Masters in Architecture with Prof. Neil Gillespie
Lecturers: David Vila Domini, Tim Bayman
‘’We observe that architects today are simply unable to give buildings an adequate imprint of time and place.’’ Peter Markli
While the production of the yearbook is a time to celebrate through the illustration of a small selection of the work from the school as a whole, you might say it is an imprint of time and place. It is also however perhaps more importantly an opportunity or signal for each one of us to reflect on what we have achieved or discovered over the year. It is always good to reflect, to sit quietly, helpfully with glass in hand, staring into space. I am always interested in the places where reflection comes more easily. They tend to be non- places i.e. trains or when engaged in a repetitive activity i.e. walking.
In the last few months our unit has been concerned with trying to see a place as if for the first time and then propose additions to this scene. What has become apparent, is how very difficult it is to see places and spaces that we know well, to see clearly with the freshness that say a tourist has when wandering through a new city.
Spurred by Markli’s observation the essential ambition of the unit is to attempt to create work that is grounded in a place, created by an individual, in response to a need. Through the talent, sensitivity and commitment of an individual designer working within a group context we hope to create work that not only speaks of where we are but who we are. This work, if conceived clearly and honestly, not only speaks to a local condition and audience it will also resonate out to a much bigger geography.
‘’The very core of my work is staying at home.’’ Peter Zumthor
Peter Zumthor talks of Atmosphere. He attempts to understand place and his work through large models and a great deal of reflection. While none of us has the insight of Zumthor we can learn from his approach and his explorations of time and place. There are a number of themes and notions that have followed and informed the unit for the past four years, they have continued to haunt us through this year.
Periphery: this is concerned with the marginal, at the edge, both in terms of geography and in terms of the social aspects of a project, its client, its need.
Parochial: Our gaze has been focused on the ordinary, the diurnal.
North: We have asked the question is there a way of seeing the world through building that is connected to a latitude, to its light, its materials, its forms, its social attitude, is there a northern culture?
Social: All architecture initially is created to be useful to people. We are concerned with finding an appropriate language and idea.