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Spirit and Place

Part 2 Project 2008
Neal Collins
Simon Astridge
University of Portsmouth Portsmouth UK
Two sites formed our joint thesis, an Ancient Woodland Burial near Petersfield and Stokes Bay an historic strip of coastline in Gosport. To truly understand the spirit of each place, we immersed ourselves by working as coffin bearers. In using only materials found on each site, we created six art installations based upon Juhani Pallasmaa's Six Themes for the Next Millenium; Slowness, Plasticity, Authenticity, Sensuousness, Idealisation and Silence. This spiritual reading of the particular, allowed us to understand the heart of each site and from a phenomenological perspective we were able to propose a true architecture of the senses.
Neal Collins
Simon Astridge


The Diploma 2 Thesis undertaken by Simon and Neal during the 07/08 academic session was from the outset a well coordinated and highly motivated team investigation. Both contributed according to their strengths and abilities, providing a united and holistic resolution to each stage of the development process. The intensity of the outcome reflected this approach.

Two contrasting contexts and client requirements were selected as vehicles for the study. Readings were carried out based upon Juhani Palasmaa's writings into a semiotic response to brief and context. The acquisition of the initial brief and its primary objectives were carefully considered and well related to the requirement for two realistic projects involving complex Clients and diverse contexts. The notion that it may be possible to provide a satisfactory resolution to a defined requirement by sensitive readings and architectural intervention, was rigorously addressed and fully tested. Their research into every aspect of the creation of an appropriate architecture of the senses was carefully recorded and presented, and distinct.

The final presentation was beautifully conceived and executed, providing a clear and concise documentation of their total investigation. The overall solutions for the two sites was underpinned with precise detail, enabling the assessors to evaluate the work at a glance or to probe at great depth and feel satisfied with the resolution of the objectives set.

The ambition of form, composition and sensitivity was fully resolved and integrated with sustainable objectives and context, and was well related to precedents. The work was recognised by the examiners as distinct, and was also considered worthy of a special prize awarded by RIBA Southern Region.


Tutor(s)
Mr David Yearley
2008
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