Tuesday29 July 2014

Khalid Saleh - University of Portsmouth

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Khalid has developed a thesis founded in phenomenology exploring the notion of tectonic transgressions with particular focus on two apparently diverse cultural conditions. Aalborg (Denmark) to the North, and Marrakech (Morocco) in the South.

Student Statement

Here in the North, the sun does not rise to the Zenith but grazes thing obliquely and then dissolves in an interplay of light and shadow’ Norberg-Schulz

The South, too, has its mood. Unquestionably. But there, all is stable; indeed, the South becomes marked by the single mood that becomes manifest when sun permeates all things’ Norberg-Schulz

The theme of our studio (emergent studio | tectonic transgressions) holds an insight into the approach and understanding of this thesis proposition. In a search for the immeasurable within architecture, we have approached the world through the use of emergent, creative, dynamic and mutable structures to understand current paradigms.

Phenomenology - the study of essences - seeks to define the essences with existence initially, via united essence and fact. By looking at the world phenomenologically - particularly in architecture - we use its essentially experiential tools and transgress, employing tectonics to produce the concept of the thing which sits before the idea, in order to produce poetic phenomena.

This proposition was explored thematically through the North and the South, providing a framework for a bipartite project: the first (North) in Aalborg, the second (South) in Marrakech. These locations offer explicit conditional polarities, yet through architectural proposition, strive to uncover and yield a single reference point, offering responses through applied knowledge alongside phenomenological experiences to further understand and evolve a poetic language. Certain concepts were tested through the design propositions:

Fundamentals of northern and southern existence

  • clearing / oasis
  • gathering / gazing
  • prospect / refuge
  • the hearth / the horizon
  • touching the ground / incising the ground
  • nordic paradigms / southern transgressions


Tutor Statement

Throughout Khalid’s studies he has constantly demonstrated an exceptional
commitment, sensitivity and talent.

He has strived to achieve a poetic architecture, balancing beautifully conceived proposals communicated through strong graphics; which are complimented with carefully crafted models.

The exploration of ’craft’ provided a foundation for his Diploma 1 studies where the notion of ’Health and Wellbeing’ was explored. Initially through the study of ’touch’ the design of furniture as a unit within architecture, to developing a tectonic language.

For the past year Khalid has developed a thesis founded in phenomenology within the ’Emergent Studio’, which explored the notion of tectonic transgressions with particular focus on two apparently diverse cultural conditions. Aalborg (Denmark) to the North, and Marrakech (Morocco) in the South, each providing distinct opportunities and to explore a poetic response.

In response Khalid proposed a metaphorical living bridge entitled the Hearth & the Horizon in Denmark concluding with a Pilgrims Sanctuary in Marrakesh Morocco. His design interventions have addressed the particular conditions of each place, encompassing climate, culture, spirituality and physicality while further testing a resolve for a poetic architecture.

Despite commitment to his thesis Khalid has never missed the opportunity to broaden his portfolio. Undertaking competitions and leading on the school’s Diploma exhibition. Khalid has recently won first place in a memorial garden competition where he and a colleague presented the idea of memorial through Keat’s poetry.

As an outstanding student he has also been employed by the schools Chartered Architects Practice ’The Project Office’ as a summer intern and has been involved with numerous community projects.

Khalid has proven he is an exceptionally talented designer with his recent prize from RIBA South demonstrating theachievement of excellence during his studies.

He has a very bright future ahead of him.

Nicola Crowson & Roger Tyrrell
Diploma Studio Tutor & Personal Tutor.
Lorraine Farrelly



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