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Quarrying the Ruinscape

Part 2 Project 2023
Rachel Crooks
Mackintosh School of Architecture | UK
In 2022 humanity consumed a year’s supply of the earth’s natural resources by the 28th of July. This unsustainable rate of consumption combined with the rise of virtual interfacing following Covid-19, has society caught in a vicious parallel between finite resources, rising construction costs and redundant buildings - this has the eventuality of ruination.

Therefore, this thesis has the intent of investigating the potential to reignite a global circular-economy, by setting up a framework to identify redundant buildings as pre-emptive ruins to be quarried and recirculated.

The crumbling ‘Palais de Justice’ in Brussels - once the world’s largest lawcourt - is falling to redundancy and has a problematic history that allows it to fit the parameters for ruination. By quarrying its spolia for district ownership, the process addresses the climate crisis while also dismantling the oppressive shadow the Palais casts over its district.

This project looks to establish a network of circular workshops in the districts ‘gap-sites’ providing the impetus usage for the Palais’ spolia. The remaining spolia would be dismantled and debated for at the ‘ruinscape’ which would serve to continue the circular momentum by functioning as a site for debating what morally justifies the future use of our planet’s finite materials.

Rachel Crooks

Tutor(s)

2023
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