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Institute of Time

Part 1 Project 2012
Nicholas Lo
University of Nottingham
The project begins by looking at lost memories and how they are fading away with time in various forgotten places in the heart of our cities. The city of Wakefield, Yorkshire was chosen as the site of the study. The investigation looked at how abandon places, in particular, contain diverse and rich lost memories. Alleyways and the least occupied streets became focal points for the project. I became interested in how these forgotten spaces often act as shortcuts for people as they cut through the city but can they also encourage reflection on lost time? Can people be made aware of time again through physical interaction with the city?

The dramatic structure is designed to draw attention to the creation of a new shortcut, placed in a busy central area of Wakefield. The project tries to play with, and remind us of, the duality between fast and slow time. The main building itself is designed as a shortcut, but it also reflects on how time can affect the built environment through three main aspects, temperature, lighting and materiality. The effect of seasonal temperature changes and conditions hugely affect our living environment. The project displays this by its interactive physical external shading devices that playfully react to solar changes reminiscent of the way the older style train timetable display systems worked. Sunlight and shadows have been markers of time for many generations and this is explored within the building and by the tower on site. Finally, the change in materiality can be observed on the eroding surfaces over time. The difference in volume and surface area can affect the rate of conductivity. Warmth collected by materials is passed on for the benefit of the user of the building. A copper handrail will warm as the sun falls across it.

Users of the building are tempted by shortcut bridges on each level across the void. But the temptation to experience the memories of the building is always there. The project tries to show how limited and valuable time is to everyone.

Nicholas Lo


Mr David Short

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