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A Palimpsest of Dust

Part 1 Project 2022
Cristian Sebastiano Rocco Francioso
Oxford Brookes University Oxford | UK
Located in a small brownfield site on East Street in Southampton, this project proposes an architecture of curiosity and constant discovery.

Through a simultaneous process of excavation and re-construction, the project reveals the ruins of James Wilson's 19th century Gothic church, which was destroyed in the blitz of 1940.

Groups of stonemasons and archaeologists collaborate within this multi-disciplinary space to unearth the forgotten structures of Southampton's pre-war past. Fragments of the past are excavated, documented and re-built, using a combination of traditional analogue techniques and cutting-edge digital tools such as 3D scanning and robotic fabrication, to form a new architecture as a reconstructed relic of what once was.

The resultant construction serves as an educational tool which facilitates a rich skills and knowledge-share across the associated disciplinary fields of archaeology, architecture, urban planning, craft, construction, heritage, and digital fabrication.

The project has been developed using a wide range of media and techniques including photogrammetry, film and animation and prototyping with rammed earth. A series of preliminary experimental projects formed a conceptual framework from which a more complex and comprehensive architecture was able to evolve. The wearable dining table was particularly important as an investigation of collaboration, communication accessibility and adaptability.

Cristian Sebastiano Rocco Francioso


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