REN ZHI GOH

IN NATURE’S SHADOW

In Nature’s Shadow; re-presenting the natural world into urban contexts through a spectrumised understanding of bird, human and horse worlds where thresholds and boundaries of such world’s melt into each other into a construct of relational understanding that brings-forth the natural world as something beyond human comprehension. The human-centralised metropolis is challenged as to understand ‘persons’ not just exclusive to humans, but as all living things. The project is situated on the old structural columns that used to support the old Blackfriars train bridge along the River Thames, and includes office and retail units (places of human regularity and habit, continuing the existing urban fabric of central London) which start to bleed and melt into the world of the birds and horses.  Re-appropriated and displaced human architectures and furniture become potential nesting and perching sites for birds as well as growing troughs for bushes and trees providing food and additional shelter; inaccessible to the lateral human worlds below.  Translucent skins provide shelter for the birds with interstitial spaces between surface and structure forming additional inhabitation areas, partially concealing and revealing the world of the birds to the observer.

A feeding area with hay troughs intersects the office massing’s, providing a pit stop for police horses as well as presenting another sense of scale in relation to the natural world.  This creates a surreal juxtaposition of human and horse realms.

Navigating towards the higher central parts of the project, we encounter a waterfall space, where the verticalities above and especially below (with a translucent glass floor providing an obscured view down towards the Thames) activate a sense of fear and danger through sheer height.

The project aims to build a relational understanding of the natural world as well as evoke a sense of the Burkean Sublime through perceptions of other worlds beyond the human, shear verticalities of the site and spaces, the obscured translucencies that melt shadow and light into spaces of uncertainty in desire of comprehension and openness to the London skyline with the understanding that the otherness and wonder of the natural world is ever-present even in our urban cities.

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HOUSE RAMP VIEW

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HOUSE RAMP VIEW

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