The Cathedral project revolved around the development of a structural detail and method-based investigation utilizing interpretations of traditional timber-frame constructs. The project was built as a standard assembly that could be used to construct an array of building types and could conceivably be expanded upon until infinity. The structure consists entirely of 4’’ x 4’’ beams cut to various sizes and notched out at repeating intervals. These beams then fit together in a gridded pattern that can be expanded upon to create a diverse set of shapes and forms. Thus, the project is less about proposing a completed vision and more about experimenting with what could be built using this systematic design.
The project is built on top of the ruined foundation of a two-hundred-year old villa. By simultaneously repurposing an old structure, as well as seeking purpose for a new one, the installation begins to investigate the juxtaposition of brevity and permanence; habitation and visitation. The wood detailing recalls memories of of old rustic Midwestern barns. Furthermore, whitewashed paint allows the structure to maintain a textural wooden quality while at the same time unifying the pieces so as to be seen as one singular system nested within an ecosystem of trees, stones, animals and people.
In addition, the various courtyards and elevated platforms that result from the system provide natural gathering spaces for visitors to light fires and engage in communal activity. The permeable nature of the semi-gridded structure likewise provides a light barrier for curious creatures—solid enough to make a private space, but open enough to be inviting.