Drawing With Intention
Even though the actual definition of a citizen within a state has a simple description, there is no right or wrong neither a straightforward answer to the question of “What a citizen is”. Being a citizen of a polis someone has to acknowledge and recognize the diversities and the complexities you face within a city. The city needs its citizens to be part of its culture and history and not just spectators from a safety distance. As the Latin phrase Semper Eadem states, all the citizens of a city are the same. The concept of the final thesis is inspired by the English Devolution; the intention to decentralize the power from London and give the power back to each region of England and its citizens. In this case, Leicester represents the modern city of the 21st century as is listed among the most multicultural cities of England and a public regional assembly is a way for everyone to be part of major decisions. The position of the public regional assembly should reflect both, the everyday life of the citizen but also the everyday life through the building. The project investigates the civic center, or more specifically the public regional assembly as a crucial public element within the community and the relationship with the urban development of the city of Leicester.
The project is aiming to support a new form of Democracy through the Devolution of England as an attempt to decentralize its power. The main focus of the inspiration is to embrace the local communities in the government and how people can be more educated about the political conditions of their polis.
The scheme is stirred by the democracy of Ancient Athens and the participation of the Athenians to the politics of their city. A new form of the Ancient Agora in the center of the city is proposed as a way to connect the public and the government.
The public regional assembly is an intermediate level to link the citizens of Leicester with the town hall with a more democratic result. As a result the project is going to be a chance of educating the public for the politics of their city, in order to make a more unified political system. The local public spaces form the quality of life in a community while it benefits the function of the city. It is crucial factor which brings all the citizens of the city together. The building has an archive and a library, presentation rooms, meeting rooms, and a debate Chamber, which is the most vital space within the scheme which is placed at the back of the building, and is part of the public plaza.
Who influences you graphically?
It’s hard to exclude favourite architects, students, illustrators, and most importantly artists from the list of people that influence me. I like to see my references as an endless inventory from which I borrow elements, or techniques, that match the intention for every different project. To this rather extensive catalogue of influences I usually add a lot of my own hand-drawings, mostly representing living organisms, or even a splash of motion as an explanation of the workings of space. This might bring together elements seemingly unrelated with each other. There are drawings where impressionism meets my graphic tablet sketches that have previously been infused by expressionist techniques. In some other cases, classic Disney illustrations blend with anime formal language and perhaps a hint of CJ Lim’s compositions. The whole layers with a caption of an elaborate 3d model which depicts the selected scene. Almost every time, either by instinct, or by shear representation requirements, the drawing is inviting another couple of influences more, even if that will mean borrowing Magritte’s textures or De Chirico’s distorted perspective.
What dictated the views through which you chose to reveal the project?
The proposal is about the participation of people in a condition that they are normally not invited to participate in a deep and meaningful way. Thus, it needs to be as open as possible to the passers-by, as it needs to be inviting for everyone. It also involves the adaptive reuse of existing architecture, one that allows very little space for contemporary gestures. In addition, the proposal is situated within the historic city centre, an element that invites for special care as to how the whole is set. It becomes apparent that the most important element of the proposal is the threshold between itself and the rest.
Therefore, the views were selected in such a way to show the connections between the old and the new, stress the importance between the proposal and its context, present the co-existence of interior and exterior space, and above all depict its functional capacity, i.e. people using space.
How important is the plan as method of representation?
Cohesion between proposed and existing space, as well as the horizontal connection between entities, and the portrayal of a society of interconnected places are the main reasons that drive the selection of the plan as the quintessential diagram of relationships. The importance of the plan, at least in this project, lies in the equalitarian representational depth of the species of spaces and uses, as it lies on its readability as a tool. It is a very traditional convention of storytelling in architecture, at the same time it can become a very unconventional one.
What dictated the choice of colour palette?
An array of impressionistic colours becomes a mode of representation relative to the materiality of the proposal at the same time that it keeps a minimum number of colours projected on its frame. My intention for the primary palette is to avoid dark and bold colours, as well as to maintain a certain balance in contrast and spread hues. First and foremost, my preference is to make use of cheerful and energetic colours, which are then supplemented with softer hues to create the composition. The key, that is the first and last thought when it comes to the selection of the colour palette, is simple as a statement, but more complex as a content: joy.
If you could summarise the project into one drawing what would that be?
A ubiquitous section line parallel to the ground is defining of the fresh addition to the greater area at the same time it provides an inside on the importance of the location and it presents the scheme as a whole. A rather unusual tool to represent an architectural project the masterplan is chosen as the bridge between urban and human scale as well as the collection of the workings of both worlds.