THE ANATOMY OF A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Site: Selles Castle, Cambrai (FR)
Windows on Perceptions and Sight in architecture.
Investigate—by designing—the anatomy of perception and sight in architecture. These investigations have to be done through discipline specific methods and procedures, which mainly include making architectural drawings and scale models that range from the scale of the whole (1/100, 1/50, 1/20) over the scale of the fragment (1/50, 1/10) to the scale of the architectural detail (1/10, and reaching as far as the full scale architectural detail 1/1). These investigations also include all the other media at hand which can add to the insights, clarification and communicability of the anatomy of perception and sight in architecture. The investigation of the whole, the fragment and the detail will focuss on the structural and technical aspects of the envisaged interventions. Situate these investigations in the context of perception and sight in architectural history, the arts, and science. Identify the references of this research in architectural history, the arts, and science, and incorporate these references in the course and the final output of this research through images and/or text. Each reference should be handled with academic rigor.
This research takes Château de Selles in Cambrai (France) as its starting point and field of operations. For a number of years this castle is struggling with the disappearance of its historical heritage of that have been made by its (political) prisoners during the history of the castle as a detention center. This heritage is gradually disappearing due to deplorable air and light conditions if the curators allow the public to visit the castle in its current state. They have to deal with a paradoxical situation: on the one hand they can no longer open their built archive and cultural heritage to the public, on the other hand they have to resist the loss of a (cultural) memory and the possibilities to share this cultural memory with society.The investigations and the design of the anatomy of perception and sight is a twofold:
The research starts with a rigorous reading of the site of the castle and its surroundings. The student will do this topographic observation and analysis of the layered nature of the site and the landscape, in collaboration with the archeologic lab of the museum of Cambrai, by tracing vertical sections through the topography (the whole). Coming forth from this analysis, the student will identify (a) point(s) of (p)reference (the fragment). Subsequently, and situated within this/these point(s) of (p)reference, the student will create perception and sight (a window, windows) as spatial transitions, going as far as the full scale architectural detail.
The element of TIME plays a key role in the investigation of ways to create and materialise themes like anatomy, windows, transitions with the intention to intensify the human EXPERIENCE (the human being as participant. Empowerment) as an antidote against architecture as an OBJECT (iconic architecture, the human being as audience. Disempowerment) in the actual architectural practice and discourse (RESISTANCE in architecture).
ProgrammeThe anatomy of a room with a view for the inscriptions of Château de Selles.
Stijn Baert, Eline Cooman, Nicolas Deflandre, Henri Devlaminck, Niels Devlieghere, Fred Meeuwens, Maarten Moreels, Nicolas Plovie and Heleen Verheyden.
Images: Phase I - Analysing & Production (Selles Castle, Museum of Fine Arts, Archives of the City, Cambrai (FR))
Site investigations: topography and data collecting: measurements, photography, drawings, … This phase focuses explicitly on the scale of the whole. The site has to be made as a plan and a scale model on scale 1/100. In a parallel line of research, every student makes a personal ‘atlas’, of which the format may be a book, a set of maps and/or a film...
Images: Phase II & III - Project & Detail
Rigorous design process of perception and sight as a coherent sequence of spaces, by (mainly) making use of the vertical section, the vertical sectional scale model and other media depending on the nature of the ongoing production. This design process is the continuation of the choice of the point of (p)reference in the context (the whole), ‘out of which’ a series of spaces, vistas, windows has to be designed organically (the fragment), in order to finally reach the full scale architectural (window)detail... Peer review with the Spanish architect Eva Prats and works of H. Devlaminck, N. Plovie, N. Devlieghere, H. Verheyden, M. Moreels and F. Meeuwens.
Images: Phase II & III - Project & Detail
Rigorous design process of perception and sight as a coherent sequence of spaces, by (mainly) making use of the vertical section, the vertical sectional scale model and other media depending on the nature of the ongoing production. This design process is the continuation of the choice of the point of (p)reference in the context (the whole), ‘out of which’ a series of spaces, vistas, windows has to be designed organically (the fragment), in order to finally reach the full scale architectural (window)detail...
Peer review with the French cultural officer of Cambrai Florence Albaret and the French director of the Museum of Fine Arts Cambrai Alice Cornier, architect Matilde Everaert and architect Stijn Devos.
Works from F. Meeuwens, E. Cooman, M. Moreels.
Images: Phase IV & V - The Journey & The Practise
After an intense design process, the student completes his/her personal ‘atlas’ of the past processes. The student synthesises his/her stance in a reflection book (book, film, …) as architectural designer. The project now has to be finalised and embedded in contemporary architectural practice and discourse.
Peer review with the architect Marius Vaneeckhoutte and Dr. ing. arch. Laurens Luyten. Works from H. Devlaminck, H. Verheyden, E. Cooman, F. Meeuwens, N. Devlieghere, N. Plovie, M. Moreels.