Julia Christina Eneroth

The Architectural Artifact

2015-11-30 | Portfolio Entry Poster Physcial model

This was the first architectural project at architecture school. It was a follow up assignment from the previous Mechanical Artifact but this time individual instead of a group work. A small pavilion with a minimum of one interior room should be designed somehow based on the previous assignment.

The site for the pavilion should be chosen inside the University Library Park in Lund. Since this park is already somewhat cluttered with modern art, both on the ground and and in the trees, I didn't want my project to add even more to that clutter. However I didn't want it to be completely hidden either. Also I wanted to create something that matched Universitetsbiblioteket from 1907 in the center of the park.

Early Sketch
Early Sketch

Quite early I started Sketching on placing the pavilion on top of a pole like a nest box for birds. There it could be visible from a long distance and be a landmark of the town, yet don't take up too much visual space in the park where the dark brown Corten pole is not too visually different from a grayish tree trunk.

I got massive criticism from one of the assistants in the course when he saw my sketches. According to him this was just another conventional bungalow. Apparently this was the kind of building he drew every day on his job as an architect and I shouldn't do that but draw something fun instead. Also bird nesting boxes had nothing to do with the concept of birds in his opinion. Instead of drawing a building inspired by a bird box I should draw I building that laid buildings just as birds lay eggs or something in that direction.

Finally he found one (1) thing he didn't hate about the design - the pole. The assistant wanted me to remove the whole house and only keep a 20m high Corten pole as my artifact. I think this is when I really understood how big the conflict between modernism and traditionalism still is. Making a house that looked like a house was apparently a taboo and should not be allowed.

This went on throughout the project and I was actually really close to drop out of school. It was thye first time I got massive criticism for something I had designed and I had no idea how to handle it. Luckily I stayed and later learned that not everyone working at school shared this hatred for traditional architecture even though modernism obviously is the norm. In the end of second year I even drew a theater heavily inspired by Swedish 1920s' classicism and got quite good critique for it.

Now when I look back on this project I'm actually very proud of it and and happy for it to be my first architectural project. It resembles a lot of what I want architecture to be like. It's creative and out of the box. It's breaking the rules, including the modernists' strict rules about always doing the opposite of traditionalists' rules. It's quite mad which I really like but still doesn't interfere with the surrounding environment. This is what I want my architecture to be like; this is who I am.