On Heterotopia - The Lost Heterotopic Island of Pomona

Dan Renoso-Urmston
The Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester
United Kingdom

Project idea

A rigorously theoretical project exploring the concept of 'Heterotopia' in spatial theory and questioning its implication on architecture. After meticulous experimentation through various media, the project culminates in the output of a film, explaining the concept of Heterotopia, describing one I have created in Manchester.

Project description

The Lost Heterotopic Island of Pomona is my final thesis project for my Masters of Architecture from the Manchester School of Architecture.

The project was an exploration into the concept of Heterotopia, a term coined by philosopher Michel Foucault used to describe 'other' spaces in our towns and cities. My work wanted to question the nature and importance of this concept through rigorous philosophical and artistic experimentation.

The result is a deeply theoretical project that culminated in an experimental film which applies a narrative to an undeveloped island in central Manchester. The models I designed and made are the focus of the film whilst the video itself goes someway to explaining exactly what a Heterotopia is.

The architectural result is a landscape of sculptural structures stood as islands upon the island. Each entity expressed independently with its own aesthetic connotations yet fundamentally connected to its neighbouring elemental islands. By experimenting and applying reductionist theories to the forms of the structures, they become readable, reflective elements of the wider Manchester area; to be interpreted and read by no two observers the same.

The delineation between the tangled sea of flora and the curious potential of the buildings creates space that, in comparison to the rapidly developing Manchester, are unmistakably ‘other’ in their nature.

Technical information

There are a variety of media, plans and sections, renders, conceptual axonometrics. The nature of the projects means there is rarely a fully descriptive, prescriptive drawing available.

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