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Entropy within Architecture

Part 2 Project 2011
Victor Salzmann
University of the Free State Bloemfontein South Africa
Entropy is the slow, steady and unavoidable decay of our lives (system). It is the inevitable question to which religions all around the world have sought to answer. Instinctually we strive to survive. Modern architecture strives to be immortal, timeless. We need to rethink this position. Through avoiding entropy in the modern cityscape, we have lost our relationship with death. This dulls us from cherishing life.

The proposed building sits adjacent to an old gothic style, Methodist church. On the site are memorial walls. They preserve the memory of the fallen, of World War I and World War II. The poppy becomes a symbol of this memory. The site itself has become a moment of entropy within the landscape. It possesses a divine right, and this has caused its development to be stunted.

Entropy is an essential part of our lives. Entropy becomes the moment when you pause to smell the flowers. When you fall in love or when you take a moment to soak up some of the early morning sun. Without entropy, our lives become no more than functional modern machines of efficiency. Entropy is both the giver of age and wisdom.

The proposed project is a memorial structure to remember the fallen. It also serves to remind the living of their mortality, and thus to also cherish it. The building is based on the forces of the adjacent gothic church. As the gothic church starts to erode over time, the newer proposed structure will physically start to replace it, essentially becoming a prosthetic. The building takes on an architectural skeleton metaphor. Materials such as corten, copper and wood are used, to expose entropy within texture. The function of the structure is to allow for the reflection of the soul. To pause during your day and to be reminded of your mortality and life.

The strategy of this project is to embrace entropy rather than trying to ignore it. It explores how the skeleton form can allow us to read poetry within entropy. The memory of death is what allows us to never forget life.

Victor Salzmann


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