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The Museum of Moving Images

Part 1 Project 1998
Maureen Kwong
University of British Columbia Vancouver Canada
The museum of moving images.

This thesis is bounded only by the two words of its title: "moving" and "image". It is critical of the way architecture and films are ordinarily represented, as static objects removed from the haptic realm. Instead, the museum of moving images is derived from the givens of site, the body and its five senses, and the phenomenological presence of the particular place.

The museum of moving images is currently a project proposed by the local art and design school; and this thesis explores the potential of the proposal. The proposed site for the museum is located on Granville Island, a once industrial zone now converted into a community marketplace and arts precinct. The site is dominated by the presence of the Granville Island Bridge spanning over the island and the remnants of the old industrial buildings. Directly west of the proposed site is a commercial film centre, now under construction. To the south is a pedestrian thoroughfare, with shops and galleries, and to the north is one of the major traffic arteries through the island. Directly east of the site is a parking lot; this is extended beneath the museum in order to preserve the existing pedestrian routes and to meet the programmatic parking requirements.

Conceptually and literally, the diagram of the museum is a series of "tubes" (the museum component of the program) that intersect a "screen" (the façade, entry, and support components of the program). The program was used to study specific registrations between the body, the site, and the building. Phenomenological occurrences such as light, shadow, transparency, and reflection are recirculated and redirected within the boundaries of the museum. Frames cut through the tubes allow views into, out of, and through the museum. The points of redirection and framing register simultaneously the moving images of film, site, body, architecture, and the way in which the eye constructs the images perceived.

The viewer of the thesis participates in the narrative of the museum consisting of the drive, park, and walk through the building. The narrative of the museum ends at the rooftop where the viewer sees the context in its entirety and the beginning of the museum of moving images.

Maureen Kwong

This is a scheme with a tremendous amount of subtlety. Maureen has attempted to link the experience of architecture to that of film. Typically in this type of museum intended to display something so intangible, it always seems disappointing to merely see the artefacts.
Her proposal resists this tendency by being more concerned with the mechanics of film making. Form and space are deployed to exploit the drama of the site, scaling views, stitching views, some isolating close-ups, others panoramas. Rather than merely providing a container for the artefacts of film making in the way that has become ubiquitous now with "Planet Hollywood", her scheme is for a building that continually structures and frames ones point of view of the givens of site and body. Film is not presented as static objects.

This proposal is also successful in its search to find an appropriate means for communicating all of these ideas clearly. It is represented almost entirely in the medium that is its subject: the moving image. In a rapid sequence of continuous perspectival views from the surrounding
streets, into the entrance lobby, up through each gallery and finally onto the roof, it is clear that the architectural form was generated with the experiential as the primary logic.

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