Lina Chen - LOCUS ESSE
From Lina Chen on June 17th, 2020
Locus Esse, meaning “a place to be”, is a project which started back in 2019 in studio Anatomy, supervised by Jo Van Den Berghe and Mira Sanders. The first inspirations came from the proposed site situated on the Dieweg Cemetery in Ukkel, Brussels. In an environment filled with romantic tombstones one particular grave monument stood out to me. This tombstone only consisted of a stylobate, four columns and a cornice. Initially, I was mostly fascinated by the inbetween space and the columns which goes into a dialogue with the trees in the surroundings. Soon I came to realise that the stylobate, the column and the cornice were becoming my building elements to create a physical locus that would become a place for me where I could be at my own pace, a place for contemplation and a place to be present with the environment and myself.
The sharp edges and layeredness in Classical architecture have always attracted me. My desire to learn from it led to a profound research of the construction detail. The logic and precise technicity of the connections between the building elements started to create intense inbetween spaces and corners as I developed new parts. It enables my body to relate to the architectural element. These three building elements from Classical architecture remained the main principle throughout the design while I tried to search for my own architectural language using steel. I feel that steel has the sharp quality similar to carved out stone, but yet different. It is almost the opposite since steel is mostly used as frames (as hollow and light as possible) while stone is a mass, heavy and full. But I believe steel has an other quality other than its practical use.
The master thesis Locus Esse explores the duality between technics and poetics approached both from the scale of the construction detail and from the overall composition in the environment. It is a personal journey where each addition in the design process is a lesson learnt from a previous part. The main aim of the project is to explore the possibilities to create a physical place where I could feel more connected to the elements of nature and architecture.