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The Slowing Down of Time

Part 1 Project 2011
Joshua Cole
University of Plymouth | UK
Current State:
The railways turn places into systems of circulation, transforming what had been distinct places into commodities. This is the prime issue for Plymouth and its train station. It has become a place to pass through and not to stop at. The ability for transport to get us from A to B at speed is weakening the experience of time in contemporary life and the way cities are primarily constructed. The compression of time & space and the consequent flatness of experience have caused a curious fusion of these two dimensions: “the spatialization of time and the temporalization of space”. Mobility (in this case; train transportation) has transformed the world and exerts significant influence on our daily lives.

Proposed State:
By creating a train station which lies primarily over the railway lines I hope to connect with the transience of the railway and simultaneously slow down time & the rat race of just getting from A to B and not experiencing the ‘in-between’. Creating a place for people to travel through but to also to experience, I propose a Gateway to Plymouth that helps the city to be acknowledged as a city not only to pass through but also one to dwell in.

Whilst this train station addresses the local site that is Plymouth, it is a statement to the country and the world. Through the modernization of transportation, in part we have lost the experience of true time, to be in a place and not just passing through one place to another (whether that be from one station to another or to another part of the world). Machines save us time but what do we do with that spare time? This proposal aims to challenge our perception of time and our need for speed & mobility through the construction of “time zones” within the train station by manipulating materials and atmospheres to create suitable spaces for transition but also for waiting, resting, being. The train station aims to slow down time so that we once again truly experience a place and reconnect to place, to the city.

Joshua Cole


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