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Architecture of Disappearance

Part 2 Project 2009
Gavin Traylor
Birmingham City University Birmingham UK
Architecture of Disappearance

Research

The thesis project was derived from the studio philosophy which explored issues surrounding border conditions.

Overlaying investigations into the micro and macro conditions of office cubicle culture and the cold war, uncovered themes of control and surveillance which were demonstrated through a narrative of characters based on a true story of a border crossing in Bialoweiska Forest in Poland.

As a development of the research a future scenario was proposed to explore the affects of climate change on the socioeconomic and political borders within Europe and the implications on the migratory patterns of people.

Architectural Intervention

Bialoweiska 2048, has become a polluted sea on the border of the Eastern Republic following extreme climate changes whereby sea levels have risen 100m and the forest has been submerged. Fresh water has become a valuable commodity and is in short supply since the event has polluted the water courses within the Continent.

On the surface, a desalination plant was designed as a central hub on the frontier between east and west acting as a catalyst for economic redevelopment. However, in reality it has a darker side below the waterline where it supports a subterranean migrant community whose network of spore branches form a metropolis reaching far beyond the border deep into the eastern republic.

The underground community is in complete contrast to the rigid conformity of the desalination plant, adopting the notion of a city as an organism that grows and expands through development. Research into the biology of the existing Bialoweiska Primeval Forest uncovered the presence of fungal spores which are vital part of the forests ecological cycle. The tetra-radiate spore forms are used as a language to generate the sporadic growth of the migrant community. The spores expand and interact through stages of hyphal fusion where layers fuse and mutate to create forms which are then adapted to suit the spatial programme.

The programme for each detailed element is directly linked to the cold war narrative, and when combined create an architectural intervention that engages the symbiotic relationship between the Desalination Plant and the Migrant Metropolis.

Gavin Traylor


Gavin’s project looks at borders by exploring the edge territories which, in some way, express the contradictions of a world that moves between hyper communication and deep fractures. The more we join together, the more labyrinthine the world becomes. In turn, fronts and frontiers, links and separations, stitches and cuts, caesuras and interfaces, these lines which map out borders contribute to identity. For an “inside” to exist, it must open on to an “outside” which can accommodate it.

The project explored migration from east to Western Europe and in particular the Balkan countries. Overlaying investigations into the micro and macro conditions of office cubicle culture and the cold war, uncovered themes of control and surveillance which were demonstrated through a narrative of characters based on a true story of a border crossing in Bialoweiska Forest in Poland on a true story of a border crossing in Poland. 'A Polish Border Tragedy: Another Year another Border’ (BBC 2008) documented the story of Kamisa whose attempt to for a better life for her family ended with drastic consequences when crossing the border at Bialoweiska forest in Poland. The future scenario speculates on the rise in sea level and the change in transitory migration from west to east. It states this movement will result in militarised and politicised borders, a reversion to a visible system of control. This control is presented in a de salination plant which becomes an edifice for control above sea level. The below water level condition explores a migrant, subversive community. A place for expression, a point of crossing. The underground community is in complete contrast to the rigid conformity of the desalination plant, adopting the notion of a city as an organism that grows and expands through development. Research into the biology of the existing Bialoweiska Primeval Forest uncovered the presence of fungal spores which are vital part of the forests ecological cycle. The tetra-radiate spore forms are used as a language to generate the sporadic growth of the migrant community. The spores expand and interact through stages of hyphal fusion where layers fuse and mutate to create forms which are then adapted to suit the spatial programme.

Tutor(s)

Mr Kevin W Singh
2009
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