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"Excavation, Navigation, Meditation"

chillida ALDIKATU III repeated shape.jpg

The "Enclosed Order" design brief aimed to explore sacred spaces and their atmospheres; an unusual but fascinating foundation for my graduate project. As I am appealed to the phenomenology, psychology and intangible qualities of architecture, this brief's focus on atmosphere allowed me to explore concepts and sensation in addition to developing traditional construction techniques to place the sculptural stone aesthetic into a contemporary setting. Lasting the academic year, the project was split into 3 prominent phases: Primer, Staging and Realisation and Refinement, each acting as a chapter of differing focus to eventually fuel the final design intentions. 


An exploration of atmospheres: how may it be represented and in what specific spatial qualities? A focus on materiality and testing iterations introduced the studio's aptitude of model-making and casting. This process was vital for me to practice my project's main concept of excavated, monolithic spaces. A protagonist was also defined, the inhabitant who resided within the monastic complex associated to a specified religion. 


The site for the project is introduced, located within Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley. A popular creative hub, it is seeing a rise in local businesses settling into its historic area. With favourable local places of interest and admirable views to the Quayside, it proved a challenge to design a religious monastery into the city rhythm. I wished to use the immediate context to map the complex's design and programme zoning, using the physical topography but also placing great importance on movement, sounds, views and the geological formation beneath to complement my theme of excavation

"Realisation + Refinement"

A monastic cell is designed, to inhabit our protagonist. Replicated throughout the design and using the site analysis from the Staging phase, initial design ideas are formed with additional precedents such as Cesar Portela, Enric Miralles and our studio's trip to Athens. Here, experiencing antiquity in its original location and integration within the city was an incredibly useful case study, where I used Dimitris Pikionis' design concepts to expand my design into a sculptural landscape of navigation. Advancing into the Refinement phase, I was able to explore the use of paving and therefore effects of materiality to create the stone and natural landscape to allow passers-through to sit and relax by creating moments

Throughout the project, I was keen to document and develop hand-rendered techniques for all sketches and technical drawings, and also for modelmaking techniques where possible. I feel this manual representation enabled me to fully experiment with hatching styles, pointillism and using large scale drawings to render great detail in my plans, whilst simultaneously reflecting my monastery's raw aesthetic intention. 

Tutors: Dr Christos Kakalis + Ivan Marquez Munoz

"Enclosed Order", Stage 3 Design [Graduate Project]

Edited interpretation of Eduardo Chillida's Aldikatu III




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