Edinburgh has a designed city substructure which comprises void spaces and load bearing structures supporting the city - infrastructure, institutions and dwellings - above. These city voids have histories and imaginaries of occupation, andreoccupation as shadowy, 'underground' alternatives to the public civic domain. They are service and secret(ed) spaces connected to, yet hidden from the more open places of city life. They are spaces of invention and reinvention, and may be emergent city spaces and uses.What are strategies for contemporary architectural and city projects in these kinds of spaces? Ways of understanding hidden subterranean, sub-structural spaces are not immediately apparent. They are highly experiential, primarily understood in-situ without external orienting points and places. Therefore the usual field and site/ work tactics of measured survey, Cartesian plan and section drawings of existing spatial, structural and material qualities in context, are often inadequate.
In order to imagine and re-imagine new architectures in these spaces, new
strategies for city projection(s) are needed to both understand the city as an
archive, and to work with this material, spatial, cultural archive through new city
and architectural projects.
Drawing from built and projected projects by ZONE Architects over the past 10
years, responses to how to build in order to inhabit this city of the sub terra are
evidenced. The question of how to record, draw, and imagine this city
substructure as potential sites for designed occupation are shown through recent
work of the Exchanges and SaltCity design-research studios at the Edinburgh
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Some material and spatial
approaches to working with this constructed ground are suggested: Smoothing
and Inscribing, Level-setting and drawing light in, Aerating, Substructure
Architecture, Tuning (the tremulous city).
City Project( ions): The Subterranean City by:
ZONE Architects: David Jamieson Suzanne Ewing Angus Bolland Alice Henderson
ESALA SaltCity studio: Fiona Baxter Liam Bonnar David Clark Ross McArthur
Pavlina Stergiadiou Hannah Thomas Heidi Wakefield