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DAVID ZEIBIN ARCHITECT

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TSFKAY


The Space Formally Known As Yard is a speculative design project for an abandoned mining town in northern British Columbia:

Kitsault is vacant. Yet, images of its emptiness are readily completed by our imagination. It is easy to see miners driving to work, children playing outside the school, families shopping at the grocery store, or friends having a drink in the pub. For all density and urbanity are worth, few people experience such a genuine and rewarding sense of community as those in rural towns – despite the pervasive use of the automobile. Both physical proximity and singularity of industry typically ensure that everyone is familiar with everyone else.

Kitsault, as found, represents a disjunction between site and community. The community of Kitsault defi nes itself in relation to this site but has become locationally disjointed. Social structures and intangible constructs, such as power, class and lifestyle, provide a means of understanding Kitsault.

Power and class structures are pyramidal and hierarchical, but it is possible for networks of social relations to subvert such impositions. Citizens may live dual lives of work and community, but the potential for labels to dissolve – when business is not at hand – is undermined by Kitsault’s present enclave organization.

While class structures are often locational, community infrastructures can be dislocational. Nodes and connections defi ne social networks and provide gathering spaces: a sense of place is discovered through activities and relations with others.

This proposal is about the space “in between,” the places where exchange occurs and these structures manifest themselves. Concurrent processes of intensification and reconfi guration alter the existing road network – using the flattened topography of old roadsites to create pedestrian and non-vehicular trajectories between existing buildings – and “infill” these resultant spaces, revealing hidden potential and engenders new possibilities for a culture of social interaction. This arguably utopian scheme confronts sensitive ideas of territory, property and ownership in typical residential developments.

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(2006)

 

 

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