Lowlands and mountains
When we went to Iceland on our study trip, our assignment was to document our trip in wathever format we wanted. Some made a short movie, but I decided to take pictures. In my assignement I chose to make two collages with pictures I took on our trip that I thought went well together. In the first collage i wanted to show the almost infinity of the lowlands on Iceland. In the second collage I wanted to show how the lowlands gradually ends in mountains.
- Johan Oskar Rasmussen Sterner
Last year’s first year students went on various study trips – unit 1A went to Iceland. Iceland is considered a relatively new country, a result of volcanic activity and transform boundaries in the lithospheric plates. Besides that, the country is affected by glaciers that have played, and still play, a very important role in how the landscape is evolving.
Contrasts in the nature
The landscape is in fact very varied because of it’s geological history. On the one hand you can find places where the expression is raw and cold, where the vegetation is dry and the streams of lava have carved their way into the backs of the massive mountains and the signs of erosion are obvious. On the other hand you can you can find places where the earth is fertile, the colors of the nature harmonize and create a beautiful, sometimes even elegant view. It is hard to believe, that you can find such different expressions on one place, and yet Iceland is the place for it to happen.
Nature meets Culture
Extracting the hot water from the geysers and hot springs is a part of the industry in Iceland. That means where ever you go, you will be met with large pipes and factories that compare most unfavorably with the nature. But the nature is used in other ways as well. The phenomenal nature of Iceland has become a huge tourist attraction, and it is interesting to see how these human activities reflect on the nature.
Rima Murad, 1A, 2014
How do we transform the city to ensure a better use of resources and a higher degree of integration between flows and functions? How can we transform waste into sustainable building materials, and in general ensure a better use of resources?
These questions are central to the work of the studio Architecture and Resources, Aarhus School of Architecture, this semester. The work will be done under supervision from visiting professor Césare Peeren, partner and co-founder of Dutch-based design- and research company Superuse Studios.
The Architecture and Resources studio has established a project site in a suburban area in southern Aarhus. Here the students will be creating elements as well as an overall strategy for transforming the area into a more integrated system based on the methods and theories of Superuse Studios.
The semester will be kicked off with a two-week workshop encouraging the students to create building elements purely from reclaimed materials in order to ensure a better use of the city´s resources.
In our first year main assignment we were all given the site Aarhus Åløb, more specifically I had to work at a spot at Årslev Engsø. A lot of people come out this exact site because there is a parking lot and a public restroom. Mostly you see people running, walking, biking or walking their dogs. There is a path around the lake that is lifted from the lake at one side and the creek on the other side. Consequently people do not differ from the path, because it is difficult to get down to the water on either sides.
Therefore I started to work on a an intervention that would connect the the two watersides and thereby break with the controlled pathway. The area is very open, and the project would therefore have to take up a lot of space, but it also had to integrate in the landscape by adapting to the topography of the landscape. I designed a deck with the intention that people can stay there, sit down, play some ball and enjoy the two different watersides on closer hand – because the two watersides are so different from each other. The creek is more quiet and comfortable with the trees creating a smaller space, where the lakeside is more flat and the space is much more open. The landscape underneath the intervention is integrated by small wholes in the deck that will leave room for the original trees and let the straws grow up through the intervention.
By: Cecilie Siw Christensen, Unit 1B
My final project as a first year student developed around Aarhus Ådal. The site for my intervention was located on the northern shore of Brabrand lake. The project was bound by two pre-given focus points: Rising sea levels and integration or contrast to the surroundings.
I wanted to create an intervention that increased the accessibility from land to water and from water to land. Through a process of sizing and shaping the intervention I became aware, that I not only wanted the intervention to be a link between land and water that people would discover on their way, I also wanted it to be an urban space – a destination point that would provide a space for picnics, kayaking competitions, outdoor concerts, public events ect.
Working with the topography and size of the site it became clear that my intervention would stretch over 100 meters from Brabrand pedestrian path to Brabrand lake with a topographic decrease of 6-7 meters. I created platforms in different levels, that would appear and disappear with the rising sea levels. The texture of the platforms consists of planks arranged in an order inspired by the thought of driftwood on a river, where every vertical decrease between the platforms worked as small symbolic waterfalls.
The area around my intervention was very open and windblown. Therefore I worked with implementing different vegetation from the site in my intervention. Hereby I differentiate a big and open space into smaller sub-spaces that would provide shelter and intimacy in the intervention. Furthermore the trees would give the construction a low opacity, that could arouse peoples curiosity to the unseen, and make them investigate the platforms space by space.
By: Stephen M. S. Jørgensen, Unit 1B
My final project was located near Eskelund and the recycle station. Under the subject “inhabit”, my main focus was at the availability from road to water.
The consistency at the area is mostly wetland, so the availability is limited. For 2.5 km you cannot access the water, and for 1.2 km you cannot even see it, and you are actually walking 50 meters beside it. The main task was to create an architectural intervention that deals with rising sea levels and integration of contrast.
I chose an area isolated by forest and dense vegetation so the intervention would integrate, constantly surprise and prove my point about availability.
I wanted to create different experiences by passing trough the intervention, to maintain the qualities of the entrance, the course and at the event by the water. The space between the frames will constantly show new shadows and new surroundings, and by time the surroundings will interfere with the frames and isolate the construction.
By isolating the person and the experience when you enter the final platform, where you cannot look back at where you came from, you will notice the exposure of nature and get to see a whole new side of the city and its capabilities.
By Nicolaj Friis Nøddesbo, Unit 1B
For the final project at Århus Ådal I was given an area that is the in the very start of the site, going from the city into the forest.
After further analysis of the site, I decided a location for my architectural intervention. At this particular place you start by walking on a path alongside the river, the river takes a turn, and you access the forest; it is dark, closed and the vegetation is dense. Inside the forest it is possible to walk through the forest and enter an open field with tall grass and wet soil underneath.
With tall rubber boots I explored the possibilities at site. I realized that after 10 – 15 meters of this vegetation, there is dry area where you can actually walk around.
My intentions through this assignment have been these transitions – the transition in vegetation – open/closed, the density, wet to dry and light/dark.
My intervention consisted of a path going from the forest, and on to the dry area. When people step off the path they can walk around in this otherwise untouched vegetation. From here a pavilion can be seen in the distance, a place in which you can stay, and experience the tall grass and open landscape. As the transitions experienced in the vegetation, I tried to create these transitions in the spatial experience of my pavilion – exploring the light and density of the rooms.
Staying here people are supposed to feel hidden and apart from the outside world, yet having an overview of the open landscape, the sky and the river.
By: Sofie Orø Pettersen, Unit 1C
Experience the works of more than 80 graduate students at the curated exhibition AFGANG II presenting visions, models and fine drawings. The exhibition is open weekdays from 12 – 15, in the period from Friday 27 June through 15 August 2014.