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A Place of Being

Part 1 Project 2014
Marlon Wessel
University of the West of England, UK
The brief was to design a civic space dedicated to the performance of art, one that would carefully consider the environment and impersonate an answer to what the city of Bath is.

The site is located at the outskirts of the city centre of bath, stretching along the river Avon, and adjacent to the Bath College of Art, is currently an unattractive brutalist car park complex.

The location was the sites imminent strength due to the current axes of public circulation from and into the city and the adjacent train and bus station. Furthermore on the other side of the river, housing estates suggested a possible axis, with a need for a new bridge that would connect people’s homes with their work in the inner city, ultimately, diverting them through the site.

In other words, the place had the potential to be transformed into a public transient, a new tourist attraction and a social platform for the inhabitants of the city.

However the city of bath itself appeared to be more a façade of a city, a postcard city, a city as if painted in the 17th century and left unchanged, a city unable to adapt. Nothing really was what it suggested to be.

As Italo Calvino once wrote <>

Bath had answered no question of mine, nor did it force me to answer one.

In a world where the cities are dedicated to places of doing, crowded with amusement that serve as distractions from the 'proper' priorities of human existence, I decided to design a place of transient, one which would accommodate a distance from aspects of everyday life, and would guide towards thinking tuned to the fact of being and its traces.

Marlon Wessel


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