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Architecture as a New Geography

Part 1 Project 2013
Matthew Turner
Oxford Brookes University Oxford | UK
The site is the former prison island of Asinara in Italy. It is understood as the meeting point of global fault lines both geological and optical. Where these points intersect three zones of inhabitation are created and an infrastructural plane is proposed. It is both a reflector of solar light and a datum line against which the topography of the island reveals itself. The geometry of geological formations interacts with sunlight to create a variety of climatic conditions, which are exploited to accommodate human life.

The initial man-made intervention creates an intense but constant weather condition. Architecture becomes an intervention into this constant condition creating a landscape of weather variations. Tectonic intervention becomes the creator of changing weather conditions, a flux of different environments throughout the building. Through sequences of heat and cold the tectonic climates become threshold and markers of public and private space, while also maintaining ideal conditions for inhabitation.

Inside and outside space is separated by control and concentration of the elements to supplement the architecture. Wind is harnessed so that walls do not mark a static edge to space but are augmented by its changing velocity, which wraps around it and those who walk through it, constantly changing the character of its edges. The mass of tectonic elements is used in gradations to create thresholds of encasement within the landscape which complements the material encasement from which the mass is made; enveloping the inhabitant in the geography of the structures.

Manipulation of heat through architecture creates a new way to inhabit the landscape; this has also been used to create the material from which the building is made. By developing a system of kilns and material extraction which harness the shapes and heat of the landscape the building can create itself from the material on which it sits, growing from it like crystal formations over the landscape. This creates a secondary landscape of heat and a material
typology created by heat variation.

Matthew Turner


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