Niche: An Articulation of Strangeness through Animal Metaphors within the Orthodox City
This thesis provides a commentary proposing a methodology of how architecture could be liberated from the constraints of the capitalist city. The project draws on sentiment to translate biological niches into architecture that conveys strangeness within the indeterminate spaces of Auckland City. As a result, the public’s cognition of architecture of the city will be enriched through exposure to the strange.
In an era in which capital is the driver of the city, buildings are forced together as sets of parts in various relationships of convenience; chance and proximity1. The establishment of capitalism has empowered architecture into a prosaic routine of attending to conventionality, sterilizing fantasies and peculiarities of architectural spaces. Simultaneously, residual spaces in this orthodox environment emerge as indeterminate spaces foreign to the urban system. As an observation of this situation, this thesis devises a peculiar manner to allow architecture to infiltrate the residual spaces in Auckland City.
Using the left-over spaces of the city reveals new potentials in the existing order and introduces ways to reformulate architectural relationships within the city.2 These detached environments enable the architect to create his own strange spatial logic whilst making the city accessible, potentially evolving urbanism further. The architecture inhabiting the negative spaces becomes the transitional artifice to create healthy curiosity for strangeness; hence, it focuses on itself as a bizarre, magical, strange and curious device.
1. Rachel Armstrong, “Soft Cities,” Organs Everywhere, no. 4(2012): 15
2.Thomas Schropfer, Ecological Urban Architecture: Qualitative approaches to sustainability, (Walter de Gruyter: 2012) 19
The investigation of strangeness which inhabits these spaces is explored through adopting the concept of niche as the generative device of architecture. This proposal is neither bio-mimicry nor bio-morphism, which analyses different methods of remedying polluted nature. Instead, it exploits a non-human realm of biological niches as metaphors to advance the mundane, capital-driven architecture and to engage the city with a new breed of culture.
The Night Owl complex
Weather frog spa
Inside out Lizard