Elza is an architectural designer based in London and China. She completed a BSc in Architecture at the University of Bath, in 2020. She was fortunate to work in practices in Frome, London, and Shanghai and has contributed to different range of projects. Her current interest lies in rethinking the life cycle of building, as well as how it serves as a tool to responds climate challenges. After finishing her studies, she intends to work in the field of Architecture and expand on her understanding of what it means to be a part of the profession.
The quarry extraction in Portland left an abundance of stone lying everywhere on the island, unclaimed due to their colours, which can be considered as an opportunity, a resource, as construction material to reconstruct existing structure and transform it for future. use. There is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place. This is a journey to rediscover and reclaim waste stone and how to make use of them in the building
For centuries, this island has endured exploitation, its valuable products extracted and exported elsewhere. However, it is time to bring attention back to this very place. Through maintenance and care strategies, Stone Rush means to cleanse this island, breathing new life into the abandoned concrete structure, and transforming it into a stone institute that celebrates craftsmanship, well-being, and sustainability.
But this project is not just about restoration; it is a call to the construction industry to recognize and embrace the true value of stone. Therefore, through advocating innovation and collaboration among architects, engineers, students, and local stonemasons to come together, explore and experiment with Portland stone found in this island. Together, we will discover more efficient and effective ways to push the boundaries of what is possible.
Medium:Photography, Digital Drawings
The transformation proposal can be split in 3 parts.
First, after one year, we will carry unclaimed stones from the island, and by-products from the local masonry company to the site. These neglected stones will be carefully cataloged, and organised, Use the existing as an open shelf to store and display, waiting to be discovered for the new use.
In phase two, after 5 years, the intervention will be ongoing and unfinished, we are still strengthening and protecting the existing concrete structure. To enable transformation, we will be exploring how to stack stone in different sizes and shapes to enclose the building, for instance, if they are big enough, they can be a column or a beam, smaller one will be stone blocks, drywalls, and gabion. And at the same time, this open up different possibilities of program, such as climbing or stone workshop that only need the minimum requirement of sheltering, which will naturally happen inside or outside the building.
In the last phase, we fast forward 25 years in the future, The case is now complete, the interior is safe for the public to use, and the depot will serve as a communal gathering place for the people of Portland - a venue for community activities, exhibitions, and adventure. The building is now full of stone creations, celebrating the material on various form. Hopefully, ‘Stone Rush’will attract more people to migrate to Portland. The Upper floors, once quiet with stones, will be occupied as a residential area.
The east wing is to provide temporary housing for stone apprentices, fostering a sense of community and encouraging young individuals to establish their careers in Portland. There will be a fixed water supply and a shared kitchen available for each floor, but allow freedom for the inhabitant to choose where they want to stay and to build their own unique spaces.
This is a view inside a common area, where spaces are enclosed by sliding doors and stacked stone walls. The corridor is unconditioned to allow for a refreshing and authentic experience. People can sit under the shaded area and socialize, play, and reflect in front of the ocean view.
The surrounding environment is connected by the presence of stone, which acts as a force that synchronize the elements of architecture, landscape, and people. The footpath, once a narrow and steep, inclined path will evolve into a stone carpet that seamlessly extends from the quarried landscape. The paving makes the path wider and smooth the traffic flow between cyclists, pedestrians, and their dogs. Benches and stone creations made by the workshop will be placed here, giving back to the community some social infrastructure. Every time a turn occurs, the pattern change, hinting at passers how far they have walked, encouraging them to pause and perhaps even to find a moment of relaxation.