The Greenwich Perceptual Observatory
The project investigates collecting as a facilitator of knowledge, exploring its influence upon space and form. One could argue architecture has an epistemological function.
The reformulation of the earliest Observatory within Greenwich , Flamsteed House, is inspired by the anamorphic principles of Kurt Schwitters “Merzbau” and investigations generated from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”. From the narrative, Captain Ahab’s cabin is examined as a spatial organism driven by mappings in pursuit of the white whale. The investigations underpin the design for the Perceptual Observatory as its form and interior condition evolves from the qualitative and quantitative observations it collects, thus forever in a flux of state.The work focuses on the observation of natural phenomena and architecture’s role in enhancing perceptual experience. Studies of visual perception, the landscape and history of the Greenwich Observatory are turned into an extraordinary complex of rooms, courtyards, views and towers, woven around a new open-air matrix replacing the original Octagon room. The project is a journey in time, a remembered room, a machine for looking, a place for architectural inquiry and drawing, and a site for allegory and myths.