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Architecture, Art, Design, Photography, Music & Writing

Category: Architecture

Architecture March 2014

Fulcrum – ARDS Peninsula Installation

The possibility of constructing architecture from standardized parts is a long held dream of the modern movement.  With a nostalgic view of the future some pioneers believed that the future could be transparent, functional, streamlined and efficient if it followed the dream of Henry Ford’s production line.  “More Ford than Marx”, went the catchphrase.   However industrialised processes in Architecture are neither new nor exclusively modern.  In ancient Rome the standardization of Brick production facilitated the building of an empire as did their standardisation of armour, currency and most especially roads.

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In an age of austerity industrialsed and standardised elements are often drawn upon to facilitate works that might not otherwise be affordable.  This is NJBA A+U’s entry for the Ards Peninsula competition which draws upon the limitations of material to surpass the usual.   

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The proposal sees a tower constructed of standard plywood sheeting (with minimal cuts) fixed to a timber frame and using hinges to manufacture a triangular box.  Stacked in a pattern of twos these “boxes” would form a 5 storey tower accessed by a  stair ladder.  Designed to be placed anywhere in the park area Fulcrum would enable the viewer to engage with the trees or the coastline.  

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With rudimentary skills this tower can be erected on a relatively small footprint with its own concrete foundation.  The size of the panel systems easily provides the necessary protective environment safe.  And should the structure be considered meaningful through use the elements would provide the formwork for a more permanent concrete tower on the same platform.  

Architecture is too often seen without the myriad temporary structures that went into its construction.  Here the scaffold has become permanent, the formwork without the from, the standard identifying with the unique.

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Architecture February 2014

This entry is the report submitted as part of the submission by NJBA A+U to the international competition for a centenary chapel at Glasnevin in Dublin.

place – the end “alpha & omega”
Death is an end and the beginning of things, to different believers. Located at the end of the cemetery between two railway tracks it cannot be any further along the path of remembrance. It is the last place that the suns rays fall in the day. This work attempts to draw attention, a full stop to that end by anchoring the chapel/temple to that place. The work points itself into the end space embracing a new and mixed landscape to provide space for visitors to halt their movements and reflect on the nature of life, its joys and fears.

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place – the beginning
From left to right (top to bottom) a place has been prepared to remember the paupers randomly interred with a cherry tree lined columbarium and meditation pool. This augments and parallels the 1916 memorial which in turn is augmented by a long plaza that projects into the new landscaped end of the site. Parallel to this is placed the new chapel/temple with its reflecting pool and garden. Parking is provided in neutral spaces across the front of the site to minimise their impact. This is a place of parallels of equality.

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architecture – arrangement
At the centre of the organisation is the chapel/temple. This is centred on the catafalque. Chairs are used rather than benches to maximise the individual arrangements for specific creeds. This is wrapped with a columnar space that responds to the new plaza and the large foyer. To the south a service zone for the backup functions is places. A carillon tower anchors the building to the plaza. The elements are made like four “stones” set into the landscape with a pathway binding them together.

atmosphere – light
The intention was to provide a solemn and quiet place allowing light to enter discretely as if invited. The chapel/temple (the centre “stone”) is pierced by slits in the elevation on each side. The room will be experienced differently on each visit. Artificial light will be used to augment this atmosphere using discrete fittings placed in correspondence with the main structure and in the deep walls. The stone and concrete finishes have been chosen to mute the visual spectrum to be solemn and quiet.

atmosphere – sound
The heavy stone and concrete elements are used to silence the external world. The structure of the room breaks up the sound to flatten acoustic resonance. The thick walls and roof system will include acoustic resonance panels to assist the design of the sound space of the chapel/temple.
atmosphere – temperature & humidity
A significant amount of thermal mass has been chosen to provide a stable uniform quality throughout the year. Embedded heat exchangers in the floors and walls will enable the building to be responsive to the changing seasons. The combination of concrete super structure and stone elements provides for equally stable moisture content.
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function – carillon
The carillon theme has been proposed to anchor the site and the location of the chapel/temple to this place. It is located at the entrance point for the complex to greet the mourner/visitor. Standing tall it marks the beginning also of the new plaza. This represents the first “stone” in the composition.

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function – chapel/temple
The second “stone” of the composition is the main one, the chapel/temple. As a multidenominational space it is planned to be flexible to the needs of the congregation. The space is centred in the middle on the location of the catafalque. The chairs rather than benches can be located as shown or according to the demands of specific ceremonies moved out of the way completely. This is subject to the management of the facility though. Directly accessible from the main foyer it has access on two other sides for service personal and serving clerics.
The arrangement allows for the exit of mourners to the east end of the facility into the plaza and the contemplative gardens of the work. The arrangement provides for maximum flexibility without sacrificing architectural consistency.

function – ancillary spaces
The remaining functions are gathered together as a pair of “stones”. The most important of these, the sacristy/robing spaces are placed at the eastern end of the composition with two spaces directly linked by the columnar space surrounding the chapel/temple. Next door to this a private toilet is provided along with a service room for environmental services, a storage room for a minimum of four coffins and the administration office, accessible from the secondary service entrance. To the southern side of the building this external area constitutes the service area for access by the hearse and other service vehicles. The other part of the pair of “stones” is the discrete public toilets providing male, female and universal access toilets for the use of the public. These are accessible both from the main foyer and the outside. As the last of the “stones” it frames the entrances at the front and service entrance to the side.

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function – foyer/columnar space
Connecting the four “stones” is a brightly lit columnar ringed space providing generous space for a minimum of 100 mourners with direct access to the chapel/ temple. It is close to the administration office, rear lobby and public toilets. Secondary access to the chapel temple is made available on both sides, providing a route for coffins to the south along with a link to the sacristies/ robing spaces and the universal access toilet for use of celebrants/masters of ceremonies.
tectonics
With a super structure mainly consisting of concrete piled foundations, raft floors, waffle slab roofs (to the main foyer spaces), main chapel/temple trusses the clarity of the structure is a major contributor to the character of the building. To ensure that quality is at the foremost of this decision most of this work is either bespoke or precast under factory conditions. Columns and walls are reconstituted concrete/stone hybrid and the roof is finished in either a tern coated steel or zinc.
architecture and meaning

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This work is an attempt to imbue a sense of gravitas and resonance to the making of space. Purposefully the composition is resonant of that found in St. Kevin’s chapel at Glendalough or other ancient temples. The composition is based on four “stones”, an analogy
for the landscape strategy and for the tectonic expression of its large blocks of reconstituted concrete/stone. Light enters in between these large elements conveying their quarried logic. In a field of monuments the work rises up on the same proportional grid as its graves. Anchored and anchoring the 1916 Centenary Chapel is a place of the past, for now and the future.

Writing

A selection of published material other than by 12 Publishers is now available on our website.  These mainly feature Architecture and Urban Design.  There are interviews with Architects such as Winy Maas, Glenn Murcutt, FOA, Juhani Pallasmaa, Craig Dykers, David Chipperfield as well as the Artist/Sculptor Michael Warren, see; http://www.12publishers.com/Writing.htm  The material is available as free pdf downloads under creative commons licensing.

Art

The first edition of Version was published in December 2012. Version 12.2.1 “the impossible memorial”, documents the memorial to victims of abuse (ireland) by NJBA A+U. THis is available via Blurb as a paperback, hardback or e-book. A preview of the publication is available on our site at; http://www.12publishers.com/12Publishers.htm

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Version

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12 Publishers has launched Version, a multidisciplinary booklet/zine available in digital format and as print on demand package. The mission is to present a range of enquiries across the fields of Architecture, Art, Design, Music, Photography and Writing. The original intention was to bring into the open material that has previously been seen by very few as a reflective process. The planned editions are open ended with no set date for completion. It is expected though that the material presented in the zine editions will be reassembled in different formats in the future. The zine could be considered a foundation for future publishing concepts.
Our first complete edition is Version 12.2.1 “the impossible memorial”, documenting the memorial to victims of abuse (ireland) by NJBA A+U. This is available to purchase from Blurb and to download as an e-book. Future plans include Version 12.1.1, “competing visions”, a range of competition entries by NJBA A+U, Version 12.3.1 “identity”, identity design from synthetic reality and Version 12.4.1 “water power”, sleeve notes for MEC the first experimental music album by Oblique Projection.
The Verison logo is based on the renaissance vescia symbol. The original reference is being used here for is gateway reference (to design based material in this case). A specific logotype has been created by synthetic reality for this purpose as well.
The 6 areas of enquiry are colour coded according to the colour wheel (in alphabetical order) and numbered accordingly from Architecture to Writing. The numerical system derives from this and is unlimited. The colour and number scheme is therefore;
Yellow 12.1 Architecture
Green 12.2 Art
Blue 12.3 Design
Purple 12.4 Music
Red 12.5 Photography
Orange 12.6 Writing
The chosen font is Trebuchet MS, a reasonable common typeface which falls between Arial and Helvetica in terms of recognition while having some traditional characteristics. The zine will have a common template for covers based on the colour logic above. The subject of the cover will be a suitably abstract image from the content. Only “Version” and the relevant number along with the logo will appear on the cover as the identifier.

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Welcome to 12 Publishers

Weclome to the 12 Publishers WordPress Blog. 2013 will, we hope, be a significant year for our work across all of the inter related fields of Architecture, Art, Design, Music, Photography and Writing. Our new website http://www.12publishers.com has gone live and further details will emerge in its new format. In addition to the WordPress Blog, we operate facebook pages for NJBA A+U (Architecture), Synthetic Reality (Design) and Oblique Projection (Music). We hope to add more material in the coming months. Through Blurb.com we will also be releasing a number of physical publications as well as e-books. Watch or read this space.