SCI-Arc Thesis: Liminalism
Category: Liminalism, Auditorium, Landscape, Psychological, Threshold, Continous, Competition
Type: Psychological Concept, Museum, Thesis
Status: Finished, unbuilt
The word “liminal” comes from the Latin word “limens”, translating to “threshold”. A liminal space, the place of transition is a unique mental position where humans hate to be, but where transformation is most possible. It is when you have left the old and seek for the new, but have not yet been able to figure out what the new is.
In today's society with social media and fake news, people tend to be easily distracted and seek for fast and easy solutions. It seems like fast transitions are preferable, as being in a liminal state is not a comfortable mental state to be in.
In the Bavarian Rococo, as Karsten Harries describes, the sacred intersects with the profane and pictorial space contaminates architectural dimensionality. The aim is to pull the faithful, from the mundane world into a spiritual reality, that renders all else into insubstantial theatricality. These interiors remain important today because they are intense architectural thresholds that extend and amplify the liminal rather than compressing it. In our current context, architectural thresholds are typically banal and quick divisions between public and private, open-air and air-conditioned. The experience of crossing from exterior to interior is over before it can be psychosomatically explored. This thesis posits, instead, that the richest moments of a building should be its transitional spaces. The threshold should be understood as a sequentially unfolding event that both differentiates architecture from and connects architecture to its context.
The project is a war museum set into a fortified hill in Sardinia. The spatial sequence is composed of layers of thresholds, each blurring into the next in increasingly complex ways. At each stage of the journey, the visitor is confronted with increasingly active frames that peel apart to contain program and come together to create more intense circulatory experiences. The architectural elements are accessed through discrete transitions that obscure the conventionally assumed boundary between nature/artifice and interior/exterior.