Next Project

DIRT: Skin of the Earth

Part 1 Project 2011
Claire Holton
University of Westminster London UK
A detailed architectural and landscape proposal for a new multi-purpose
environment within the site of Mappin Terrace, London Zoo, a range of concrete
clad mountains, built in 1914, was a glacial home for Polar Bears. The cavernous
interior, like that of a real mountain, holds reservoirs of water that is filtered and
circulated into the Aquarium below. Mappin Terrace no longer houses Polar
Bears as current thinking turns more towards conservation and climate change.
By celebrating an awareness of our environment, the proposal investigates a
Microscopic Zoo, using soil as a Biome whilst stimulating an interest in ones
perception of dirt. It has been said that the human race knows more about certain
distant galaxies than it does about the ground below our feet.
Whilst extending the concept of 'soils' the proposal delves deeper and explores
the areas of 'Cleansing' and 'Classification'.' Cleansing' looks at sustainability
and humans dependence on water, investigating the aquariums viability for water
recycling and harvesting techniques. 'Classification' probes at the efforts to put
organisms into an order; architecturally the project proposes a Library of soils.
Extending the original brief the new exhibit merges the former pleasure garden of
London Zoo, with Regents Park to celebrate the existing landscape and to capture
a larger audience.
Developing an architectural language inspired by strata and radial DNA diagrams,
sees the proposal built around a fanning strata of walls, standing, above between
and below London Soil. The resulting matrix of contrasting passageways and
water ducts invites the visitor to explore further.

Claire Holton

Mike Guy
John O'Shea
• Page Hits: 6873         • Entry Date: 16 September 2011         • Last Update: 16 September 2011