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Reversal Journeys

Part 1 Project 1999
Sylvia Ng
Architectural Association, UK

My own interpretation of my last year’s work was one of a personal journey – a reversal journey which allows me to go back and see the source of my thinking and my process of creativity.

The reversal journey had three episodes and the first began in Paris where the Pompidou Centre was the project for questioning the conventional way of making architectural drawings. Orthographic projection aims to convey the true scale and form of a building; however, the gerberette– the main structural member of the Pompidou has curves and a tapered end. My drawing of the gerberette uses an unfolding drawing that showed the true length and width of each line. This method of revealing through unfolding led to the second reversal journey that rekindles myself with my own past where memories were visualized through forms and spaces. Through a series of open and closed episodes, my past unfolded in my mind while recognizing these re-occurring glimpses of the future that I live in now. I realized that the sequential experience of the folded, convoluted and esoteric future propels me forward. The "glimpses" model captures the idea of my mind’s eye floating through manifold thresholds and seeing the past and the future. The canal boat bar project was the expression of the ‘glimpses’ sentiment in an existing elongated space using sliding panels within panels; revealing and concealing views.
What was gathered from the first and the second journeys mapped the third part of the journey - a journey that relates to my personal theme and also to the context of the existing site at the Regent’s Canal, London. Studies were made on visual reflections and formal mirroring through folding. The intense process was epitomized into a Canal Club of two halves negotiated by a bridge. The idea of formal mirroring was used to develop the siting of the club, followed by the physical installation of the mirror lines as walls and porticos. Symmetries and asymmetries generated the mirrored interiors.

"…you need to know who you are.
Then become no one.
Where one finds meaning, one creates meaning…" – a tomato project

Sylvia Ng

Sylvia Ng was our student in the 3rd year of the Architectural Association degree program during the academic year 1998-99. She was an excellent student who was able to use her exceptional drawing and modeling skills to thoroughly explore and develop her design ideas on each project.

In her Canal Club project, sited on the Regent's Canal in London, she used tactics of symmetry, mirroring, and reflection to achieve a design that has formal elegance but which is not only about form. She set up a reciprocal relationship between public and private space that showed a deep understanding of a contemporary institution and its public role along one of London's main leisure corridors.

In short, Sylvia's work is of an extremely high standard in all respects: philosophy, investigation and development.

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