GEORGE BARNES

The Excavation of The Chalk Spa

Inspired by ancient ruins, The Chalk Spa seeks to corroborate the possible health benefits offered by chalk through an architectural clue finding exercise, presenting various plausible architectural fragments which appear to span over centuries. These superseded fragments harmonise, venerating these cultic acts as well as corroborating the chalky rituals of bathing in the calcareous waters. The project encourages one to dream into the potential possibilities cloaked within the chalk, this in turn triggers one to question the plausibilities of the ideas meticulously planted within and beneath the geology. As water is sourced from the aquifer and delivered to the chalky pools, the architectural fragments and narratives encased within the chalk are sprayed with pressure misted water, slowly eroding the fragments and revealing further contradicting narratives within an architectural scale. However some fragments will remain dormant for an extended period of time, unless eroded or excavated, as they lay beneath the landscape. The mystical fascination which provokes one to hypothesise about the plausibilities relies on the material qualities offered by the chalk and water mix. This creates a method of representation which not only captures the characteristics of the site, but also frames and withholds architectural and conceptual narratives.

Harmonising the Sedimentation of Ideas

Pencil, pen, enamel paint, blackboard paint on MDF. Slowly building thelayers of enamel paint to provide protrusions ready for excavation. During the assembly of the drawing, the layering of information begins to harmonise. The later application of chalk and water marries the architectural and material fragments, solidifying them into a unified geological body. It then becomes ones responsibility to curate and uncover certain fragments which may or may not corroborate with one another, in an attempt to create a plausible hypothesis.

Concealing and Revealing Architectural Fragments

Following the application of the chalk and water mix over the painted fragments, the chalk slurry concurrently frames and conceals the ingredients required to construct narratives. This play between the seen and unseen forces one to uncover the more desirable fragments whilst critically choosing between several possibilities.

Latent Structures Eliciting Nuanced Narratives

The protrusions under the calcareous surface lend themselves towards
our curiosities, urging one to speculate about the potential information
cloaked within the chalk.

Excavated Plan

The abundance of prescribed potential allows one to choose between architectural fragments when excavating. Due to this, the excavation process is a subjective one, and the choice between architectural orders forces one to work based upon visceral response and hypothesising probable spatial as well as conceptual plausibilities. Following the excavation and adoption of the uncovered structures, the Chalk Spa further employs pressurised water to erode the chalk geology, revealing latent fragments still dormant within the landscape. Some fragments will remain hidden across a geological timescale

Concealing and Revealing Architectural Fragments

Following the critical excavation of the plan, it becomes apparent where walls or linings agree with one another, as well as when they contradict and overlap. This provides the drawing with a rich breadth of cogent possibilities, triggering an assortment of hypothetic and visceral responses.

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