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ELDGOS

Hekla, Iceland

"Architecture can be formed naturally like a stone-built over time, through sedimentation and erosion."

                             -Junya Ishigami

I believe that the idea of architecture as natural process can be applied to volcanism, where architecture and landscape are formed naturally through eruption and flow of molten ground.

As I intervene with this natural process to create our own space and environment, we harness humankind as a geological force, so for terra-forming the earth.

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Volcanism

Through the lens of a greater geological site, the continued, yet variable rates of interaction between tectonic plates forces result in diversity of landscape evolution.

Volcanoes are agents of destruction but also beneficial contributor to the rebirth of ground. Volcanic activity continuously decomposes and constructs landmasses

with lava flows, lahars, and ashes. When the volcano erupts, the reservoir of melted ground magma activates as it decommissions the present infrastructure.  

The solidified magma retroactive the records as it layered upon another, thus creating new ground with inhabitable and resilient qualities.

Volcano represents tangible history of the earth, not merely in stratigraphic terms, but also geographic formation and propagation of new materials. 

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Tool - Artificial vs Natural

" The tools (technology) are used to not so much imitate the forms of nature, but rather to imitate the process of form making within nature." - Stan Allen

While this combined physical process of drilling, melting, and pouring re-enact the terra-forming process at a human scale. 

In this initial experiment, we poured molten basalt into a steel mold with wooden objects, to seek possibilities of creating voids and tests how lava reacts to different materials.

After Basaltic lava heats up to 1,200 C in the floor furnace, it pours over carved wooden structures representing the interior space. These wooden structures are cut in section and drilled to perpendicular steel plates to get sectional models as a result. When the lava flows over the wood, the wood's surface layer will burn, causing a chemical reaction that leaves scorching patterns inside while maintaining its form. Metal re-bars are placed as structure within the lava to prevent cracking as it solidifies.

As the larva fills the steel mold and flows over to the sand, it reacts to the structures immediately by ignition. The lava then solidifies over 40 hours as it slowly yet gradually burns the structure. The steel plates and the burnt remnants of the wood are removed once the cooling process is over, leaving behind sections of hollowed blackened cavities and charred walls of basaltic lava. In this view, the tools are used not to imitate the forms of nature, but rather to imitate the process of form making within nature but 

 

 

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Digital Simulation

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With our initial research and application of the tools, our goal is to imitate the process of form making within nature, rather than to simply imitate it's natural from.

While this combined physical process of drilling, melting, and pouring re-enact the terra-forming process at a human scale, the Real Flow Technology digitally simulates

the future lava flows. The data of future eruption is based on the previous eruptions. 

 

Design Intention

By harnessing humankind as a geological force, humans can artificially control and influence the natural terraforming force of volcanism towards our advantage.

We can control lava flows of active volcanoes with structures that guide and trap lava to create artificially terra-formed architecture and landscape.

As the layers of earth formed the landscape of Hekla today, this design process controls the subsequent layers to create an artificial landscape with spaces.

When Hekla erupts, our retaining walls will work like a dam to block and change the direction of lava to the southwest region of volcano.

The majority of the recorded lava flows in the past has flown either south or west and the existing landscape is perfect to create an artificial lava field as the ground plateaus

into a relatively flat landscape. We used Rea Flow technology to digitally simulate various eruption scenarios and visualize the landscape's future evolution. 

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Design Tactics

These layers of the earth, flowing against the retaining walls, gradually become a part of the wall as it creates two sides with contrasting typologies.

While one side, the outside of the wall remains lava-free in the past; the other side will continue to evolve to create new volcanic landscapes.

This trapped lava creates spatial moments within the landscape, where it flows around and over lava resistant structures.

Once the new ground has solidified over time, these structures are removed to reveal the new stratifications and the raw materiality.

In this new space and ground, humans can experience and occupy the evolution of terraforming.

Like nature architecture can be always changing, always affecting, and always adapting. 

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Design Tactics

Robert Smithson's large-scale earth projects transform devastated industrial sites into new forms of public art. 

My research takes this idea of repurposing a dystopian site 

as we aim to transform a feared natural site into new forms of available space. 

According to Ishigami, architecture can be formed naturally, like a stone-built over time, through sedimentation and erosion. My research believes this idea of architecture as natural processes can be applied to volcanism. Architecture and artificial landscapes can be formed naturally through eruption and flow of molten ground. 

In these experiments, the process of ground making becomes the art of geology and this process specifies human roles in the future changing environment. 

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Terra-Forming the Earth

This trapped lava creates spatial moments within the landscape, where it flows around and over lava resistant structures.

Once the new ground has solidified over time, these structures are removed to reveal the new stratifications and the raw materiality.

In this new space and ground, humans are able to experience and occupy the evolution of terraforming. 

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