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On The Make

Part 1 Project 2001
Paul La Tourelle
Architectural Association London | UK
Bridge and Lodge in the Swiss Alps.

By making and unmaking, by constructing a series of tools and then dismantling them, a conceptual path and body of work were formed that enabled the approach to the bridge and lodge proposal in the Swiss Alps.

The process began with a Bodysuit, an object which framed all later tools. The physical activity of making and unmaking was the generating force in the search for tactile qualities.

The bridge, a steel surface, extends from two tunnels and unfolds on two scales over the valley, forming a structure which spans 100m. The tunnels and foundation for the bridge accomodate the lodge in the mass of the mountains. In terms of materaliality, placement and experience, the bridge and the lodge were developed in a process of dialectic relationships.

The bridge, a structure and building, demanded an investigation of the relationship between architecture and engineering. Folding, stitching and their antitheses were the physical mechanisms and conceptual tools used in a dependent sequence to develop an approach to structure and surface. The project pursued structural necessity and architectonic articulation as a single path.

Paul La Tourelle

A Physical Line of Thought

This unit focuses on the craft of making as a vehicle for construction of ideas. The conceptual approach under goes formal transformation through fabrication, confronting the laws of quality and character that are part of being material. We work through physical lines of thought by a process of making and unmaking. We create tools to produce new tools that enable us to establish our conceptual path.

After establishing our path through the making and unmaking of bodysuits we turned towards the valley of Mutten in the Swiss Alps, where we implemented the "making-tool" to introduce a bridge/guesthouse connecting the villages of Mutten and Solas. We used our toolboxes to determine materials and structure while travelling along the conceptual paths.

The dialectic tension between the making and the unmaking is the intrinsic nature of Paul's physical line of thought, carrying his bridge-project towards architectural articulation, tectonic invention and tactile poetics. Paul's process of thought brings apparent contradictions to a remarkable synthesis of intellect and emotion, engineered structure and alpine landscape.

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