Structure of Dynamic Activities
Eduardo M. Mediero
The structure is located North from Fehn´s Hedmark Museum, right in the limit between land and the Mjøsa lake. An undetermined and diffuse place where, depending on the lake´s water level , the structure will sometimes be inside the water, sometimes outside of it, sometimes both, sometimes either. A no man´s land that tries to connect the Earth´s surface with the lake´s. It is this imprecise condition what sets the pace for the project.
The harshness of nature is used as an inspiration. There is a will to relate the Earth with Place, and the Sky with Man. Between the wings that protect the structure from weather and the roots that anchor it to the Earth there is a strip, where life is located.
Floor and roof understood as parallel lines that vibrate between them, generating layers of activity.
In Hebrew gabbatha means “a raised place”, a place to be closer to the sky, to the gods. Just like a Greek temenos.
“The horizontal plane is one of the most basic mechanisms of Architecture; […] it puts man in juxtaposition to the physical sky thanks to the gravity on which the human body depends for all of its functions.”
Alberto Campo Baeza
There are several topics in this project. Travels, boats, bridges…in short, those first impulses related to the straight line. In human movement the straight line does not exist. However, the moment the building is raised up from the floor the straight line appears, just like a wheel leaves it´s track, or a boat it´s wake.
The structure contains objects and elements that occupy it in parts. At the top, a very long and very narrow box is located; lifted up to seek the horizon. It comprises the most static and definite program of all; rooms for archeologists, rooms for visitors, a work area on one side and a rest area on the other. To access the box there is a long walkway that crosses the whole structure diagonally.
Versus the static and enclosed box, the rest of elements that inhabit the structure respond to a more temporal and undefined character; bathing platforms, movable sheds, deployable tents, pools, saunas…a series of objects that are related to the water surface and anchor the structure to the Earth.
To surpass the top of the trees, to live close to the sky without losing sight of the Earth.
Just like the crewman in Seamus Heaney´s “Lightenings viii”;
The annals say: when the monks of
Were all at prayers inside the oratory
A ship appeared above them in the air
The anchor dragged along behind so deep
It hooked itself into the altar rails
And then, as the big hull rocked to a
A crewman shinned and grappled down the
And struggled to release it. But in vain.
`This man can´t bear our life here and will drown,´
The abbot said, `unless we help him´. So
They did, the freed ship sailed, and the man
Out of the marvellous as he had know it.
Who influences you graphically?
Graphically, I am influenced by specific drawings from very different architects. The question would rather be “what” instead of “who”. Some of these architects are Stirling, Miralles, Hedjuk, Utzon, Fehn, Tschumi, or Superstudio.
What dictated the graphic language for this project? How does it relate to the thesis?
I challenged myself to draw the whole project with black lines only. No textures or “post-photoshoping”. Many of the drawings from the 60s I admire follow this technique.
At the same time this graphic language relates with the concept behind the design process; the austerity and the simplicity of the project works well with this kind of drawing.
What is your take on the axonometric as the most complete form of drawing?
An axonometric is a very intuitive way of understanding an architectural project, but at the same time it is an unreal view. I used different types of axonometrics (military, Hedjuk, worm´s-eye) to explain certain aspects of the project; it´s relation to the ground, weight, presence or morphology. These were aspects I could not explain in plan.
To what extent would the use of colour influence the way the images are perceived?
During winter there is hardly no colour at the site where the project is located. The snow and fog dominates everything, the light is very dim and the vegetation is almost non-existent. Using black lines helped to explain this feeling. I realised there was no need to introduce colour in the project.
You talk about nature and a very poetic relationship between earth place and man, how does this reflect upon the way the proposal is represented?
Sverre Fehn (whose world-known Hedmark Museum is close to the project) understood architecture as floating objects in space. This way of perceiving a building and it´s relationship with nature was integrated into the project. The “Structure” is understood as a lost, lonely piece in the vastness of the Mjøsa lake, surrounded by ice, snow and nothing else. Many of the drawings, such as the Atlas, express this idea. We could also relate this way of thinking to Hejduk´s “Victims” plan or Stirling´s “response to Nolli´s plan” drawing. At the same time there is a will to relate the project to the water and to the sky. This project dialogues with the specific context; it could not be located anywhere else.
Eduardo M.Mediero is http://www.hanghar.coman Architect from the Madrid School of Architecture (ETSAM) where he graduated with Honors. He also studied at the IIT of Chicago. After working at prestigious architecture offices such as Sou Fujimoto, RCR or El Equipo Mazzanti, he returned to Madrid, his hometown, where he founded HANGHAR, an experimental architectural practice based in design innovation, photography and competitions.