This post-industrial landscape, which has been abandoned for more than a century now, served as a key element for an investigation on the notion of permanence in the 21st century. The strategy of the approach was to study how a permanent mark, such as this void, could evolve into something useful after its main purpose was fulfilled. This research comes from an interest in the shift of permanence from an absolute statism to a relative dynamism. This shift, which has happened in our society, mainly comes from the industrial revolution, where machinery and new technologies made product durability obsolete, consequently rendering static permanence irrelevant as well. Nowadays, we can see emerging ideas of dynamic permanence through reuse, renewal and rematerialization. In this project, three main steps were taken to achieve this renewal; the generation of a hydroelectric dam, standing as a memorial of the industrial importance of the quarry, which subsequently exposes the different quarry floors to exploration, and finally allows the space to be inhabited. This project considers permanence as a solution to disposability and suggests a broader integration of the concept in architecture. Properly integrated, it becomes an important factor in rectifying the current environmental crisis. From the material used, to the potential of the hydroelectric plant, this building complex becomes a living organism that can easily be renewed and adapted to our culture of flux.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Barre, Vermont, US