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Medal Winner 1999
SOM Foundation UK Award
Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing

Natural Dyefactory and Aromatherapy Bathhouse

Part 2 Project 1999
Julia Von Rohr
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) | UK
The unit brief for the year's project was to identify and construct the phenomenon of interface within the city, through discovering and exploiting a hidden or unseen dynamic, intrinsic to a certain area of London.

I observed the contrasting cultures of two neighbouring areas: Brick Lane and Hoxton Square. The cultural activity in each area creates a strong and vibrant atmosphere which I interpreted through the public display of colour. An interest in fabric and weaving was also introduced into the project, in part as a reaction to the Huguenot history of the areas, and in part as a technique of linking disparate elements

My early work concentrated on developing creative and technological rule systems which would relate my colour analysis back to the sites through two interactive devices. The first, a wearable reflective scarf, interacts with physical movement in the Circus Space‚ training school in Hoxton. The second, a sociable heating balloon, interacts with the congregation of people gathered outside the Lux Cinema. The choreography and technology developed in these devices act as metaphors for the role of landscape in the building proposal for the disused Bishopsgate Goodsyard, located at the boundary between the original sites. A weave‚ of planted areas supports a natural fabric dyeing facility and four aromatherapy bath houses. Links across the site and an integrated seasonal cycle of activity and production are established. The landscape, through the various functions embedded within it, acts as an urban-scale interface between the surrounding areas of the city, socially and culturally distinct from each other.

Julia Von Rohr

Julia's project is the result of thoughtful sophisticated research in how industrial and leisure processes can be mutually supportive and exist within an ecologically and economically viable flower garden. It considers the impact of light industry and parkscape within a degenerated part of the city and most importantly the way in which people can gain the most pleasure from this resource. It is a wonderfully sensuous and delicate project that combines ideas about urban strategy with those of how dyed cloth creates a light aura in space. The architecture is full of invention and, despite its scale, it is immensely subtle. The amount of work and thought is breathtaking and one can imagine that this would be a wonderful place.

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