Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Re-educating the City of London
Year 5 Design
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, established in 1603 with Galileo as chair, is relocated to the City of London to provide a new education system to tackle the Square Mile’s lack of moral purpose.
The Academy is a monochrome mass of libraries and ritualistic lecture spaces set in a landscape to induce physical and metaphysical wandering, meeting and reflection.
The proposal goes beyond a religious or scientific typology, investigating the potential of collage through Baroque painterly characteristics and oblique perspectives. Relationships between programmatic fragments continue the chiaroscuro lineage of Piranesi, through hatched travertine and basalt articulation. Material becomes a trace of an architectural thought process, while the use of monochrome increases capacity in the area of the human brain responsible for learning and perception. This offsets the red and gold of the papal robes. Allegorical to the Vatican, the drawn proposal being both familiar yet strange, refuses an immediate reading.