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Topologies of place: a building in the landscape Meissner, Brian August 1998

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TOPOLOGIES OF PLACE: A BUILDING IN THE LANDSCAPE by BRIAN AUGUST MEISSNER Bachelor of Science in Geography, University of Nevada, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Architecture We ap»pt4his as conforming^to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA APRIL 1998 © Brian August Meissner, 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of h^CM\ T feOTuvz^-The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date IS) A-gcm VWft DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Sited on the bed of an ancient rail spur within the now abandoned plat of East Princeton, British Columbia, this project consists of two unprogrammed buildings constructed using a palette of physical and poetic materials which emerge from a deep understanding of a particular site. The project begins with the assumption that cultural process is an amazing energy which does not require architecture specifically. Architecture may, however, provide a catalyst for cul-tural/social dynamic and can provide a medium for its expression. Explorations undertaken are dependent upon an idea of place as an intersection of social, economic, political, historical, and physical relations within a kind of topological space. In the context of a particular site and through studies of a layering of conditions present at a precise point in time, this idea of place is used to uncover specific interactions between myth, persons, artifacts, and other factors which help lay the framework for a building in the land-scape. Most importantly the project is about personal design process and discovery. Throughout the study the project is very much in control of the author with each stage of the study generat-ing its own operating agenda. Thus an idea about the limits of architecture leads to a condition of site which itself leads to a particular map and finally to a highly specific site. Likewise pro-gram is allowed to emerge from studies of the site so that building and the desire to build become the catalyst for program rather than vise-versa. As these explorations intersect and overlap they begin to reveal a topology of place which is highly specific, but which contains links to an infinite set of other relationships and possibilities. Thus, architecture is employed as a catalyst for place expression, or as an avenue towards understanding place. page ii TABLE OF CONTENTS abstract ii table of contents: iii forensic documents: british Columbia railroads: 1871 1 princeton legends 2 east princeton retraced 3 forensic site plan 4 documenting the construct: floor plan 5 west and south elevations 6 east and north elevations 7 sectional model 8 material explorations: section and detail of building on hill 9 section and gutter detail of building on flood plain 11 section and eave detail of building on flood plain 13 page iii East Princeton Traces British Columbia 1910 Railroad Map and Columbia River Watershed page 1 East Princeton Traces Princeton. British Columbia Legends page 2 page 3 Key plat of East Princeton ratlspur right-of-way Simitkameen River 4. Old Hedley Road 5. Highway N°3 6. Princeton city limits 7. original pilings 8. existing fenceline 9. 100-year floodplain 10. project site 11. bed of stones 12. Weyerhaeuser log piles 13. low quality logs East Princeton Traces forensic sitemap 1:4000 contour interval: 3 feet page 4 page 5 East Princeton Traces East and North Elevations Scale: 1:750 East Princeton Traces West and South Elevations Scale: 1:750 page 8 page 9 page 10 page 11 page 13 


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