Gestural Landscapes | Turin, Italy | Unit 21 | 2018

Awarded Distinction for Design & Distinction for Thesis


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Crossing the Alps is described as the “supreme experience” where the seasons, the weather, the terrain and the body are intensely experienced. This design project seeks to reinforce the existing pilgrimage route along the Aosta Valley in Italy through a series of architectural encounters in the landscape. They become beacons for passer-bys, providing shelter and aid throughout the seasons.
The exercise of analysing the highly choreographed manufacturing/assembly process in ‘Lingotto + Gestures’ has informed the architectural language used to develop the buildings in the Alps. It involved abstracting both human, machine and material interactions into notational drawings and physical models. These techniques were subsequently applied to encounters in the Alps.
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The buildings are initially composed in plan through collages where pieces are balanced against a contour line, carving into and protruding from the landscape. By referring to the theoretical framework of body mind perception of architectural space by Juhaani Pallasmaa, a notional system was developed to describe the exact body sensations experienced whilst walking in order for the architecture to anticipate the needs of a walker. It is also used as a composite tool in creating an architectural brief, allowing the building to act with precision to the passing walker. The proposed encounters include:
1) Weather + Radio Station
2) Open Air Theatre
3) Pilgrimage Museum
4) First Aid Station + Neighbourhood Shrine
5) Communal Bread Oven
6) Wine Tasting + Feet Soak
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In order to create a multisensory environment, the notations have indicated that the architecture designed should allow the walker to engage in constant interaction with all sense modalities. Therefore, a strategy of providing experiential counterpoints has been employed in both notation and designing of fragments. The combination of the theoretical approach to sensations, notational system and gestural design methodology are used to generate design fragments that respond to body mind experience.



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