by Deok Kyu Chung (MArch II ’23) — Recipient of the James Templeton Kelley Prize, Master in Architecture II.
The project explores the layered histories and memories encompassed by boundaries, challenging their conventional perception as rigid separators. Boundaries constantly shape our daily lives, whether on the scale of a city or a single room. Yet, our understanding often remains superficial, ignoring the nuances of transitional spaces or thresholds.
Situated in Milan, Italy, the site presents a complex interplay of overlapping boundaries, both tangible and intangible. It illustrates how neighborhoods, infrastructure, movement, developments, and historical demarcations—like the vestiges of the Spanish Wall—contribute to the city’s dynamism.
Building upon this backdrop, the project breathes life into historical fragments. Specific architectural elements such as columns, beams, facades, and stairs are used to instigate a conversation between old and new in the process of stacking, offsetting, and overlaying. Here, it’s not merely about designing transitional spaces; it’s about creating a living tapestry where past and present continually interact, fostering the emergence of new possibilities.
The inherent adaptability of boundaries, ever evolving to meet contextual needs, stirs curiosity and encourages exploration. Regardless of physical attributes or size, boundaries induce intrigue, distorting reality and converting the intervening space into a subject of contemplation. Within this intricate dance of boundaries, ordinary elements converge to create unique, unveiling hidden scenarios and inspiring the definition and exploration of unchartered spaces.