The city is Pyramiden, in Svalbard, Norway. A former Swedish mining town, now completely abandoned. The promotor of the competition asked for a solution where common preservation would be put aside and new experimental ways should be put to use. Nowadays, architectural decay is constantly associated to urgent repair. Preservation should not be forcefully expected. The reconstruction overdose we see today often leads to deserted buildings and empty programs. Why not simply allow the natural process of degradation?

«What does a mirror look at?»- Frank Herbert

When arriving at Pyramiden, we see ourselves reflected on a wide mirror that spreads along the bay. The entrance connected to the harbour lets us cross to the other side. Facing the fjord, the wall mirrors the memory of what the place was before human intervention and anticipates what it will become. From the inside the mirror reflects the city, emphasizing the degradation of Pyramiden, the frailty of human presence.

Between walls, full transparency. A concrete walkway that adapts itself to the mountain’s topography. This is the only place where one can perceive both sides. With this double mirror, drawn in a simple gesture along the bay, we give the user a full experience of the place, by giving the ability to see past, present and future.

credits

architects: Diogo Paixão, Igor Fidalgo, Mariana Silva  |  client: 120 hours  |  status: Competition (2015)  |  competition: Pyramiden  |  location: Pyramiden, Norway (78.654761, 16.367931)  |  climate: Artic / polar, Cold  |  materials: glass, metal  |  environment: Seaside  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: large  |  types: intervention, landscape  |  views: 2.761

same competition (+1)

Diogo Paixão, Igor Fidalgo, Mariana Silva | RUINS