The explored and the unexplored
What about your site speaks to you? What was your first impression, and how did it change during the process of measuring?
To which direction would you like to take your project further?
During the process of measuring and reconstructing the site through a technical drawing and constructing a mold, my project partner and I had seeked precision and actuality - angle between the borders of our site and existing objects such as a building, a pillar, a bus stop - but thinking back at my experiences at the site, I realise that what I remember to be the most significant and characteristic feature about the site is mouvement - the inconsistent flow of the vehicles and people on the road, buses stopping by regularly. My partner and I had arranged to go to the site at an hour when we thought there would be less cars, but even then, we still had to aim carefully for moments where the road was almost empty in order to measure the angles and distances. There was also a moment where we were measuring the difference in altitude between two of our points and a cyclist passing by let us know there was a bus coming so we could step aside before it approached. Once, we hadn’t realised it was almost time for dinner, but the owner of the bar arrived and started setting up the chairs and tables on the terrace, and after arrived a number of people. These movements had seemed only problematic during the process of measuring, but I realise now it is what made this exercise challenging and unique.
However, what also stands out from the site is the clear border between the area where the movement is frequent and the other the exact opposite. Sometimes I had to walk up a steep incline that don’t usually serve as a pedestrian path. The crossing between the explored and the unexplored, between the frequent and the rare speaks to me the most as I reflect on my site. What usually come to my mind when I hear the word ‘Architecture’ is large scale places we inhabit - houses, museums, parks, libraries and so many more - but from a larger point of view, it seems these buildings and public spaces are components of the urban environment we occupy. I realise what complement these solids are the unanticipated - therefore fascinating - lives led by the people within the given neighbourhood, which I think could explain why the word ‘movement’ echoes in my mind as I am thinking about the site.
The installation project ‘Floating Piers’ by Christo comes to my mind as I’m re-reading my text. Quite opposite to his older project ‘Wrapped Reichstag’ collaborated with his wife Jeanne-Claude where they “revealed by wrapping”, Christo brings people close to the island in the middle of the Lake Iseo in Italy by installing “floating piers” on which we can walk. Like how this project made the lake and the island more directly accessible, I think the process of measuring has become a link between the site I had personally never visited and the “measurer”. By choosing the method of measuring the angles, I realised I hadn’t remarked certain elements found on the site, and by touching the road and putting marks on it, the site found a special place in me.
Site V representation
Projection de Monge et perspective extérieure à l'échelle 1:132
Premier moule individuel - vue du haut
Premier moule individuel - perspectives intérieures
Troisième moule - Arrêt de bus détaillé
I have also tried to express this idea through my choice of points of view on the drawings:
- on the scale 1:132, the first perspective is the point of view of a person looking out the window of the building right behind the bus stop, which gives the observer a general view of the entire site; the second is that of a train approaching the site on the rails of the bridge.
- on the scale 1:66, where I had focused especially on the area from the bus stop to where the slope ends, the first observer is a person climbing up the incline who starts to get a view of the road and the bus stop behind it; the second perspective is seen through the eyes of a person sitting at the bus stop, and these two interior perspectives create an internal dialogue between two people present on the site, which again links back to the idea of 'connection' from which I took the inspiration.