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Urban park and Library Kop Van Zuid, Rotterdam

Part 2 Project 1999
Miceal Mcginty
University of Lincoln, UK
The year was split into two separate projects which ran in tandem. The first was an investigation of artificial light and space and the exploration of possible means of dissecting space using light. The second was an analysis of the visible and invisible structures of an urban area and a particular site. The conclusion of these two projects was a culmination of both into a final building design.

The first project became a light installation, essentially it comprised three double skinned steel drums which rotated allowing shafts of light to intermittently appear and disappear thus illuminating and segmenting the space they occupied, at various intervals, in different shapes and heights.

The second project was an analysis of the Kop Van Zuid district of Rotterdam and the development of a brief for an urban park and library within that park, on a disused railway siding in that district.

The final building and park design was generated out of my experiments and recordings of the light installation and the urban analysis. The aim was to fuse the two strands of my work into one project (a building design) which reflected my years research and experimentation.

Miceal Mcginty

Miceal McGinty was chosen as a nominee because he fulfilled the units criteria in ways which not only surprised us but engaged our imaginations. His response to the brief we set was energetic and a joy to tutor.

Factory is a unit primarily concerned with the metropolitan, as such the years work was based on examinations of the urban condition. To achieve this the unit was and is grounded in the idea that open experimentation, work in various scales and mediums, exploration of languages of expression, creation and depiction are paramount.

The year was split into two projects, the students were expected to develop a continuous theme through both projects, Miceal’s scheme was particularly strong because he managed to translate the ideas, narrative and visual language he developed from the first project into the second.

The primary objective of the first project was to construct an installation in a given area which manipulated the space it occupied. The project was principally concerned with two core themes, firstly the investigation and interpretation of selected ideas from the chosen environment and secondly, the relationship of the performer-subject viewer experience.

Miceal’s response was to construct an installation which used light as a tool to dissect space. The installation was complex and technically difficult to manufacture and operate. However the results were extremely impressive and provided Miceal with a rich resource from which to develop an architectonic language and narrative for his subsequent building project.

The students were then asked to choose a site and examine themes connected to their site in particular the nature of the programme/brief that they wished to adopt for the site. The choice of site and building type were unrestricted. Miceal chose to design an urban park and community library on a disused railway site in Rotterdam on the south bank of the river Maas in the Kop Van Zuid district. The aim was to design a building using the narratives and knowledge of language and ideas already expressed in the first project and fuse them with the information and ideas created by the site analysis. With particular regard to the function (ritual), event (experience) and their culmination/combination into programme. All of which Miceal achieved with a great deal of aplomb

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