Advanced Design Studio: McLaughlin

Project Description

Nomination, H.I. Feldman Prize

The basis for the “Unreal City” is the city of London reimagined with devolved powers. Receiving devolved powers gives London greater autonomy and governmental control which would precipitate the need for more regional government centers. The proposed assembly buildings are representative of the different boroughs of London. This new devolved government examines the nature of government, especially small-scaled government, and the type of spaces that it requires.

An important part of this studio was the process of making and unmaking. A series of artifacts were made to think about how government could be visualized as a procedure or new kind of space. These artifacts then began to be incorporated into the architectural ideas of the building.

The project began with the re-thinking of an older studio project. The goal was to invert a more traditional theater type – a single space within poché – so that everything lives within the wall. The result was an L-shaped wall with a series of punctures and setbacks. This wall was then aggregated to enclose a central square space with expanding layers. The wall itself could serve as viewing space or performance space.

The functional and inhabited space of the new wall creates a labyrinth and makes a space for procession and a series of small spaces that could become a model for a new type of government. Rather than have a singular large space for gathering, the space becomes about circulation through a series of small spaces.