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Title: Culture of wilderness retreat in the Algoma region: decompostable architecture along the Agawa River
Authors: Lavallee, Evan
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2021
Abstract: The Candian Wilderness has the potential to create social, mental, spiritual and physical advantages within modern culture. The study of these advantages associated with the context of the Wilderness and the city has led to a proposal that explores the habitable space in between. This thesis proposes a better balance between the Wilderness and the City. With the creation of a retreat; a place to escape the city and live simply in the landscape. Inhabiting the Wilderness without the distractions of technological communication will allow the inhabitants to “enjoy the freedom from the grip of the external world,” 1 a necessary step to better establish a relationship with the landscape. The Retreat is a place that is situated deep in the Wilderness in order to gain the benefits from its context until the inhabitant’s eventual return to the city. Programmatic characters are meshed together informing habitation, form, material and construction. Creating a space that is directly shaped by the flora and topography and satisfies the essential elements of survival. Camps or in-between spaces are part of Canadian culture and act as a resource for rest, creation and exploration, rather than a resource for economic growth. This change can be seen in the Algoma region of Ontario w here infrastructure built for resource extraction and transportation has been transformed to include opportunities for Wilderness exploration, interpretation and escape. Communities of people living and working in the Wilderness of Algoma as well as Canadian artists have created spaces in between for themselves, in doing so, they created a culture of Wilderness habitation. The Agawa Retreat is an exploration in Wilderness habitation. Situated along the Agawa River the Agawa Retreat acts as a prototype where human occupants and the Wilderness interact on a personal level. This is achieved with the use of modern mapping and modeling techniques and a unique approach to material selection. The Wilderness acts as both the site context and occupant, resulting in an approach to a building life-cycle that considers habitation one phase of decomposition and renewal. The Agawa Retreat is a unique building typology that is adaptable and repeatable in almost any Wilderness setting. Its site placement, material choice and construction procedure all consider the Wilderness as a character that inhabits the proposal alongside and human occupants. Doing so creates a space in between the Wilderness and the city where occupants can escape, create and live simply surrounded by the Canadian landscape
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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