tutor | dara mcphee


In the wake of a natural disaster or a human conflict, architecture has an important part to play in responding to the need for shelter and comfort for those affected, as well as replacing lost or destroyed infrastructure.
Design V students were tasked with conceiving and developing a mixed-use structure of approximately 1500sqm to accommodate housing for a section of the displaced population of Mar Mikhael following the explosion of August 4. Simultaneously, while addressing the urgent need for transitional housing – the studio looked to challenge the thresholds of confinement. Do we isolate in a room? an apartment/house? or do we consider community confinement? The discussions generated by the current covid-context focused on thresholds, interactions and the in-between space; balancing the need for shared spaces while at the same time providing adequate levels of separation and private open space. Ideas of the collective and individual were explored in relation to accessibility and responsibility. Thresholds as transitions and the spatial condition for the meeting and dialogues between areas of different orders were studied and developed. Careful consideration was given to the design of in-between spaces, the shared space between the dwellings, the connection it to the public space and life of the city.
“There is only one reality between real persons- ‘the real third’. The real third is a real dialog, a real embrace, a real duel between real people – not something that happens to one person or another person separately and a neutral world containing all things, but something that happens in a dimension only accessible to both. The in-between acquiring form. [Aldo van Eyck, 1962 – “The Child, The City and The Artist”]

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