Located directly on top of the Ness of Brodgar, a key Neolithic site currently under investigation in Orkney, Scotland,
my project, a ‘living archive’, seeks to explore and challenge accepted notions of architecture on two levels:
Process: The conception of architecture as a finished ‘thing’
Archaeological sites in Orkney -mostly Neolithic - tell a story of making without ‘blueprints’ or ‘ends’ in mind. That
is, structures developed over thousands of years, constantly shifting, changing, subsiding and rebuilding over time.
What ensues is an architecture of chance whose language can only exist because of this process.
To recreate this paradigm in a time-frame realistically comprehensible by an architect, a research-conceived chancedevice was developed. Its function, to manifest unpredictable situations where construction is not entirely dependanton the architects vision; the idea of a single mind is extracted from the process giving way to a ‘collective’ and‘continuous’ making. This, further engaged through collaborative drawing.
Time: The 21st century view of history (artefacts, sites, etc.) as something to be seen but not touched.
Neolithic architecture danced with its ancestral ruins, preserving memory through interaction and incorporation of
old elements into the new; and this rather crudely at times, making walls into foundations and tearing down older
structures entirely. As such, memory was preserved through touching (making) and not seeing.
A long pause, I see the rediscovery of the Ness as an opportunity to remember the site in its truest spirit; a layering in
time. The crafting of an architecture that becomes an archive of the site itself.