Tess Martin

PANORAMA | London | Unit 21 | 2013

PAVILION | Tremenheere Art Park, Penzance | Unit 21 | 2013

THE SIX HOUR CITY | Tangier, Morocco | Unit 21 | 2013

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Panorama: Recording St. Paul’s Cathedral

As we experience a space or place by walking in and around it, we make a constant stream of observations. The eye constantly flits between objects, movements and moments. We store and remember places, streets and views through these observations, and events that happened at the vantage point.

Taking a series of circular routes through the streets around St. Paul’s Cathedral, I recorded my observations by continuously drawing the objects, people, moments and views that my eye was drawn to. The subconscious selection process that determines what the eye focuses on, and hence what is drawn, is purely subjective, affected by pre-existing knowledge, interests and thoughts, specific to the exact time of experience. There is an absence of hierarchy, as the eye is drawn equally to a banana skin as to a church spire. These observations frame a view of St. Paul’s, and construct a new panorama of the cathedral and its surroundings, both informing how I perceive the cathedral and its surroundings, and acting as trigger points for memories associated with St. Paul’s.

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Zoom Merge

Tremenheere Garden Pavilion: A Continuous Line of Observation

The Tremenheere Garden Pavilion provides a new experience for visitors to the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, near Penzance, Cornwall. The pavilion is a flexible space, to be used for weddings, art events, gatherings, conferences, dance events and other performances. It also houses a permanent Art Space, for local artists to exhibit their work, and accommodates for a small farmers’ market.

This project builds on previous research into the way we store and remember places, streets and views through the observations we made and events that happened at the vantage point. Due to the nature of the site as an open space surrounded by trees, when standing on site, the eye is drawn to the horizon – particularly to the breaks in the tree boundary where one catches a glimpse of the sea or a far away field. The line the eye takes when moving along the horizon can be mapped in plan – this highlights the large jumps in distance the eye makes along the axis of the vistas, as it seamlessly shifts from a band of nearby trees to the open expanse of sea. The pavilion responds to these shifts, as it reaches out along the axis to particular vistas along the horizon. Each ‘axis’ of the horizon has a unique language, which is incorporated into the architecture.

The pavilion explores the nature of the site as a vantage point at the epicentre of Mounts Bay, with a dynamic range of vistas along the horizon, from dense forest to open moorland, the expanse of sea and St. Michael’s Mount. The site is a junction, of sorts – routes from the public footpath, the car park, the Sculpture Gardens and the existing Café converge. The pavilion responds to these routes, and to the users, as it enhances the experience of walking as a continuous line of observation, as the eye continuously shifts between vistas, objects, movements and points along the route.

The building is comprised of a series of signifiers – moments of particular visual interest, which divert the walkers’ eye, and possibly their route. As the walkers’ orientation towards a particular signifier changes, it reveals a previously hidden vista, takes on a new meaning in relation to its surroundings, or reveals the next stage of their journey, guiding the walker on their continuous line of observation across the site. The signifiers take on a number of forms – glowing walls, ribbon walls, louvres, coloured glass skylights, water channels, an inflatable roof, reflective panels, and a rotating bridge.

A continuous ribbon of concrete runs through the building, guiding walkers along their route. Concrete is used due to its ‘continuous’ nature as a material – forces take continuous paths through concrete, and pouring and casting methods allow walls to almost seamlessly fold and twist, forming roofs and floors, beams and columns facade elements and seating. The dark, smooth and crisp precast concrete ribbon contrasts with the rough tilt-up concrete elements of the rest of the structure. The visitor catches glimpses of the continuous¬ line of precast concrete wrapping and unfolding through the pavilion as they journey through the space.

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The 6 Hour City: A Cruise Tourist Bubble For The City of Tangier

In mass tourism “the modern tourist is not so much abandoning his accustomed environment for a new one as he is being transported to foreign soil in an ‘environmental bubble’ of his native culture.”

“Tourist attention destroys the culture it holds in focus” – “tourist bubbles have the advantage that, since they contain tourists in designated precincts, they help to preserve culture.”
Reiner Jaakson, ‘Beyond the Tourist Bubble? Cruiseship Passengers in Port’, in ‘Annals of Tourism Research’, Vol. 31, No.1, pp.44-60, Elsevier Ltd.: Great Britain, 2004, p.55

Key Points:

A Parasitic Industry

• The average cruise passenger spends $100 per port of call.
• The cruise company charges $99 – $200 port fees per port of call, while government port taxes are only $25 – $30.
• The energy consumption of a ship while at berth reaches up to 14 megawatts. The city of San Francisco uses 900 megawatts in the same amount of time.

The Tourist Bubble

• Most cruise passengers are willing to walk no more than 200m from their arrival point.
• The passengers’ experience of the city lasts between 1 and 6 hours, before they re-board the ship.
• The cruise ships docking in Tangier hold 800 – 2000 passengers.

Transforming Tangier

• Tangier aims to become the top destination for cruises in the Mediterranean.
• The Moroccan government aims to double the number of tourists visiting the country by 2020.

Tangier is currently failing as a cruise tourist destination. The city is a stop-off point for people on their way to somewhere else – Barcelona, Venice, or Istanbul. Cruise passengers find the city unsafe, unclean, and easy to get lost in. The port receives just 5 cruise ships per month in peak season, with 1 or 0 per month in low season. Many passengers stay on the ship rather than alighting in the city. The Moroccan government has recognised this and has made tourism a top priority. The development of Tangier-Ville port aims to make Tangier the top cruise destination in the Mediterranean.

The development of the cruise tourist bubble proposes a reform of the way cruise passengers experience the city, and the way the city presents itself to the cruise industry, by ultimately changing the power / profit relationship between city and cruise company. The project aims to assist the Moroccan government in achieving their aim to make Tangier a top cruise destination in the Mediterranean, by offering excellent on-shore passenger facilities and a complete Moroccan experience within a series of comfortable and accessible 200m / 6 hour bubbles. A new system will be implemented whereby the city of Tangier will directly benefit from the subsequent increase in cruise tourism, by changing the power / profit relationship between city and cruise company. If successful, this model could be used by other minor cruise destinations wishing to expand, and could be used as a tool for the reformation of the immoral and selfish cruise industry.

The Deal:

• The cruise company will relinquish power over their passengers on arrival in port. Passengers will board a cable-car owned by the city of Tangier, transferring them to the port-side bubble. Guided tours and bus excursions organised by the cruise companies will be banned.
• Passenger passports will be checked prior to boarding the cable-car, rather than on the ship, thus transferring the power of granting entry into the country to Tangier, and creating a border between the ship and the city. The ship will remain in an ‘International Zone’.
• All facilities in the 200m bubbles will be part of a worker co-operative, owned and run by locals, allowing cash and profit to pass directly to the city.
• In exchange for passing power over the passengers to the city, the cruise company will receive a free berth, and free power whilst in port.
• Tangier will be elevated to ‘home-port’ status, therefore allowing ships to refuel and load supplies. As the cruise port will be an ‘International Zone’, these commodities can be purchased from the city tax-free.
• Temporary smaller ‘International Zones’ will be created within the 200m bubbles when a cruise ship is in port, to allow the running of a casino and live Vegas-style shows, similar to those provided on the ship, as these activities would normally be frowned upon in Moroccan culture.

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Frame Merge

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