Imagining Architecture in the Age of Anthropocene: Reviving Coexistence in Helsinki South Harbor
Al, Alper (2022)
Arkkitehdin tutkinto-ohjelma - Master's Programme in Architecture
Rakennetun ympäristön tiedekunta - Faculty of Built Environment
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The thesis presents the theoretical and practical background for inclusive urban formation regarding human and non-human entities as equal stakeholders. New approaches to environmental policies are highly critical for introducing hybrid ecologies, especially in the urban fabric. Thus, the project focuses on the decolonization of institutions such as natural history museums and herbariums as a response to the fallacy of modern thinking, which renders anthropocentrism only with scalar valorization and global imageries beyond patchy consequences of land and its inhabitants for centuries. In that respect, modern practices against a city and forest are discussed as an architectural reflection of nature and culture duality, and the problematic side of inheriting reductive perception from history has been presented through the seeds and origins of the herbarium program. Thereby, alternative viewpoints as; the Chthulucene theory suggested by Anthropologist Donna Haraway and Anna Tsing, the Gaia theory of philosopher Bruno Latour, and the ‘Foams’ of modern times by Peter Sloterdijk play key roles throughout the discussion of issues in the thesis to speculate about new ways of engagement with context, social processes and a full array of non-humans. Secondly, in the light of the theoretical background of the thesis, the design phase supports new ways of transforming waterfront infrastructures to re-interpret the static condition of urban elements by regarding their post-industrial, ecologic, and infill qualities. Following this, a transformation of waterfront infrastructures can be studied in a multidisciplinary way as reconcilement sites between urban ecologies and human geography. Hereby, the Helsinki South Harbor has been selected as a project site, and the new civic hub has been introduced alongside marine biology and Helsinki University Herbarium architectural programs. In addition, the recent inquiries on urban ecologies highlight the exciting encounters of species’ assemblage, especially in a world that loses its wildlife and habitats due to unprecedented stress caused by various industries and urban expansion. Lastly, the project presents a comprehensive environmental preservation policy for the inhabitation, observation, and reintroduction of both marine, plant, and flying species before taking into account creating human-centric spatial organization, which has become a chronic problem in the architecture discipline.