‘Porous Border’ – explores the potential of European border landscape as a mediator between former conflict zones. I looks towards a redefinition of the border landscape between France and Spain, as an area formerly demarcated as one of war becomes ‘a living monument to non-conflict’. Within his design, shared space is formed through the interplay of hydrology, ecology and an existing railway infrastructure. These interventions create a porous border, one that links communities and celebrates the freedom of movement.
Returning to the University means this is it; the 10th semester, the final project and hopefully graduation in 5 months from now. Having been away from here for nearly two years it feels strange to be back. Using all the experience I have gained over the last 4 and a half years, I have one final piece of work to put together by May. I feel confidant and prepared, roughly knowing what I have to do and what it is going to take to do it. This blog will act as an active reflection on this final project, hopefully allowing me to digest how I am working, why I am doing things in certain ways and how I am using what I have learnt from the last couple of years. Personally I am most interested to see how I am going to use the different techniques and ways of thinking I have learnt from my time in Versailles and Amsterdam to aid my project alongside the tuition from the staff in Edinburgh.
[[It is important to note that this blog will be updated frequently and often quickly, each update is not to be seen as a final piece but rather an extract of my thinking from that day/week. I want to write quickly and add references whenever I see fit, in that sense, this ‘blog’ is more a sketchbook than anything else]]
Although this graduation project is a one semester project, I had already begun my research over the Christmas break. I found the site as part of background research I was doing in Amsterdam. The main project I undertook whilst there was an infrastructural study on how we might envisage the changing use of motorways on dense urban environments. In this case I studied the A20 in Rotterdam and proposed using it to connect to the new sustainable energies network the city is trying to introduce. In doing this project I became interested in city transport infrastructure and how we as landscape architects and designers can add value to cities by re-imagining them, seeing them not only as means to an end but as structures with multi-modal potentials and possibilities. What interested me greatly was the question we were asked with the A20 project; what do we do when an infrastructure is not needed in the way we use it today anymore? What becomes of these inner city super structures? This line of questioning led me to the site for this project, the towns of Irun and Hendaye on the French/Spanish border.