TS5 HIGH PASS WITH DISTINCTION 2019 Excerpt
by Elizabeth Yuen Yi Low, AA 5th Year
Diploma Unit 2
07 May 2019
Architectural Association, London
“If we want our culture to rise to a higher level, we are obliged, for better or for worse, to change our architecture. And this only becomes possible if we take away the closed character from the rooms in which we live.
We can only do that by introducing glass architecture, which lets in the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars, not merely through a few windows, but through every possible wall, which will be made entirely of glass.”
- Paul Scheerbart, Glasarchitektur (1914)
The technical thesis aims to exploit the material potential of glass in a hyperdense urban dwelling to combat deep interiority of built spaces caused by rapid densification. This creates a hyperglazed living condition facilitating a new response to the use of glass in our built spaces. Furthermore, the use of glass as the primary material challenges its current use as a largely functional, invisible element of a building. The phenomenology of glass is a key component of this study, with distinctive properties including transparency, fragility, reflection, refraction, colour depth and distortion, glass can be applied in a range of contexts from the everyday to the extraordinary.
Three main topics that are crucial to understanding this hyperglazed living condition are addressed in this technical study:
How do we control our privacy in a hyperglazed hyperdense environment?
(How can we manipulate glass to reduce visibility but still allow the transparent nature of glass to persist and let light through?)
How do we make glass liveable by regulating its environment?
(How can we use glass as a performative element to control the amount daylight and air allowed in?)
How do we build a building with glass as the primary structural material?
(How can we exploit the compressive structural nature of glass to reduce the number of opaque elements in the building?)’
The TS provided an opportunity for me to explore my curiosities about glass and offer my own perspective on creating a new hyperglazed living condition through the results of my research and experiments. By getting hands on with the material, I was really able to push the boundaries of what I initially thought was possible. Throughout my TS journey I was constantly supported by my TS tutors, unit tutors and the model workshop. The guidance I received was indispensable and always opened my mind to more possibilities. It is an honour to receive this recognition and I hope to continue to pursue my interest in glass.
For more information:
Diploma 2 Unit Brief
Technical Studies at the AA