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School of Horology

Part 1 Project 2005
Tan Szue Hann
National University of Singapore Singapore Singapore
In a school of horology, watch and clock-making techniques are taught. The issue of time – and its spatial manifestation - is central to the design, from conception to completion.

The watch is taken apart, its mechanisms analysed and reinterpreted as categorical functions. Each of these functions are attributed to a programmatic function of the school. Thus, for instance, the watch face metaphorically becomes the gallery, as both are information-displaying.

In the larger social context, horology is a field deep-rooted in tradition, in its inventiveness. The architecture of the school is a manifestation of this inventiveness – that of employing technology to translate metaphors into spaces, and at the same time, addressing greater social and sustainability issues such as environmental mitigation.

Tan Szue Hann


Szue Hann chose to explore a theme that is both traditional and contemporary: the perception of time in spatial context. The connection with tradition is brought out through the programme of his project – a school for the making of mechanical time pieces – with all its deep-rooted temporal notions and ingenious inventions. The claim to contemporary relevance of the project lies in its location in Singapore; the project unfolds the rich meanings of ‘making’ through an understanding of time as movement, through spatial formulations of that movement, and through tectonic articulations. In its engagement with site and culture, this project harbours greater ambitions to rethink the role of technology in the Asian intellectual context.

2005
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