between Nature and Artefact
Architecture at the Funeral: Between Nature and Artefact _ Nelson Mota
Producing a balance between nature and artefact is one of the most recurrent facets in architectural design. Since immemorial times architecture and landscape developed a dialectical relation where the transformation of the built environment challenged the balance of natural phenomena. The architecture of funerals is one of these events where the designer is called to make sense of a natural phenomenon, death, and to reconcile opposite aspects. In effect, a funeral is a ritual that dwells in a liminal space between life and death, memory and oblivion, resentment and quietness, communion and seclusion. It is a moment that calls for an intense negotiation of conflictive spirits and brings forth a confrontation of opposite experiences.
Arguably some of the most well known archaeological findings are ancient burial spaces or funerary monuments. They testify to the fact that reconciling men with nature, and architecture with the landscape are immanent components of the politics of death. The latter is, nevertheless, a phenomenon chiefly influenced by culture, which suggests that no universal truth is applicable to it. The architecture of funerals is thus an eloquent repository on how architectural operations negotiate time and place. Furthermore, cemeteries, crematoriums and other places where funeral services are performed often carry strong symbolism and perform a social role that goes beyond its mere function as a public or private amenity.
Gateway to the Community
Studies of Community Gateways _ Heidi Saarinen
Architecture in the community acts as a bridge between the local population and their everyday activities, routes through the community, creative and learning spaces, cultural and social activities. Buildings for the community will have many roles to play, as functional and appealing architectural designs; fitting into the site and surroundings, inevitably becoming landmarks and social connectors. They may help transform the way people interact and use shared space, building better communities, offering support for local people, addressing news and events, heritage and history; a familiar place for all; a beacon, the community gateway.
How much say do the community have in the shaping of space? How does a new, shared space influence the group, the community as one?
How does an injection of new space, construction, complex urban planning, activity and event affect the individual community lives, intimately, comfortably and educationally? How do we create good, sustainable and welcoming community gateways?
Artificially High _ Diego Terna
After the previous issue, in which was described a method of approach to difficult sites defined by a strong thrust towards integration with the territory, here will be presented projects in which research takes rather the opposite approach. It attempts to leave the ground, striving for extreme levity, a lightness that allows it to stand upon the landscape, to construct new heights, to open new views.
As in the work Dalì Atomicus, these built projects push themselves toward a moment of suspension, in which masses shed their weight and manage to cling to steep, difficult terrain: The examples of Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe will help us define two distinct approaches to lightness, describing worlds in which, although we seek a great opening to the surrounding landscape, we return again to a strong integration with the territory.