on the final project as a student

a little more than a year ago, i finally finally graduated from architecture school. 6 years is a freakishly long time; a friend once expressed her amazement at me “i went into the working field straight after high school, went back to get a degree for 3 years. now im back in the industry working and you’re STILL IN SCHOOL!??”  -__-  thanks. as if i didn’t realise it already.

but truthfully, the time didn't feel that long at all. did i feel that way because i was enjoying myself? probably. time flies when you’re having fun. even after all the complaining of late nights and unnecessary stress over deadlines and incompetency.

fear thy bunker

the university runs a thesis studio as part of the last semester. that means twelve weeks. schools all over the world runs their thesis studio for a whole year, some even for two years, and mine runs for only-twelve-freaking weeks. technically its even less than that, as half of the time is used for a separate “warm-up” project. anyways, we the students for once had the freedom of choice in our subject matter; to create our own brief in facilitating our findings in relation to architecture.

i was bored. i have done houses, offices, public spaces, sanctuaries and even prefabrication methods (oo i liked this subject) and i was especially bored with any green yadda yadda strategies that can help save the world ala captain planet.

fear thy bunker

instead i found a topic that was somewhat appealing; controlling the human emotions. a bunker under the capital city’s man-made pond; designed to be occupied by the country’s important decision makers, for their protection from any kind of end-world disasters like nuclear warfare, tsunamis, anarchy and zombie apocalypses. focused on spaces that unconsciously to the occupants, instil fear, terror and panic. haha. doesn’t that just sound so sadistic?

fear thy bunker

fear thy bunker

fear thy bunker

it was a highly symbolic project, and i had to be careful not to offend anyone on such sensitive issues. As the bunker was underground, i figured out the best way to express the ideas behind the project was through having the spaces carved out of a solid.

DSC_0153  DSC_0219

so after approximately 80 layers of box board, 2 thick steel wires bent into a binder and the utilization of the ahem cheapo ahem university’s laser cutter (seriously, other universities get this service for free and we have to pay for it. also considering our tuition fees are above all the others as well. wtf) the flipflip book manifested!


the pages turn so one could go through the spaces successively. ah nothing like a physical model to end architecture school. not to mention the smell of burnt cardboard on my hands days after assembling it.

here’s the excerpt of the presentation (if there's even the slightest interest);
The war bunker is to become the place of refuge for the prime minister and the 19 cabinet ministers during the event of national emergencies. It is to be the place for safety, to strategize the next step and most importantly survivability. The bunker is to sustain the occupants for up to 6 months without any outside contact.
Located under the capital city itself; in the event of a national emergency, it would be close enough to escape to, monitor their surroundings and resurface without delay.
The parliamentary triangle represents the power and control of the government. The land axis cuts through the triangle, as a representation for the failure of power; like how the bunker is the architecture of failure, failure in politics, communication, diplomacy, sustaining humanity.
Located right in the middle of the Lake, as a mediator between life and death. the bunker is just that, a representation of both ultimate optimism (in survivability) and ultimate pessimism ( in the expectation of destruction).
20 capsized columns to represent each of the politicians float on the lake’s surface. The hollow columns are planted inside a dome, the symbol of protection. The dome is then carved out, creating series of spaces that can never be experienced as a whole but as individual ones to form the whole.
The bunker is the duality in truth and fiction. For the public, it is the monument of the lost; as a memory of what was lost, stolen or just forgotten. It is the reminder that such incidents can happen again. While above it creates the sense of fear in the public, inside the mere existence of a bunker represents the fear in the ones controlling the people.
Scattered columns create circulatory spaces that are vague, ambiguous and unpredictable. The bunker immerses one into chaos and hopelessness , living quarters arranged to create a sense of mistrust within themselves.
The bunker is a reflection of fear itself; while the occupants are to feel completely safe from the outside, the bunker amplifies the feeling of paranoia within themselves. So what is the real threat now? The reality of the uncertainty outside or the imagined threats from within?

oo what was i thinking back then? =|


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