Petracchin / Ark Architecture

Ark Architecture Space Suspension Strategies

Author: Alberto Petracchin, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Sara Marini, Professor, (Iuav), Politecnico di Milano; Alessandro Rocca, Professor Dr., (Polimi), AUID, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: Intermediate doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract

DDR Statement

The research is conceived as an investigation around the figure of the ark, in order to develop possible design strategies for the suspension of space over the long-time.

The method is composed of different steps: finding materials in libraries and archives and into reality; “translation” of mythological tales, from which the ark originates, to the contemporary context and to architecture; dismantling of the ark in its fundamental characteristics; a selection of contemporary case studies; a period of work inside a real ark (a retreat or an Antarctic research base) to really experience this kind of space. The phases of the research are accompanied by interviews both with architects who have already reasoned on the subject, today and in the recent past, and with personalities outside the disciplinary field (a Camaldolese monk for the theological part and a building materials scientist for the technological one) in order to verify and make the ark architecture clash with the conditions around it, with reality its obstacles and possibilities. The development of strategies for space suspension is not intended to be a stop to the theoretical field of design. On the contrary, the aim is to construct ways of suspension that are not tied to a specific situation, so that a theory can spill over into reality, demonstrating its design yield: theory and design are here intertwined. The presentation will therefore follow the methodological approach described above and will attempt to give an account of the research results achieved so far.