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Lighter than Air

Part 2 Project 2015
Ronan Morris
Aoibhin McGinley
Mackintosh School of Architecture, UK
The proposal investigates lighter than air architecture, the human desire to become ungrounded, to inhabit the sky and how the resultant architecture may redefine the relationship between city, public space and energy provision.

The design is for a gravity defying leisure “skyscape” suspended above Tempelhof Feld in the distant future, an antithesis to the weight of the past reaching over Berlin. The programme takes two currently disparate elements of the city, power plant and park and fuses them as one to create a new type of urban public space for activity, invention or escape.

We envision the architect as explorer, discovering new boundaries and atmospheres. The proposal is suspended between speculation and reality, an architecture with fantasy. The goal is a universal and symbolic statement, that aesthetics and experience can be combined and directly derived from the complex tectonics of sustainable energy provision.

The continuous skyscape offers a journey through amplified atmospheres of weather, light, heat, air and movement as a consequence of the mining of the skies for renewable energy. The proposal is constructed from the lightest and stiffest material in existence - graphene. We speculate on graphene’s mechanical, aesthetic and energy qualities and applications, suggesting a new material with which to achieve truly integrated design.

The proposal acts to reconcile the proximity of energy to urban life, by allowing visitors to interact with it directly, forming a unique and adventurous stage for questioning and re-informing our definitions of architecture, and the environments and lifestyles it fosters.

Ronan Morris
Aoibhin McGinley


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