Testing Grounds is a nonlinear design process linking body, artefact, time, city and architecture. A resurrection of a preeminent industrial site from the 20th century.
Along nearly a century, a varying assemblage of settling tanks occupied the site at various scales. The approach was therefore using time and scale as design tools, to create a research institute reminiscent of this iconic post industrial landscape at the coast of Hartlepool, UK.
Phase 4 : Observatory for Speculative Landscapes
The final result constitutes of a collection of fragments, rising from the sands as memorials to the previously existing sea water setting tanks. Their form was derived through optical distortions of what was on that location at various scales and times.
The Observatory for Speculative Landscapes is a research institute exploring the Universe at both extreme scales of astronomy and quantum physics.
Phase 3 : Process – Revival by Distorting Scale and Time
The site was formerly occupied by Steetley Magnesite, also known as Hartlepool Magnesia Works. The industrial site was featured by sea water settling and mixing tanks for Magnesia production. A critical ingredient in the production of steel.
Along the 20th century, as production fluctuated, the forces of demand and supply were marked on the landscape through the constant construction and demolition of tanks, some of which had diameters of over 100m. Using the Device for Landscape and Body Distortion, combined with historic maps of the site at various scales, forms were reconstructed across the currently empty site. The aim is to resurrect fragments onto the landscape reviving the memory of the historic site.
Phase 2 : Searching the Landscape through Optical Distortion
The site is currently completely wiped out of any remains of the preexisting industrial works. The Device for Landscape and Body Distortion gave an alternative fragmented way of viewing the landscape, inspiring a design approach. However, the artificial site was lacking history and identity, leading to the need for historical documents.
Phase 1 : Constructing the Device for Landscape and Body Distortion
To explore the ideas of distorting space or scale, an installation was needed on the scale of the body. Through embodiment, the relative experience of the surrounding space may be designed. Therefore, I made a Device for Landscape and Body Distortion to test on surrounding spaces and landscapes.
View process book : Device for Landscape and Body Distortion