14 May 2018
Architectural Association, London
A Choreography of Decay – Stage 1: The Ultimate Retirement Home
In a world of consumption and obsolescence, objects and buildings are rapidly being devalued. Despite their impermanence, their design life and material use are programmed to last for a greater period of time. The project proposes a natural alternative to demolition by accelerating the decaying process of the building to follow the organic ageing and decomposition rates based on human life expectancy. The project focuses on a retirement home in East Sussex, UK in which the body and infrastructure simultaneously age, decay and renew.
The project is being technically investigated through an analysis of diverse materials. Looking at their physical lifespans, the testing proposes to alter their rates of decay through the use of environmental factors, weathering and chemical reactions as active agents for structural decomposition.
After analysing traditional construction methods for foundations, windows, walls and roofs, the project redesigns these architectural components to accelerate the speed of their decay.
The Technical Study has become the base of my studio work, which has led to rewriting UK Building Codes so that architects will be required to design decay into their projects. Therefore, the unit project design will utilise these new codes in order to envision a new form of living and decaying architecture.
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