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Nyctophillic Inhabitances

Part 2 Project 2023
Ryan Hillier
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture | UK
nycto-philia: to be fond of, or take comfort in, the presence of darkness and the occupation of shadows.

The Panama Canal’s construction necessitated the development of a service and maintenance industry whose material and social effects deeply mark the everyday reality of Panamanian life. This project is dedicated to the hidden workers as the living ’material’ of the global logistics trade.

Derived from a reinterpreted choreography of the prevailing city, the scheme extrapolates a civic realm for worker communities serving the container yards. This engages with social concerns for living standards, establishing a series of dwellings, civic halls and communal loci set into a newly-articulated eco-topological context. Challenging social ignorances of contemporary commerce, fundamentals of accommodation and shelter establish a framework of communal amenities driving social cohesion in a fragmented context.

Generated as a family of screened shelters, spatial configurations occupy the shadows of enclosures dispersed across the canal’s marshland border as a tapestrial landscape. The landscape’s edge is stabilised by a corrugated steel rim made from recovered containers, while at a subterranean level, ecological retention systems stabilise prevailing climatic conditions while utilising the canal as a hydrological energy source generating power and delivering water supplies to the community.

Ryan Hillier


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