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The Memorialisation of the Honister Pass Through the Sublime

Part 2 Dissertation 2020
Olivia Staff
Oxford Brookes University Oxford | UK
Inspired by the sublime literature of H. P. Lovecraft, this thesis explores the concept of the sublime to generate a contemporary theory which relates back to its origins as a contrast to the beautiful, invoking fear and awe. To do this, it examines representations in the arts and forms which represent the natural sublime alongside precedent studies of memorials and architectural interventions in nature .The research question was formed from investigations into the literature of H. P. Lovecraft and having identified the sublime in his work. Lovecraft’s work led to the question of what the sublime is and how it could be translated into architecture.

Through holistically examining the sublime, a theory was developed which dictated the choice of site, brief, program, and design of the building. The theory states the sublime is at the threshold of comprehension and outlined elements which feed into the sublime; complexity, chaos, contrast, obscurity, threshold, boundlessness, scale, time and death. This predicated the method of generating sublime forms inspired by those found in nature on the site. This theory was then translated into the design of a memorial in the Honister Pass which is represented through a ‘Lovecraftian’ narrative accompanied by illustrations.

Olivia Staff

Hannah Durham
Mike Halliwell
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