Ross Boyter

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The memory associated with urban places is a product of the clear legibility of the built environment and understanding the visual and physical qualities of the space, this memory is usually called the character. It is the arrangement of identifiable typologies which are distinctly placed in a way unique to the place in question. Most great examples of places are organised to include richness and variety of spaces with distinct material quality, while also having underlying urban structure and principles, on the other side, we can find architecture and spaces which have been composed to be silent or reflective, in some situations, stripped of the richness in order to create a more dramatic form of character but one which is still heavily associated with a singular place. This thesis explores the theme and understanding of architectural character and how one may define it. The aim is to test through a tangible project which aims to address the fragmented character and identity within the city of Gdańsk, Poland. Through the medium and understanding of typologies of the city, the project will be a product which is intrinsic to the city and is associated directly with its identity. The objective is to create a piece of architecture which embodies the character of the place while being well situated in its urban context, in essence an integral part of the city.

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The project’s location is strategically on the periphery of a new Masterplan which looks to reconnect the historic city back to the shipyards, allowing for a threshold to be created. With the opportunity to link one of the main access routes from the train station directly with the historic road to freedom and the chance to intercept footfall from a newly placed tram stop, the project will look to link these routes to create a more defined passageway from historic city to new development and the European Solidarity Centre.

The project program consists of Gdansk Conference Centre, Civic Offices and Hotel.

Image 1 - Analysis of Gdansk Towers
Image 2 - View out Classroom window from High School
Image 3 - View out of Kitchen window of eastern Soviet Tower
Image 4 - Building Floor Plans
Image 5 - Building Sections
Image 6 - Belvedere Detail Isometric
Image 7 - Road to Freedom Isometric
Image 8 - Unfolded Elevations along Road to Freedom
Image 9 - Tram Stop Isometric
Image 10 - Montage of 'Visual Character'

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