Acadian abstraction: Experiencing nature from immersion to abstraction
Located in the heart of the Acadian forest, the proposed structure is intended as a destination for students, researchers, and nature enthusiasts. Accessible only by trail, this design explores the existing boundary that separates man and nature. 'Acadian Abstraction' creates an experiential transition from the surrounding natural environment to an enclosed interior through the abstraction of nature.
The common relationship between a person's dwelling and their natural surroundings is far too often expressed by a definitive threshold creating a distinct line of separation. The intention of 'Acadian Abstraction' is to extend this moment, creating a transitional space of ambiguity between a person's enclosure and their natural surroundings. This extended threshold blends the built environment with the natural surroundings challenging one to question where nature ends and where the built environment begins.
This extended threshold is expressed through the design of a series of moments leading from nature to the enclosed space. These moments are characterized by three unique visual interactions intended between a person and nature, including an open view, a fragmented view, and a sky view. These intentional visual experiences create moments of abstraction encouraging a person to discover new ways of viewing and experiencing nature.
The Floor Plan and Building Section illustrate the design elements creating these moments of visual abstraction throughout the procession from exterior to interior. Upon approaching the structure, one first steps up onto a platform in an area with an 'open view' defined by a floor and a ceiling but devoid of walls. As one progresses further, the space transitions into a space identified by porous vertical wood slat walls. These spaced slats provide partial enclosure while allowing air, light, and a 'fragmented view' of the natural surroundings.
A person steps up another single tread as they approach the doors to the enclosure. Upon entering the interior space, the eyes are drawn upward toward a skylight. The skylight, located directly above the lofted sleeping platform, frames a view of the tree canopy-scape that is visible upon entry and while occupying the sleeping loft. This unique perspective of the white pines, along with the open and fragmented views, encourage occupants to discover new and surprising moments of beauty within their natural surroundings.
The interior enclosure is a compact design reduced to minimal living dimensions of 81 square feet. This spaces allows for a wood burning stove, lofted sleeping space, and a small two person table. The south facing sloped roof is designed for the installation of PV panels while the building construction intends to utilize locally sourced materials and materials with recycled content. This environmentally conscious design, in conjunction with the micro-living concept, aims to maximize man's interaction with nature while minimizing one's impact on nature.
From Community Forests International:
"The transition between the forest and sheltered space in this design is really elegant - especially the vertical wood slat vestibule. I was also really drawn to the idea of a large skylight directly over the bunk - it makes sleeping out under the stars possible in any weather, any time of year; you get to enjoy nature without giving up all your creature comforts!"
Zach Melanson, CFI Communications Director
(From jury report)
8 scanned / 6 viewable
- Site Plan