Masters Work on The Sublime

In my Masters Unit, which was concerned with the way in which architecture mediates between man and nature, I developed a series of projects each of which played their part in developing and refining my aims whilst following this overall goal.  The design of these projects was intended as a symbolic representation of nature rooted in the desire to consider ecological architecture as having not only a technological agenda but also as a way that the building could structure a closer relationship between the occupant and nature.  The theoretical stance driving the project was largely derived from Kant’s theory of the sublime where he states that the overwhelming power of nature can only be truly experienced when one is just on the brink of danger, far enough to feel safe yet close enough to appreciate one’s position.  The largely metaphorical nature of my projects was influenced by SUPERSTUDIO’s Twelve Cautionary Tales, Hejduk’s Vladivostok and Koolhaas’s Exodus and Delirious New York in terms of their broad imaginative scope and ability to convey an ineffable atmosphere.  Buildings such as those by Zumthor and Le Corbusier were an influence in terms of the monastic calm and ethereal lighting qualities that these architects create so successfully and the writing of Pallasmaa, Alexander and Zumthor influenced the way I thought about a sense of place and a phenomenological approach towards architecture.  Frequently during the design process I used storyboards and narrative to navigate the inherent difficulties found in representing an emotive response.  I also chose to work frequently with physical models to test spatial dynamics and aspects of light and material.

The project received a distinction from the University of Dundee.



The sublime perception of incomprensible power or scale.


Architecture on the brink of this


Architecture enacting the close relationship between the perceiving subject and sublime object.


Various Projects Exploring this connection


Sections of the final project


An experiential journey through the building exploring the chronological order of emotions when faced with the sublimity of nature:  Otherworldliness, Silence, Revelation and Awe


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