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The cultivation of chance: Seismological Research Centre, Porto

Part 1 Project 2005
John Craske
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), UK
Investigations into man's ability to harness chance culminate with the proposal of a seismological support facility situated just outside Porto, Portugal. Providing support to the national network of seismological stations, the building's constitution typifies a volatile relationship between building and landscape. The facility attempts to further embody the disparity between conceiver/intent and fabricator/realisation. Within a process akin to both the disjuncture between architectural instruction and subsequent interpretation, and a building's unprecedented response to climatic conditions, the scheme suffers from subtle deformations. The ways in which man might cultivate or suppress the intervention of chance are pertinent both to the projects proposition and its inexorable preoccupations with time.
John Craske

Translating the shipping forecast for the North Sea into a series of design instructions for interventions on the rooftop of a terrace house, John's early work introduced his exceptional talent as a designer and thinker.
The Seismological Research Centre in Porto concludes John's study of the relationship between aspiration and outcome in design. An ambitious proposition for a remote site, his proposal is not limited to the present tense. It embodies the layered history of the site, the slow remodeling of the landscape, the prospect of sudden change and future measured decay.

Ms Sabine Storp acted as a third tutor, replacing Dr Penelope Haralambidou for part of the year. We would be grateful if you could provide this note to the judges where necessary.

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