Lara Daoud
First Year
Elements of the surrounding city were collapsed onto the surface of the ice. By deconstructing a film still, I tried to relate the reflections back to their source of origin. Captured on the icy surface were fragments of the surrounding facades, fragments of vehicles passing by, sign posts, lamp posts etc.After a session, the ice surface becomes very rough. The ice resurfacing machine acts as an ink jet printer, printng the city back on to the surface, strips at a time.Spontaneity and temporality were two key aspects of the Frost Fair in 1683. When the Thames froze over, only when it was thick enough did people start to skate on it and set up stalls. Similarly, on this particular day when it snowed, I wanted to set up a mini rink, taking advantage of the frosty conditions. I built my insertion on a road where city life continued in the backdrop so there was the movement of the body juxtaposed against the city and its traffic. The next day, when the ice had melted away,  the memory of ice skating on the road seemed surreal.The narrative behind this drawing is showing the intersection between past, present and future. In the past, the Thames was wider and flow rate was slower. The design of the medieval London Bridge didn't allow water to flow through as easily because it was a much more solid construction. Because of these reasons and because of low temperatures as well, the river used to freeze. When the power stations started popping up along the Thames, such as Battersea and Bankside power stations, they started to release warm effluent into the river, warming the water up. From this point on, the Thames never froze over. Nowadays, warm effluent isn't a significant factor in heating the Thames since the power stations are no longer active. The river is narrower and deeper due to the creation of embankments and it flows faster due to new, open bridge designs. The quick water flow means that it is harder to freeze. Because of the extinction of the Frost Fair, I thought it would be a nice idea to make a modern reconstruction and recontextualise the event in its original location; Southwark. I imagined introducing a skating lane to Tower Bridge.The medieval London Bridge had 19 closely stacked piers between which ice would start to accumulate, developing into ice floes and then into an ice platform.Drawing the factors that cause the river to flow faster nowadays. Comparison of the water to structure ratio in both instances. The medieval bridge had a ratio of about 50% water to 50% structure whereas the current London Bridge has a 20% structure to 80% water ratio.
This drawing also compares the difference in bridge span suggesting how the river width decreased over time. Also illustrated in this drawing is the change in depth of the river, showing how the river is deeper than it was in medieval times. Just as the Frost Fair encouraged a new way of navigating across London, I thought of redesigning London Bridge to offer new ways of connecting from the north to the south of the river or vice versa. I assigned it several programs that run alongside each other: a road, a skating lane, a swimming lane and a pedestrian lane. Imagine commuting by ice-skating or swimming across the river.A procession to mark the periphery of the territory where the Frost Fairs took place in the early 17th century. Past events that the Thames hosted are commemorated in the stations of this procession.The cathedral acts as a thoroughfare in the procession. People who arrive at London Bridge station take this atmospheric passage to get to Montague Close courtyard. It is a foggy route given that the cathedral also acts as the ice storage facility.The closely stacked piers on the embankment allow ice to accumulate and back  up, forming an ice platform in winter. Since at the embankments, water is shallow, ice floes would be likely to form, stemming from the closely stacked piers. This ice encroaches a shallow basin where water is collected at high tide and at low tide it is left to freeze. 
There is a window of opportunity here where people can skate on this platform while the tide is out. This temporal quality has been inherent in my project and something I wanted to sustain in the design stage.