Ben Weir Awarded 2nd Prize in Salt-pan House Competition
MArch studio tutor Ben Weir has been awarded 2nd prize in a design contest held to rethink the ruins of an abandoned former salt-pan house at the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park in Slovenia. 252 teams entered the competition.
For more information on the competition, and to see the full proposal, click here.
The proposal is generative and projective, without pathos and with a healthy measure of adaptable pragmatism. An elegant construction, supported by three points carries the slanted roof,which protects the ruin. At the same time the roof enters into a relationship of equals with the ruin, contrasting the old and the new. The project does not grieve for the past, nor does it try to reconstruct the lost condition, but freezes the decay here and now. Within the familiar dilemmas of adaptation, reconstruction or slow decay, preservation of the existing conditions is a more radical option than might seem at first glance. A special value of the project is the elegance of its structure, the intelligence of its connection to the specific context of the ruin and the creation of a new ambient between the roof and the ruin. Most valuable, however, is the transformative approach created by the project without reconstructing traditional, now lost roofs or adding concrete binding to stone walls. With a specific as well as generic pragmatism it prevents further decay of one ruin while demonstrating a strategy for the whole area.