Excavating an architecture

This is my 7th semester project from Aarhus School of architecture, which was about transforming the historical ruin of Kalø Slotsruin in Djursland, Denmark - close to Aarhus. The assignment was to create a new visitors center and show off the history, the construction and the context of the site. My project refers to archaeological excavation, where historical objects are treated as carefully as possible. Excavating however also becomes a means of creating evocative spaces and drawing attention to certain details of the ruin. The basic principle is to let the interventions at the site be a filter, that leads the visitor’s attention to very specific aspects of the site. Removing dirt around the existing structure, creating a clear frame around certain areas. Insisting on the content of the frames and not the frames themselves being the focal point. Creating a path that takes people to see parts of the ruin that you wouldn’t normally notice – or even be able to see.

I wanted to use archeological excavation as a way of creating meaningful spaces and expose previously hidden or unseen parts of the ruin of Kalø Slotsruin - the ruin of a medieval castle. The following diagrams are my attempts at listing and evaluating different ways of doing it. It was to turn out however that an abstract idea of excavation was less effectful than excavations based on experiences from walking around the site.
The castle ruin is situated on a peninsula jutting out from Djursland in Kalø bay, and the tower juts up from the hill like a rotten tooth of old bricks. The walk to the island across the land bridge is long and stony and the story ends with you walking across a bridge across the old moat to the castle itself.
For a long time my main tool for developing the project was a 1x1 meter drawing. I went back to the site several times, redrew and redrew the project again on tracing paper. The project consists of frames in the landscape, lined with bricks. Within these excavations with concrete floors point to features of the castle that either were hidden or went unnoticed before. The two main interventions at the site are an excavation at the main tower of the castle where you can get down to the foundations of the castle, and an auditorium building set on the hillside with stairs and seats corresponding to the slope of the hill.
Perspective drawing and technical drawings.
Sketches from different stages of the process
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