Temporal Space

Glenn Mathieson


A Phenomenological Exploration of Death and Spatial Adaptation

Death. Universal, inevitable and uncertain. Disparate cultural practices have emerged throughout human history to conceptualise and navigate mortality. Religious space has historically provided sanctuary to reflect upon mortality. Secularisation and advancements in medicine have extended life while shifting relationships with death from the ever-present to the future. These societal shifts reveal the need for a contemporary space that acknowledges and evokes reflection upon mortality. As buildings are disused and fall into decay, the analogy of death readily transposes to architecture. Such structures are scattered among urban and natural landscapes with the potential for reconsideration.

Site Plan - Nihotupu Auxiliary Dam - Watakeri Ranges. The abandonded structure in the landscape provides a place of solitude
What is Death? The definition for this inquiry is ontological, a philosophical device to contemplate meaning and purpose in life and explore the capacity of architecture to facilitate engagement with that experience. The themes are abstracted from the existential concept "being towards death". Spatial and tactile moments engage the primary senses to evoke contemplation.
Approach - A Corten wall follows the ground contour, leading to the entrance.
Movement through the space is narrative. Interventions initiate curiosity along the sequence.
The visitor crosses the threshold. A shard of light expresses as the wall terminates before the concrete facade, creating material and spatial tension
Threshold 01
A brass reveal creates interplay with light and shadow
Drawing Passage
Passage - The end is viewed from the beginning.
Transitory - Brass wire sheers the space as the vistor moves toward a moment of reflection
Cut from the apex to form the opening and reconfigured as seating. The mass remains cold, in tension with the warmth of the body
Reflection - The aperture provides an infinite viewpoint to contemplate existence.