Building With Ice
Charlotte Arrès_2nd year of master in architecture at ESA
The project is an ephemeral and auto-constructive village in Island. From the water collected on the site, a mechanism is able to transform it into ice bricks and, thanks to a robotic system, each brick is placed to build modules. The technical requirements, as well as my thoughts about the relation between humans and technology, have helped me design the global plan of the village.
Autonomous, this village focuses on two main networks: the robotics and the pedestrian networks.
Who influences you graphically?
I am usually influenced by artists or architects depending of what atmosphere corresponds to the project. I believe every project needs its own graphical language.
For this thesis located in Iceland, my journey over there was determinant in the way I chose to represent the project. In that sense, I tried to retranscript the lunar atmosphere discovered. In this sense my stay there has been itself of crucial inspiration. The way Olafur Eliasson transmits icelandic atmospheres through photographs also inspired me. David Garcia and François Roche are also great influences when looking at expressing the robotic presence of the project.
You explore your proposal through all means of representation, to what extent is a project only able to be conveyed thoroughly through the use of all of these?
Since the project was designed with all aspects; I decided that each one required a specific graphical expression. On the one hand there are the analytical documents that allow for an understanding of site, on the other there is the description of the process with the wireframe details that highlight the mechanical life of the project. The ice prototype explores the properties of ice and allows to imagine the evolutionary aspect of the project.
Thus, I have always considered the full use of each document with its own treatment to help creating a complete imaginary around the project.
How could the model images been explored differently to speak of the thesis through their manipulation within photoshop?
Through these model images, the desired effect was to bring reality into my ice manipulation. But this couldn’t have been stronger with an artificial complement within photoshop. Thanks to that real ice prototype I could obtain a raw image able to tell the material properties. More than a simple formal and estetic model, this prototype also helped me understand the reaction of ice facing the outside conditions.
How do the silhouettes influence the way we perceive the proposal in relation to function?
The thesis around this project is mainly focused on humans and their relation with wild nature, as such how could those images speak without a human presence? Contemporarily I didn’t want to speak too much about function and use. This proposal aims to provide a way of producing constructions material which make this virgin site livable. It is also a way to introduce a new way of life entirely depending on the potential coming from nature. But it was not to create specific scenarios, that is why we can only perceive silhouetes disassociated with facial expressions.