on top of the scaffold, which is then burned as a symbolic means of burying the totem. The moment the totem drops from the burning scaffold rejoins us Peruvians to the earth and our heritage, while also restating the essential value of architecture.
Joaquin Garcia Calderon Mendoza d

Tutor(s)
Satoshi Isono
Clara Kraft
Guan Lee
2019
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