Anthony Shung Yiu Ko
First Year
Underground subways were installed throughout London as part of the County of London Plan by Abercrombie as an attempt to solve the issue of traffic through bringing pedestrian life below ground. However, these spaces have been rendered redundant as London is bringing pedestrian life back to street level, leaving these unused voids in the city.Interpreting the spatial qualities of the site, certain aspects such as compression, disorientation, and staticity of light were extracted and reinterpreted through the creation of tools used to mimic and represent these aspects.Continuing to abstract the qualities of the space and using the initial set of tools as a set for further reinterpretation of the spatial condition of the underground subway through film, the film was reinterpreted and overlayed in order to create a series of new spatial compositions which referenced the ideas of compression through it's formRecording the way light entered through my tools through photograms, I reinterpreted them as a series of plans for a sequence of new spaces which acted as voids or pockets in the city into which one could escape, in the same way the original underground subway was left as a void within the city. Robin Hood Gardens, a council estate designed by the Smithsons, was our second site. In order to create a perspective to look at the site, a narrative was crafted: Rather than complete demolition of Robin Hood Gardens as per reality, a developer's persona was adopted and a skeleton of Robin Hood Gardens would be preserved as a record, and architects (such as myself) would design installations which would act as further spatial recordings of the site. This idea of record making was brought into reality as portraits of residents were recorded as part of my investigation of record making of the architecture.An initial site reading film of Robin Hood Gardens led me to an infatuation of the way light entered into the space, an important aspect of the Smithsons' design theory.Through a process of deconstruction and reconstitution of the original stairwell of Robin Hood Gardens, a proposal was developed to convert the space into a camera obscura in order to convert that space into a machine for recording the present architecture of the site, the Blackwall Reach Regeneration, projecting these images over the record of the original architecture, the textures and form of the stairwell, creating a tension between the architecture of two time frames.Looking at the Smithsons' design theory, there was an emphasis on the shifting qualities of architecture throughout the year. Taking this as an aspect of the architecture to be recorded, 12 rooms were designed, to be entered into during the corresponding month which were tailored to accentuate the experience of the month's specific spatial condition, creating an active record of the experience of being within Robin Hood GardensThese rooms were designed through a reconstitution of elements which formed the original Robin Hood Gardens. Through using these to create an active record of the spatial condition, exploring the idea of how a spatial experience can be recorded and how this recording can still be considered to be authentic and true to the original.