Moving through Spaces
Pelle Juul Carlsen & Iseult Mccullough
This proposal suggests a new centre that simultaneously acts as both an anchor and a hinge. An anchor in that offers a centralised and vibrant zone of activity with permeable spaces of differing character. A hinge in that it implements a system that promotes a fluid interaction with the defining infrastructural components of its surrounding context and furthermore, effective patterns of movement within the scheme itself.
This is a proposal that is absolute in form given Aureli’s understanding of the term ‘absolute’ as something that is resolutely itself after being separated from its other. The proposed structure generates a confrontation with the highly differing elements of the existing landscape with which it collides. In doing so, it offers a reading of these environments that clearly defines and highlights the intrinsic essence of each. This confrontation however, is dissolved at ground level where there is complete freedom in terms of movement and migration. In this sense, it might be argued that although fundamentally establishing a definitive border that ultimately leads to a deeper appreciation of the specific qualities of the landscape to which it adheres, this structure also leaves this landscape virtually unrestricted and free for the implementation of interventions that promote accessibility and permeability.
The geometry of the proposal is derived from the existing orientation of the streets in Aarhus that run from Silkeborgvej to Soeren Frichs vej. These routes are extended south towards the prominent contextual element commonly referred to as ‘The Green Wedge.’-a landscape territory through which the river runs. In response to the creation of this linear grid the proposed form is derived and subsequently altered in order to further enforce the connection between the two main roads. As James Corner argues in ‘Terra Fluxus,’ this grid “lends legibility and order to the surface while allowing for the autonomy and individuality of each part, and remaining open to alternative permutations over time.”
This scheme proposes a river channel that does not shy away from its constructed and synthetic essence. It has the capability to perform in a variety of ways; at times accommodating the commonly accepted aesthetic properties of a riverside space but also, thriving in its man-made and functional existence. As Corner argues in his analysis of the Los Angeles River – a concrete channel built in response to flood threats in the area- the challenge in both examining and implementing such an element is its “invocation of a cultural image of “Nature,” an image to which landscape is firmly attached.” In reaction to this, where the new river ends, there is a highly apparent confrontation between “wild nature” and the constructed channel that has been introduced. The ultimate effect succeeds in highlighting the aesthetic values of the green space and offering the occupant a reading of the space that is highly intensified and more pronounced.
As mentioned above, this scheme primarily focuses on creating definition for the occupant and consequently, a heightened awareness of a given space and its specific attributes.Just as the structure itself endeavours to create this sensitivity, so too do the infrastructural elements considered within the proposal. The efficacy of the proposed infrastructure has been considered at three main levels.This scheme importantly offers an ease of accessibility to the driver. A car travelling from the main road is offered fast and direct access to a parking space and by proxy, to a home. Referencing certain iconic modernist structures, the free ground level allows through-passage by vehicle with the ultimate effect of creating rapid accessibility. An elevated walking platform is proposed in such a way that it connects the two main structural bodies of the scheme whilst simultaneously framing an area that is defined as ‘semi-cultivated nature.’ In doing so, it is to be simultaneously perceived as both a boundary and a bridge.
Essentially, this entire proposal acts as an entity that serves to heighten and define the understanding and experience of the different spaces the occupant inhabits. The environments with which the proposed structure comes into contact can be defined in a multitude of ways. Ranging from ‘synthetic nature’ to ‘wild nature,’ the intention is that the characteristics indicative of each of these environments becomes increasingly apparent as the individual moves through the spaces.
Who influences you graphically?
This project is to be interpreted as a conceptual framework and is highly theoretic in terms of what it suggests. The proposal is a vehicle through which certain ideas and questions are submitted and posed. The graphic representation is intended to mirror that. In producing images that are graphically routed in encouraging an individual response, the viewer is invited to activate their imagination and consequently to superimpose onto what is depicted, a personal visualization of future actualities. Aligning with the suggestive nature of the outlined scheme, the aim was to produce illustrations that were both open to interpretation and evocative of a potential future reality. In terms of specific offices that we find influential; Aldo Rossi, Mathias Oswald, Ungers, Superstudio, Dogma, OFFICE.
What defined the selection of views through which you frame the proposal?
A defining characteristic of the proposal is that of mobility and movement through space. The views through which the proposal is framed are based on emphasizing this key factor. In many ways, the entire proposal might be seen as an instrument that examines transitional passage and fluidity both in a theoretical sense and a physical one. The perspectival views are generated from the potential experience of the occupant and depict the viewpoint of an inhabitant of various differing modes of transport. Transit by car and its associated functions are elementary in the operation of the strategy and so views that aim to explore this experience are recurring.
What is the effect and purpose of the white frame?
The purpose of the white frame is strongly linked to the intention behind the graphic representation as a whole. In introducing this frame, the objective is that the images portrayed are further detached from the reality of what they depict. The frame emphasizes the fact that these illustrations are just that; illustrations suggestive of a potential existence. The overall effect creates images reminiscent of framed paintings and encourages an incorporation of personal reflection.
How important is the plan as a projection through which you explore the intervention?
The plan projection allows for an understanding of the of spatial qualities this scheme proposes in terms of inhabitation and usage. The footprint of the proposal is relatively large, incorporating and juxtaposing various differing and highly confrontational spatial environments. This conversation primarily occurs at a conceptual level and so it is important to illustrate an understanding and consideration of human experience and the interactions that arise at various key nodes.
What was your work process in terms of project development and creation of images?
Due to the fact that this work was carried out over a short period of time the processes of project development and image creation were implemented almost concurrently. The intention of the proposal was defined at an early stage meaning that most developmental decisions made subsequently were a reaction to this original intent, endeavoring to heighten the efficacy and impact of what was ultimately produced.
To what extent and how have you looked at Pier Vittorio’s method through which he approaches the act of drawing?
The approach towards drawing demonstrated by Vittorio Aureli was and continues to be highly influential. An understanding of his attitude towards drawings as instruments that encourage use of imagination, suggesting and exploring potential directions to pursue was paramount in how we chose to execute the work illustrated here. Key to this proposal is the notion that the views portrayed in these drawings are only one version of a possible reality within the framework established. Vittorio has produced countless beautiful and provocative images that simultaneously succeed in both exploiting an imaginative ability and urging an explorative conversation about the potential reality of what is depicted.