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Salt Sanctuary

Part 2 Project 2014
Rina Ko
Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong China
The Salt Sanctuary
a crystalline architecture of redemptive rituals envisioning alternative values

Powerful marketing in Hong Kong’s consumerist society, with its extremely seductive visual images and advertisements, have exploited our instincts and warped our desires, subconsciously manipulating our consumption choices. The obsessive pursuit of such distorted values have permeated both the collective unconscious and individual psyche, instead of nurturing what one truly needs as an individual. It is vital to go beyond the vicious circle generated by the perversion of collective values for the sake of excessive capitalistic, and fundamentally re-think this unsustainable state of things.

This project speculates on architectural possibilities of a re-calibration of the world from obsessive consumption to a productive environment, towards a truly authentic value system based on intensive material explorations of SALT.

Mythical explorations of ‘white gold’

Exploratory experimentation to study its formation and properties was intensively examined. Two-dimensional images record intricate variations of its formal properties at different scales. Scanning Electron Microscopy explored the infinitesimal terrains of salt, while successive empirical trials in salt crystal growth progressed to advanced investigations testing different vessels, and matrix materials such as plastic and metal mesh, nylon and cotton thread, etc.

These creative tests on salt yielded understanding about its material, organizational and morphological attributes, opening up the potential for analogous interpretation in spatial and architectural dimensions. Condensing the symbolic significance of the various precedents, procedures and usages of salt within historical and geological, socio-cultural and ritual contexts - revealed the substantial programmatic and narrative structure for the project.

The Salt Sanctuary

The project envisions the Salt Sanctuary as a crystalline architecture of redemptive rituals, drawing inspiration from the world of ‘white gold’ as both instrumental medium and a new message system to reverse the manipulated desires of our world today.

Using the reclaimed waterfront of the West Kowloon Cultural District as a rhetorical test site from which to propagate, the Sanctuary offers a radical re-ordering of social values, an alternative reality for pilgrims and visitors to embark on a voyage to recover authentic existence, an enlightening expe

Rina Ko


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