“Disclosing the in-between” is my final year thesis project. “Production/Destruction” is its product. It investigates the physical and philosophical relations of what is known as “mass” and what we call “ground”. The dialogue between both creates a a system, which is then dissected into three different built-up conditions of a specific site location in Greater Beirut: the industry, the residence, and the fragment. Accordingly, I examine those dyads by using the “unfolding” technique of surfaces, depending on different dissections of words. Within the experimental process of investigation, ‘terminology” is also used as a method to dissect definitions and further explore the words “mass” and “ground”.
Furthermore, abstract sectional analyses and other methods of inquiry helped define the issue and better solidify my position.
The thesis document brought forth questions regarding the possibility of creating new perceptions of space using Ground as a primary and opening element, in which we inject life [or death, as being part of life] through several processes: adding, subtracting, extending, evaporating, solidifying, carving, breaking, twisting, elevating and stretching.
How do the unfolding techniques, word terminology, and abstract sectional analyses become design tools? Along with methodology and other case studies, comes the notion of phenomenology of architecture, a theory which understands architecture in concrete and existential terms and develops a certain human conciseness of the world around us. The objective of this thesis is to intervene on the siteby dwelling in between layers of the dyad, in a “blind necropolis” melted within other housing units and activities. This aims at rendering the spaces between the sky and the far end of the earth real existential moments, creating new perceptions of space. The program and its systems are also analyzed along the thesis thread, contextualized within the site, and conceptualized according to the issue, helping to form a dialectic analysis of the whole.
The product of the aforementioned process was the outcome of a long thinking process launched at the start of my architectural studies. “Production/Destruction” links the concepts of Mass, Ground and the body into a project where a cemetery function coexists with a recycling plant on the same site of intervention: a public cemetery where mothers walk their children across the graveyards, where old men read the newspaper on benches, where children play football in the fields of burial, and relatives come to visit their dead. The western side of the plot is an interactive recycling plant where artists come in every morning to place their art on display. The project is read through sections cut at several intervals. Starting at the basement of an existing “icon” building where certain tombs are placed; visitors are elevated to the window level to walk out onto wooden platforms amongst the trees in order to get to their desired monumental burial drawers. The promenade takes you back to the procession space where autopsy labs, morgue and ablution spaces coexist. A funeral service office as well as a large space for the accommodation of funeralsoverlook the cliff. On the other side, a massive structure condenses industrial spaces where workers collect, deliver, store, recycle, and reuse metals and other materials. The recycling process also offers public educational programs. The reproduction system, consists of large workshop spaces (wood, steel, glass and iron) along with exhibition areas both outdoor and indoor. The melting point between both processions is the “section through the moment”: living on the edge, inhabiting a ground underneath a solid mass, dwelling in between lines of forces, and underneath masses & grounds.