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The Intimacy of Intensive Places: Presence of place in the villages of the Lower Engadine

  • Stoop, Tim (author)
Publication Date
Jun 16, 2022
TU Delft Repository
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The greatest of all arts, music, can evoke deep emotions and memories. It has the power to transfer the listener to a different world. The first few notes of Brahms allegro amabile (op.120) instantly brings one in a state of presence, whereas Mahler’s fifth symphony’s adagietto or Wagner’s Lohengrin prelude slowly invites the audience in a trance of reverie. It’s something that touches and engulfs the soul each time it enters the inner ear. Pieces that are an assemblage of rhythms, tensions and proportions form a certain expression. To listen to and be embossed by such expressions of life is something that we do every day. We listen to music, read books, watch movies, go to museums and immerse ourselves with culture from all over the world. All of these things combined make us who and what we are. They serve as incubators for new ideas. When you work in the creative field, everything you do is connected to who you are, therefore making you a part of the past. A thread of cultural life populated by objects, things or human activities that explain us where we came from and how we can move forward. Culture is thinking about the world, looking closely, asking questions, listening and comprehending.<br/><br/>From a personal fascination that grounded itself during a working period in Switzerland in 20’-21’ the idea arose to observe the villages in the valley of the Lower Engadine in Switzerland. A specific fascination and deep love for these organic but simultaneously traditional places manifested itself focussing on the perspectives of craft, material and an overall attitude towards life. This research intends to identify which values are embedded in these rural Alpine settlements, understand how they were formed and fathom how the local architectural typology works in order to find out why the presence embedded in these places is so strong.<br/><br/>My personal experiences with these places made me realise that architecture has the power to arouse deep emotions and feelings. It might not be on the same level as music can be, but by investigating and describing the qualities of these place I believe that it can give us an insight into the hidden poetical side of these places. This physical journey accompanied by personal anecdotes, drawings and models allows one to travel into a physical place hidden away deep within the Swiss Alps to introduce new feelings and emotions to our personal world. This work is a translation of a fascination throughout new experiences, personal conversations, insights and knowledge that formed the basis for my graduation design. / Mountain hotel / Landscape theatre / Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences | Explorelab

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