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TEMPO-TOPOS: art gallery Oporto

Part 2 Project 2000
Julien Rousseau
Kingston University, UK
My approach is to 'trust' the potential of the site and to react more as a reader who responds to a series of observations. Visual information, such as photographs, drawings, site models and computer images (photoshop, CAD, etc.), are investigated that could later reveal particular moments and places.
These tentative analyses of reflections, phenomenal transparency, sound, history, thickness, roughness, etc., initiate little by little a future proposal.
These preliminaries hope to avoid purely formal reactions, which often take the role of solutions neglecting use, sense, experience, perception, etc. In other words, pr-emature architectural object based responses are avoided in my method of work. Instead I began by building a CAD model which constructed the foundations of a new site lining, a synthetic concrete ground above which the galleries float.
'Location in the city' was a key phrase for this project, an art gallery in Oporto.
The long section drawing runs from the river D'Ouro to the depth of the rock exposing the weight of the city beneath which the project lies and is placed (Lieu-place).
My project attempts to establish a close physical relationship between the tectonic of the city and the inhabitant, between the 'stratum of time' and 'geological layers'.
This excavation allows a consciousness of your location in the city and place in time.

Julien Rousseau

Julien's project began with investigations of the topography of the site. His proposal seeks to create a new architectonic ground in the city above which the art gallery hovers. This made ground dips and rises to negotiate existing strata and to create space for new activities, studios, bars, debating spaces, theatres. The project establishes a clear hierarchy of elements of buildings and terraces made of various types of concrete. This creates a dialogue between the local granite hill of the city and the new poured architecture of the galleries. The tension between the local tectonic and the modern building materials, concrete and timber, sets up a series of 'uncanny' & odd spaces in which the life of the city quarter coincides and interacts with the world of the gallery. In Robert Smithson's 'earth works', a similar dialectic is sought between site and 'non-site'. At various times, it is imaginable to foresee a confrontation of artist and local resident; thus enabling, in Malraux's terms 'a gallery without walls'. In Robert Irwin's notion of 'circumstance', the capability exists in art experience for one to become conscious enough to 'perceive perception'. In this sense, julien's project comments upon the current and proposed situation and the building's setting; making a 'belvedere', a view of the beautiful view.

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