A regional gin distillery for the Eastern Free-State, Clarens
Distilling Meaning In Contemporary Architecture. Through the development of architecture from being culturally significant to a globally accepted style, the user has become more disconnected as architecture has developed into sculptural objects. Removable from a specific location and placeable anywhere, global style architecture often neglects to consider specific climate and context which might influence the experience of place. Some questions which arise through the application of the global style are the following: Can a critical regionalist approach to architecture allow the user to connect with each aspect thereof and truly enhance the phenomenological experience of place and function? Can the meaning which is given to architecture be more relatable to the user, instead of being relatable primarily to the architectural industry? Has the focus on the individual instead of the community also impacted the architectural industry, creating egocentric [star]architects who design buildings that celebrate themselves instead of the user within a specific place? The understanding of historical society compared to current society is in a large way integral to understanding current architectural trends. This dissertation investigates how a gin distillery in Clarens, Eastern Free-State can answer these questions, by allowing the user to experience the entire function and process of the building whilst emphasizing the phenomenological experience of place. The history and development of Clarens, as well as the surrounding context becomes the main design-generators instead of personal design preference. The influence of Christian Norberg-Schulz’s explanation of “Genius Loci Towards Phenomenology of Architecture” will be used as a foundation to phenomenological experience through architecture (Genius Loci,1980). The contemporary applications thereof are investigated and used as precedents for the development of critical regionalism which is seen as an approach that counteracts globalism in architecture. The experience of the user becomes the primary objective, allowing the understanding of place, process and being within a specific setting, all enhanced by the architectural intervention.