Student projects 5: ship.bldg

A project I've been meaning to write about ever since it won first place at RIBA's 2005 President's Medals awards is Luke Pearson's maritime exploration of "the ship as a 'dry-docked' architecture."

"The scheme is a retirement home for elderly fisherman that also houses a working men's club for members of Newcastle’s fishing community," Pearson writes. "As a reflection of the separation and torpor of this unique society, the scheme takes the notion of the ship in an architectural context, to create an ersatz environment which interacts with the city around it as if it were a dry docked vessel. The environmental technologies and the ways in which the notional ship has been translated into an architectural system are the focus of this study."

In other words, you dock the ship for so long it becomes architecture, an extension of the earth's surface into the sea.
Pearson's ship/building – perhaps ship.bldg – would include a "heated superstructure" and a "microcosmic ocean upon deck" (both pictured above).
Then there is Pearson's technique of "Alephographic drawing." Pearson describes this part of the project as having been "inspired by Borges"; the image, below, "sees everything revealing the technologies and notorieties that exist within the Vessel."

Now a similar such project needs to be worked out with a train, stopped for so long in the center of a city it becomes architectural, permanently anchored and settled there on tracks, perhaps with moving rooms, parts of a building detach then reattach to other buildings; then further projects with other forms of transport: helicopters, lorries, school buses, hovercraft... The future architecture of stalled vehicles.
Or, to quote Thomas Pynchon, who is here referring to a missile if I remember correctly: "The moving vehicle is frozen, in space, to become architecture, and timeless. It was never launched. It will never fall."

(Luke Pearson's project spotted long, long ago on Archinect; see also Student projects 4, 3, 2, and 1).

Comments are moderated.

If it's not spam, it will appear here shortly!

Blogger Geoff Manaugh said...

Don't know if other people are having this problem, but the images are going crazy on Blogger and are often not loading onto BLDGBLOG at all. Am I the only one experiencing this here on my own computer?

June 07, 2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the train bldg's exist now - though I think they are quietly being destroyed - the old train diners you can still find that used to be dining cars at railyards or sideings, but managed to outlast their original diners. An exampe you be the diner behind the Matchbox in Chicago, but I'm sure there are others.

June 07, 2006 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of housing retired sea captains in a land-locked ocean-going vessel seems, somehow, cruel.

June 07, 2006 11:35 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

does this mean the guy who lives in his truck down the street is really a very hip architect? His socked feet out the window will look different to me now. Brings fresh meaning to the phrase "new urbanist"

I think the writer is confused about what dry-docking is . . .

June 08, 2006 1:33 AM  
Blogger e-tat said...

No crazy images on this end. Maybe it's your eyes. Have you been staring at (photos of) the sun too long?
You may have noted that Blogger was having problems last night, maybe that has something to do with it.

As for the ship, I lke the idea of integrated transport. Had an idea a few years ago about sleeping quarters on rails that would circulate endlessly at about the same rate as an escalator (~1.4mph).

June 08, 2006 2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a floating architecture created from an old aircraft carrier in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash... -Geir

June 08, 2006 4:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 13, 2006 3:03 PM  

Post a Comment