The Architecture of Flow

Plan Black For Modos

This thesis theorises architecture as a product of shifting identities, rather than a changeless and hermetic built form. It identifies the complex condition of 'flow' constantly channelling people, nature, weather and energy, and the condition of 'change' that transforms all things through time.

Research question:

How can we change the way we design architecture within the natural environment by taking into consideration the ceaseless state of flow to which the physical world is subject?

Plan For Modos
The Main Plan

Henri Bergson defines flow as an ‘irreducible flux of becoming’; a continuous force to which people and space are subject, and through which they express themselves and evolve. This project addresses flow as an ideological concept and an inspiration for the design composition.

By asserting that space is always being produced through time, architecture is framed as an interdisciplinary discourse of variable flows. Architecture is subject to those ongoing transformations and emergencies and should be designed with regard to them. A building created under these conditions can become a spatial continuum that engages, changes, moves and flows, influenced by the effects of time, nature and events.

Plan 3 Boat Bay Low Tide For Modods
The Boat Bay - Low Tide
Section 1 A3 For Modos
Section One - Connection of Flows
Scenes For Modos
Plan One & Two - High Tide / Low Tide

The design is influenced by the flow found in Oceanic constructions, where it is a force that enacts transformations, both interior and exterior, and where site and space are rendered as temporal rather than spatial conditions. While Western studies create a distinction between architecture (figure) and ground (space), Pacific cultures treat both land and water as a fluid and protean space upon which we dwell.

This dissertation aims to embrace those ideologies to create a major water structure in the Firth of Thames that merges with its constantly changing environment. Liquifying the boundaries between land and water, architecture and nature, interior and exterior, floor and roof, architecture becomes one with its surroundings. Rather than a hermetic building, it becomes a space in-between, a fluid and discontinuous built form that transforms through time and tide.

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Scene Five - The Boat Bay
Section For Modos
The Section

The architecture created will be both interactive and performative, representing ongoing change and disrupting the traditional concerns of stasis and spatial stability of the Western culture, where:

“…enclosing boundaries become thresholds, space opens up, sounds and scents drift, inhabitants move and energies stream as architecture performs the ceaseless flux of life”.1

Yates, Oceanic Spaces of Flow, 79.

Scenes For Modos All
Scenes of Inhabitation