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Weaving a Tale of The City

Part 2 Project 2012
Katie Murray
Michelle Barrett
University College Cork Cork | Ireland
“What connects thinking to imagination, imagination to drawing, drawing to building and building to our eyes is projection in one guise or another, or processes we have chosen to model on projection.” Robin Evans

Set within the ruins of Istanbul’s Imperial Place, “Weaving a Tale of The City” aims to question how architectural forms are conceived and in particular how architecture has the potential to incorporate the laws of projection and perspective used in drawing as part of the design process. The “palimpsested” nature of Istanbul established the thematic framework for the thesis; surfaces are continually being erased, reused or altered while still retaining traces and index of their earlier forms. This continuous process of persistent accretion prevents the city from ever reaching an entropic state- never becoming frozen or stagnant.

The project consists of building fragments that actively engage with the cut landscape of the site and operate as mechanisms for the archaeological excavations while extending the limited tourist route. It is a place for revealing, viewing and displaying of archaeological artefacts. The ruins will be excavated in phases but the site as a whole will continue to remain active; several screening devices will roam the Imperial Palace site for ten year periods.

Early design investigations began with drawing studies that fore grounded several existing layers of history which are evident in the city. These are the urban grids of the old Roman city and the Ottoman grid – the Qibla grid [the mosques 45 degree orientation towards Mecca]. The layering of these grids alters the geometry of the existing city block creating left over spaces [found pieces].

Establishing the exact direction of the Qibla in a location is a complex mathematical problem, represented using stereographic projections. Associated with this is the study of “sciography” [a form of perspective, which deals with shadow projections.], this influenced the design methodologies employed during the study and the formation of the final architectural devices, forms and enclosures.

Fundamentally, this thesis considers the apparent conflict between archaeology and architecture; one builds up and constructs, while the other cuts away and reveals.

Katie Murray
Michelle Barrett


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