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Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing - Commendation

Folgelandschaft

Part 2 Project 2023
Zibo Zhang
Royal College of Art | UK
This project explores the potential of architecture beyond its conventional scope, bridging extreme timeframes and scales to propose a new way of reclaiming open-pit coal mines.

‘Folgelandschaft’, which translates from German to ‘afterlandscape’, describes the type of land formed once an open-pit coal mine is decommissioned. This proposal reimagines a new afterlandscape for Europe's largest open-pit coal mine in Hambach, Germany, through a form of empathetic care and repair. Resulting in a spatial condition that is neither architecture nor landscape - a space that exists beyond the current extractive paradigm.

The intervention retains the existing infrastructures of extraction and recalibrates them into tools of reconstruction that delicately reshuffle gargantuan amounts of sand to stop the mine’s inevitable subsidence. This process gradually changes the mine’s image and purpose, creating an artificial ground formation that can be incrementally inhabited by animals, plants, humans and machines.

By utilising architectural tools and principles to solely look after the land’s condition, as opposed to fully restoring or remediating it, new spatial geometries can be created which unlock the latency of the ground beyond mere extractive production. Eventually in a few decades, these continuous processes, spaces and ground formations will collectively form a new type of afterlandscape.

Zibo Zhang

Tutor(s)
James Kwang-Ho Chung
John NG
Zsusza Peter
2023
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