Measures: Monastery for an Atomic Priesthood; Hanford, WA
Brandon, Douglas Everett
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This thesis, conceived in divination and ritual, addresses the past and the future in their inconceivable entirety. Whether concerning elusive properties of substances, impossible celestial mechanics, necessarily incomplete mathematical systems, or reticent atomic particles; the history of human knowledge is riddled with immeasurability, especially in relation to the limits of observation in size (large and small) and speed (fast and slow). As a theme, the unfathomable infects its students, and this project charts that infection. Due to the longevity, concentration, and potency of man-made radioactive materials produced since 1945, an Atomic Priesthood, as a possible guardian of knowledge about the nature and location of nuclear waste, must last at least as far into the future as the earliest cave paintings reach into the past. This proposal for a monastery to contain and propagate such a society questions the role of control in architecture, when timelines stretch beyond single generations, and risk in architecture, when failure leads to oblivion. Pivoting around the complexity of Hanford, Washington, former site of plutonium production for atomic bombs Gadget and Fat Man, this investigation challenges modes of analysis and representation when architectural processes begin to flirt with infinity.
- Architecture