Neill . Braun . Llyod-Lynch

PYRAMIDEN – REMEMBERING THE FUTURE . Experimental preservation competition

design team: Kelly Neill . Devin Braun . Mary Llyod-Lynch . University of Toronto . + 120 Hours

120 Hours competition proposal.

Until recently, preservation has been thought of as an act of taxidermy. Preservation, for many, is a method of pinpointing a territory on the timeline of History and severing it from the continuously forward-moving progression of time. However, it is our opinion that preservation should not be a taxidermy—we don't want our attic to become overly cluttered with stuffed foxes, nor do we feel authorized to choose an audience worthy of being bestowed access to the Treasures of History. We do believe that the flows and loops of histories that tangle evermore through the march of time are valuable. An experimental preservation has the potential to showcase both the highlights and the shadows, the glories and the tragedies, the influential and the banal in the context of a timescape. A reach in all directions should be implemented in order to preserve one's potential to create and change.
This project aims to mark a condition and an awareness at a particular moment in time, at a particular place in the world. This act of preservation, rather than memorialize an event, object, or architecture for a specific audience, seeks to create a barometer for looking both forward and back. This particular position of 2015 in Pyramiden, Svalgard, Norway, can be used as future frameworks for peering into the climatic changes occurring at the site.
Projecting from the mountain down through the abandoned town, a linear series of steel pools punctuates the landscape, terminating where the river meets the sea. From above, the intervention is a line of square swatches of land; from the ground it is a march of silent time-keeping containers, impervious to whom or what witnesses their slow engulfment. The height of each element represents a predicted elevated sea level for each forthcoming century. These suggests a new topography of datums that will be created as a result of the melting ice caps. Inside, air is contained by heavy steel walls, isolating that particular swatch of land and the space above it from its surroundings. Mirrored surfaces on the inner walls manifest the undeniable connection to the changing environment that persists, despite the attempt of the thick walls to sever this preserved ground from its context. With reflections of the atmosphere and occasional viewers passing by, the time-pieces become reflections of the catalysts who thrust the globe into climatic disarray.
Throughout time the role of these new figures on the landscape will transform. Initially, they will act as a new contextual intervention, co-mingling with the buildings and objects of the town. The sharp appearance of these time-keepers and their crisply-machined corners contrast the handcrafted wooden architecture of the town. Gradually these figures will age and acquire the patina of time that unites them with the rest of Pyramiden. Simultaneously, the water level will rise, and eventually, they will no longer be figures on the landscape but voids diving deep into the surface of the water; wells, once of air, anchored to the ground and surrounded by the sea. Finally, like fire to cotton, the sea levels will claim each time-piece, filling the voids one by one up the shore and through the town. The sea eventually covers all traces of these stoic timekeepers, and with the occasional glimmering reflection from the far depths, there is a reminder of what lies beneath.

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