Fraser McCallum

Architecture MArch (Hons)

Creating Islands of __________ in a vastness of concrete monotony [experience] [void] [exploration] [materiality] [perception] [relief] [otherwise] [Journey]


Fraser McCallum

'Architecture as Experience' is a term created to define architecture as more than its simple definition to most of humanity - “the art and practice of designing buildings.” It is to ask the question of how we can construct imaginary architecture through the viewers perception of a space and thus utilize this to aid in the creation of positive urban architectural form.

Athens is a city plagued with contradictions – Ancient and Contemporary, Horizontal living and Vertical urban sprawl, dense built form and dead spaces – all are a direct result of both time and each other. A city of contradictions is also a city of interest and intrigue.

The city’s expansion causes multi-layered axis’ forming throughout – streets forming neighbourhoods - forming districts, all with the Acropolis as its central node. This infrastructure is a result of different eras of architectural planning, which can all be read from the city plan itself. Journey used to be the central focus of Athens, I aim to make this the true nature of the city once more, where a sea of concrete is complemented by the antidote of relief spaces.

My transect highlights several key points for my thesis and project – the geographical landscape forming the city’s growth – the spatial conditions of a Polykatoikia architecture highlighting the typology’s flaws and afterthoughts – the decentralised nature of the socio-economic and cultural districts of the city – the monochromatic materialism of the urban sprawl.

A map of Athens with abstracted spaces highlighted to show the importance of void within the project
A visual representation showing a map of Athens that accents the 3 main concepts of the project - Unify, Void and Route
An abstract map of Athens that shows some of the key takeaways from the initial analysis work on Exarcheia - Horizontality, Concrete, Politically Active, Ancient significance.

Modelling Abstracted Thoughts

A 3D model created to visually represent the process of un-hiding the hidden spaces of Athens.
A 3D model showing the shadows cast by these newly activated dead spaces within Athens
A view of the Parthenon from an Alleyway with only a small slither of the Ancient building visible

Athens Through the Eye

Drawing to Understand

A conceptual axonometric drawing of the access to these newly activated spaces, with a focus on the circulation
A worms-eye axonometric drawing of one of the existing sites, highlighting the informal nature of the edge-ness and view to maintaining and celebrating this unfinished character within the final design