Beyond the Architectural Age of Megson: Towards a Phenomenological Experience

2021, D2

Elim Hu
Tutor: Felix Wang

The ocularcentric paradigm adopted by western architecture has, undoubtedly, prompted the suppression of other sensory spheres. Subsequently, this sensory deprivation has led us to become alienated and desensitized from truly connecting with the spaces we inhabit. In order to undermine this dominant visual bias, my transformation project on Claude Megson’s Todd House seeks to embrace the often neglected facets of the sensory realm to create a phenomenological experience for the new inhabitants. 

The design intervention revolves around an existential narrative following non-identical twins, Daniel and Josephine who have become orphans after surviving a fire which tragically killed their parents and destroyed their previous home. Due to the fire, Daniel is partially disabled in a wheelchair, unable to walk for long periods of time. Fortunately, the 1970’s Todd House was the last piece of inheritance left in their parents will, prompting the twins to transform the house in memory of their parents. 

Fire, then, becomes a symbolic element that serves as a destructive yet life giving force and is where I have derived my core idea of Fragmentation. The four natural elements: fire, water, air and earth will serve as biomorphic catalysts for revitalising the space, transfiguring Megson’s domestic home into a sanctuary of healing as the twins journey from grief to solace. Through designing self-reflective spaces attentive to functionality and sensitive to the human spirit, the Todd House will become a vessel of immense psychological value, mediating between the past and the future.