INSTITUTE OF AWAKENING
@ University of Portsmouth 2014 [BA]
RIBA SOUTH-EAST STUDENT PRIZE 2014
The project investigates a city of ruptured ground, connections and infrastructures, following tectonic plates movement. The reinvention of Chichester occurs through acts of inhabiting ruptured fragments of the city's fabric: materials, atmosphere, behaviours.
The geological process of subduction at place convergence in the lithosphere accounts for the occurrence of earthquakes and emergent forms appear in the landscape. As such, the fabric of the city becomes a geo-scape of these moments.
The structure of the existing city fabric forms patterns of kinematic lateral movement, revealing weaknesses and ruptures, thus creating a terrain of uncertainty.
Re-programming architecture becomes a key tool to address the uncertainty in this shifting landscape. The proposed structures have public amenities and private dwelling units interwoven to create a dynamic environment. A series of infrastructures including public routes, sky gardens, and points of intersection are scattered across the new territory, providing an arena for living, working, and creating.
The Urban Sustainability Centre [USC] locks the scheme in place at a critical point of convergence between the water edge and the tectonic plate. Sustainability is reinvented beyond its purely environmental and ecological functions.
The USC is a centre for the cultivation of sustainable attitudes, through the use of experiential design. A series of experiential layers within the building guide the visitor from the darkest corners of their consciousness to the enlightenment of their senses.
This project looks into the potential of architecture to be programmatic, infiltrating into human consciousness. The goal is to depart from a purely utilitarian architecture and arrive at an intersection of the physical, the metaphysical and the human psyche. We can't achieve sustainability in the physical realm unless we cultivate an awareness of our selves first.