Dark Room Final Documentation

Dark Room Project Description

One of the secondary themes of Vhils was layers and history. Vhils reintroduces history by exposing it through destruction: removing layers to create a memorial to the past and resurfacing the history of a site. The founding of Ottawa owes itself to both the logging trade and the canals. Early housing in the area was predominantly cabin construction. For this reason, the material of wood is a historically relevant material to use, both for its role in the early economy and housing of the area.Embedding it in concrete and burning it out ties back to my original theme of creation through destruction, where the reintroduction of history is the created element and burning the wood is the destructed element.

My program as dark room can be analyzed many different ways. A dark room, in the photo graphical sense, serves the purpose of exposing a photograph. It starts as a blank piece of paper and through the chemical process becomes a clear, sharp image. Relating this idea to the site was challenging. For generations of Architecture students, my site has been a bridge between two faculties, a place of meeting but more infamously: as a place of sleep. Near sleep, in a dark, quiet environment, we often reach our peak of clarity. In this darkened space, our ideas can go from either entirely blank or unfocused to coming into sharp relief. This parallel serves as the basis for my proposal.

For my program, I worked to expand the existing bridge area to create a dark ‘room’. In this room, the existing functions of the bridge (connection, meeting, contemplation) will be kept. My design expands the area, and creates additional seating and niches so that all of these functions will be able to exist symbiotically. Steps and walls are designed to fit human proportions of lying down or leaning backwards. I intended to make a space that not only acted as a sleep space, but as a space that inspired this development of thoughts. Taking inspiration from the night sky and forest scenes, I created an atmospheric, domed room that could aid the creativity of its inhabitants.

Preliminary Drafts

Final Drafts


Hybrid Drawings 

Conceptual Drawing 


Process Pictures and Final Model Documentation

Reflection of Studio Work

I think this semester of studio 1 was a very successful term. I learnt about the properties of concrete in a very hands on way, and more importantly the process of experimentation and discovery. With the pavilion project, I found more problems, and got stuck with directionality of my project. I think the largest obstacle I encountered was keeping momentum of a project, and finding multiple possibilities for a program, before quickly deciding on one. I got stuck on weeding out weaker ideas in favour of stronger ones, but something that I managed to improve upon by the end of the semester.