- Type of project
- 01.09.2019 ->
About the project
The project traces the history of the forest clearing as a spatial metaphor in architecture and challenges prevailing ideas about the links between the forest and architecture in Scandinavia.
The fleeting figure of the forest clearing is a universal mental and spatial archetype, as well as an elusive physical space defined by trees to be found in most forests. Suppose we approach the clearing as an archetype present in philosophy and art. In that case, we can find it in different sources that frame the clearing as a metaphor of enlightenment, a primordial space for settlement, and a mythical forest space recurrent in painting and other visual arts throughout history. What is common between pictorial, literal, and poetic descriptions of the clearing is that it remains elusive, never fully described beyond the powerful image of an undefined shape of jagged edges, a space made of light, defined precisely by the absence of that which materializes its perimeter. A universal image that only exists in memory, without scale or precise form.
Even if common knowledge arising from different disciplines, from literature to philosophy and art, have engaged with this spatial metaphor for centuries, and the technical and artistic descriptions of clearings do exist, the specific spatial implications and value of enclosed spaces defined by the subtraction of trees remain under-explored from the perspective of their geometry and morphology, particularly when it comes to surveying and describing the particular cases in which the clearing’s shape begin to have architectural significance as a form of proto-architecture with civic potential.
This thesis traces the history of the forest clearing as a spatial metaphor in architecture, and reveals the particular morphological and geometrical conditions of some forest clearings in Oslo, framing them as forms of proto-architecture that can only be fully understood when revealing their precise geometry. It does so by scrutinising advanced surveying techniques, such as high resolution lidar scans, that reveal their precise geometry.
Secondarily the thesis challenges prevailing ideas about the links between the forest and architecture in Scandinavia, particularly those engendered by phenomenology and its different actors. It does so by building precise descriptions of forest enclosures as spaces of rich culture rather than nature.