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Scale models reflect the desired construction principle.
Scale models reflect the desired construction principle.

Plan
Plan

Sections
Sections

Spaces acquire a sculptural quality.
Spaces acquire a sculptural quality.

The impressions of paving stones left in the concrete recall the time of construction.
The impressions of paving stones left in the concrete recall the time of construction.

I conducted a building experiment not just to prove but most of all to experience myself how to make a climate-controlled design in accordance with Le Roy's thinking. A space was designed using 3000 paving stones and provided with a layer of gunite. After manually removing the paving stones one at a time you are left with a space whose material tells of another time. The experiment, carried out in the backyard of Kanaalstraat 8 in Eindhoven, was made possible through sponsoring by the firms of Reijnders b.v. (the paving stones) and Vogel b.v. (the gunite).
I conducted a building experiment not just to prove but most of all to experience myself how to make a climate-controlled design in accordance with Le Roy's thinking. A space was designed using 3000 paving stones and provided with a layer of gunite. After manually removing the paving stones one at a time you are left with a space whose material tells of another time. The experiment, carried out in the backyard of Kanaalstraat 8 in Eindhoven, was made possible through sponsoring by the firms of Reijnders b.v. (the paving stones) and Vogel b.v. (the gunite).

Louis G. Le Roy's Eco-Cathedral in Mildam.
Louis G. Le Roy's Eco-Cathedral in Mildam.




PROJECTINDEX
 
THE DANCE OF TIME
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
ARCHITECTURE

A cultural centre for experiencing internal time. Built along intuitive lines, the design for a cultural centre for Louis Le Roy develops over time, analogous to his Eco-Cathedral.
Although we divide up our day using clocks, clock time is merely a handy device. There is another, more personal time that most of us have lost track of. According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson this is primarily internal and experienced out of an intuitive contact with reality. By laying greater emphasis on our internal time, Bergson informs us, we can not only better understand ourselves but also the world around us. Hence my research question: How could you use architecture to make internal time perceptible?
A fine example of intuitively dealing with reality is to be found in Mildam. In this Frisian village, the artist and architect Louis Guillaume Le Roy has spent decades working on his Eco-Cathedral, a project that is to develop in space and time into an intricate organic network. Enchanting bastion-like structures are merely the first stage in what is eventually to become a complex 200 metres tall and many hectares wide. Le Roy uses the word 'cathedral' as a metaphor for a project that extends over more than one generation. So there is no definite end to it established by Le Roy beforehand: 'I shall go on with it for ever, since natural processes do the same.' The name Eco-Cathedral is a way of saying that everything man-made about this cathedral is handed over to nature. Nature assimilates culture and gradually does away with it. Man then resumes building. This gives a process in which culture and nature are fused in a never-ending collaboration.
This design for a cultural centre devoted to the ideas of Louis Le Roy is predicated on the same intuitive way of building as the Eco-Cathedral. Like an artist who creates images in wax, the spaces are executed as solid masses. The building process is enacted in stages and extends across several decades. Paving stones are carefully placed one at a time by hand, as is the case with the Eco-Cathedral. When a space is ready, it is cast in concrete. Once the concrete has hardened, the paving stones are removed individually by hand until their negative form is left. The impressions that the paving stones leave in the concrete recall the work and time spent on the edifice. This aesthetic enables you to read how the wall has been made - that is, the nature of the material. This gives builders the time to get to know the material. Successive generations of builders in time bring new techniques that influence the way the space looks. Its appearance is therefore impossible to predict. This gives a building that develops over time, just like those who are building it and just like nature. By solidifying time in material, the human agent in the here and now is brought into relationship with the past, when building took place. The present-day user revisits the process of the building's construction through its material form. It opens a window, so to speak, that gives a glimpse of another time.