Imagine If

PROJECT: Short film project

My design process began with exploring the role of architecture within a movie and how it can incorporate the idea of a spectacle. I defined it as a phenomenon that induces emotions and can engage a range of individuals. Focusing on both roles – an architect and film director, I became inspired by hot-air balloons as an occurrence that is intelligible, yet still out of the ordinary and can never pass unnoticed.

The next step was to change the scale from a single balloon to a whole built environments located in the clouds. This way, a world for my narrative was created.

This project was created as a part of 1st year Master's Architecture Studies in Auckland Univeristy

THE REALITY

 

An extremely important influence came from the contemporarily discussed effects of global warming and its threatening consequences. Making it the key force in my narrative, I decided to situate my protagonist in a reality where the climate has drastically changed and due to glacial and polar ice melt the sea level raised 80 meters. Ground 0 becomes the most valuable level and it is solemnly destined for growing food.

 

Emphasising on simple technologies, I describe an alternative reality of the 1950s, where with most of Auckland under water and not enough habitable ground, people are forced to move up. The simplest and most efficient way to do it is by balloons. This way cities, neighbourhoods and houses start to function above the clouds.

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Imagine If the sea level has risen due to glacial and polar ice melt.

Imagine that there is less and less habitable and  cultivated land.

Ground becomes the most valuable level and it becomes solemnly destined for growing food.

With not enough usable space people are forced to move...

UP

 

The movie shows a story of an ordinary taxi driver living in a world of spectacle. Unfortunately, the amazing environment around him seems the goes unnoticed for the protagonist, stuck in the his daily routine. Due to an unexpected event He is thrown out of his comfort zone and lost in the unknown. 

Trying to reach back home, more an more challenges come upon his way. His fate changes when an unanticipated encounter takes place. Armed with new knowledge and a broader sight, the continues his journey with no more challenges but adventures coming his way.

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BALLOON RESEARCH

 

My design required exploring how would houses adapt to meet the conditions of being above clouds.

In terms of stability, I concluded that a typical Upper City house would have a vertical design that minimalizes any rocking that might disturb the comfort of the inhabitants. With no limit towards the height, the storey would be higher than usual, making an impression of a “stretched” design.

The roof of the building would extend down to the floor creating a shell around the building, protecting it from various weather conditions coming from the sides. The leeward side could then be opened and full of glazing, while the windward would stay solid and enclosed.

As the building would never touch the floor its bottom wouldn’t function as a flat basement, but rather as an attic providing extra storage or mechanical compartments.

THE NARRATIVE

 

The story is about a father, working as an ordinary taxi driver in a world of spectacle - above the clouds. Yet, the amazing environment around him seems to go unnoticed for the protagonist, stuck in his daily routine.

 

Due to an unexpected event, he is thrown out of his comfort zone and forced to overcome a number of challenges to reach back home.

The protagonist’s fate changes with an unanticipated encounter that awakens his inner explorer. Armed with an open mind, his challenges become adventures and the protagonist reaches home transformed.

The twist of the story comes, when the viewer realises that the narrative was actually a bed-time story and a merge of imagination of father and son. Yet, although the adventures might have been fictional, the transformation within the character becomes real.

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HOUSE IDEOLOGY

My design required exploring how would houses adapt to meet the conditions of being above clouds.

In terms of stability, I concluded that a typical Upper City house would have a vertical design that minimalizes any rocking that might disturb the comfort of the inhabitants. With no limit towards the height, the storey would be higher than usual, making an impression of a “stretched” design.

The roof of the building would extend down to the floor creating a shell around the building, protecting it from various weather conditions coming from the sides. The leeward side could then be opened and full of glazing, while the windward would stay solid and enclosed.

As the building would never touch the floor its bottom wouldn’t function as a flat basement, but rather as an attic providing extra storage or mechanical compartments.

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HOUSES OF "UPPER AUCKLAND"

SCENE X: THE ENCOUNTER

THE CAMPING TRAILER SCENE

 

On his journey, the protagonist encounters a man living on the suburbs in a camping trailer.

The vehicles’ exterior would relate to a camping trailer from the 1930s, yet in a very worn-out state, modified to be sustained by a hot-air balloon and steered by a propeller located in the back.

The heart of the trailer would be its furnace that burns the propylene from the tank underneath the vehicle to blow hot air to the balloon on top. Located in the centre, for stability, it also functions as a cooker and a heating system for the interior.

As the eye-level view is not the priority, the side windows would be relocated to face upwards – to control the balloon, and downwards – to navigate.

THE FINAL PRESENTATION

Contact
piasta.paulina@gmail.com
(+64) 021 168 99 55
New Zealand

© 2020 by Paulina Piasta