. beltline stipend winner

 . mnemonic architecture: intervening in a city of forgetting

the life of the building, a timeline

abstract

Our experience of place transcends our sensory experiences to include thoughts, emotions, and memories - how we have experienced the place before and the associations it has to our past and present life. The built environment is a manifestation of who we are, and the values we embody, as a culture. With this thesis, I am interested in the collective memories of a society, and how these latent memories are embodied in time and place through the medium of the built environment.

Architecture is not a mere play with form and materials but an
intervention in the evolution of culture and history. As such,
architecture may also act as a mnemonic device (memory aid) within a city, and offer a medium through which to intervene in an established place. This approach considers architecture not only as it exists in the present but also as it exists as a resonant element in both the physical history and the broader socio-cultural context of a place. This project specifically explores the collective memories of Calgary as they pertain to a local urban site on the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) corridor.

 

Click on the links below to read each section of the thesis document:

 

part one_perception

 

part two_exploration

 

part three_intention

part four_intervention

 

part five_reflection

 

works cited

works consulted



select photos from
ctrlz: gallery show of m.arch graduate work

 

artifact: exploring collage

 

collage 1: the beginning

From the original construction of the eastern building in 1910 (and the western building in 1913) until approximately 1930, this collage is rooted in the land-based economy of grain production prevalent in the early days of the Canadian West. The collage also highlights the significance of the railway (with a spur line directly behind the site of this project) in Calgary during its first boom years.


collage 2: mid-life

Calgary's first wave of prosperity came to an end withthe First World War and The Great Depression following into 1929 stock market crash. The second collage represents the period from approximately 1940 to 1980 including the Turner Valley oil strike of 1947 and the suburban expansion of the post-WWII years. Inexpensive land prices and the appeal of a single family detached home lured most of the population to the outskirts of the city and contributed to a decline in both the building stock and activity in the city's core. Coinciding with mass suburban exodus was the project site's use as a furniture warehouse. Despite the challenges. the Beltline continued to grow in both its residential and commercial capacity through the decades until Calgary's next big economic crash in the 1970s.

 

collage 3: a new beginning

Representing the period from the 1990s until present day, the third collage considers the impact of new communications technologies and the influence of the digital realm on our culture. It was at this time that the building became an office for non-tactile uses such as IT management and web development. The collage also starts to experiment with the idea of creative process and features work by some of the artist's with studios currently in the building.

 

process

 

 

 

final architectural models

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

material studies of the current building