2017 Roy RuigtRoy Ruigt - Between fireplace and Horizon
Two years ago I’ve had the opportunity of staying two weeks at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West desert studio in Arizona. Sleeping in a student shelter, exposed to natural elements, I’ve experienced the rough landscape and it’s architecture.

This unique experience led to a study on the meaning of the fireplace and the role of the element fire in architecture. I’ve investigated Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler by making models and drawings. Intuitively I started to built a study model. Not by copying the architectural language of Wright and Schindler, but to discover my own vision in this context.

The study model includes a program for students who will explore a given context in Maastricht by doing fieldwork. They examine a setting, located in a river valley area along the Meuse. This area consists of a very diverse and complex patchwork of architectural elements and typology. It is also located in a constant agricultural cycle, which influences the physical perception and experience of the student.

In order to achieve this, the student will need a base that facilitates a number of stay qualities. This base consists out of a study on the most fundamental elements. The fire which stands for the beginning, heating, and illuminating the space, the chimney which gives orientation in the field, and it declares the potential for fire and refuge. The platform which forms the base, and the roof that provides shelter. Traditionally, architecture creates a strong division between inside and outside, keeping the cold outside while preserving heat within. This base will push the boundaries of the possibilities in the Dutch climate.

These stringent conditions promote awareness of the environment and force the student to find resources and to create comfort for themselves. Ultimately, the student will experiment in the field through architectural means.

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