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Tuesday29 July 2014

Stefan Rust – Newcastle University

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The project is located within the ruins of an abandoned and silver smelting works at Silverberg in the Dalarna region of Sweden. The proposal divides the site into two main areas, Public zone and Private zone, broken by a stream but connected by bridge.

Judges’ comments

The judges enjoyed the sensual world that Rust deftly conveyed through a series of beautiful renderings. They felt that the building’s construction - drawing on a material palette of timber, stone and fair-faced concrete - had been explored with a particularly keen eye for its potential to enforce a close relationship between the architecture and its landscape.

Student Statement

The main focus was on healing defined as “making whole.” This looked at reconnecting people with the whole experience of place through the amplification of the human senses, a reconnection with the surrounding environment and reaffirming memory.

The main concept focussed on what psychiatrists are calling a “Time Poverty” in which the mechanical and digital cycles of modern living have caused us to lose contact with time and the slow natural cycles of nature. The brief is for a retreat that aims to treat and prevent “utmattningssyndrom” (fatigue syndrome- symptoms include depression, stress and anxiety). The retreat utilises both conventional and alternative therapy methods such as: eco-therapy, art therapy, music therapy and biblio-therapy.

The site is located in central Sweden within the ruins of an old smelting works. The site was chosen for its strong sense of memory and the healing affect of nature which is present on the scarred landscape. The scheme acts as an amplifier for the landscape with key points utilised such as ruins/remnants, areas of experiential amplification and quiescence in order to create a stronger connection with place.  

Tutor Statement

Stefan Rust has demonstrated a rare sensitivity, and its potential to touch our emotions. Human sense of memory and place is used as a design generator. His proposal for the healing centre, as connecting people back to the nature, could be described as architecture of natural materials and human senses.

The site of the project is located within the ruins of an abandoned and silver smelting works at Silverberg in the Dalarna region of Sweden. Stefan has proposed to divide the site into two main areas, Public zone and Private zone, with the stream in between and those areas are connected by a bridge. The building materials, such as timber, stone and fair faced concrete, he has proposed will anchor the project to the landscape. Imaginative observation and recording of the site and the development of the architectural proposition have been done concurrently.

The spaces are proposed as enclosures of existing natures and intensify the senses by creating the journey of slowing. The architecture builds on the potentials existing in the site, rather than following programmatic requirements.

Chi Park (Thesis Tutor)

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The concept of using the healing scarred landscape of a disused mine is ingenious as is the private/public area. The framed view of the lake with the clinic in the background looks very professional. The theory of natural cycles being distorted by an electronic age is thought provoking. Nice work!

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