CRITIQUE OF PURE VIOLENCE.

M.ARCH THESIS 

I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN BY STATING A VERY SIMPLE BUT VERY IMPORTANT FACT. 

 

TWO THINGS CANNOT BE IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME.

 

FOR A THING TO OCCUPY SPACE IT MUST DISPLACE WHAT WAS THERE BEFORE.  

 

DISPLACEMENT THEN, IS A FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH OF ARCHITECTURE AND THE ESSENCE OF WHAT CAN BE CALLED TERMED SPATIAL VIOLENCE.   

 

CRITIQUE OF PURE VIOLENCE SEEKS TO DEVELOP A METHOD AND TECHNIQUE OF VISUALIZING SPATIAL VIOLENCE TO BETTER OUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR BUILT ENVIRONMENT.

 WHILE DISPLACEMENT HAPPENS IN MANY SCALES, BE IT MOLECULAR, SOCIAL, OR GEOLOGICAL, THIS CHAPTER OF THE CRITIQUE LOOKS SPECIFICALLY AT SITES OF MATERIAL EXTRACTION AS A STARTING POINT FOR UNDERSTANDING ANOTHER AXIOM THAT FOLLOWS FROM OUR UNDERSTANDING OF DISPLACEMENT.

 

THAT SIMPLY TAKING UP SPACE IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE.

Looking at a particular quarry, The Permanente Quarry, located in the hills of Cupertino, which has supplied over half of the aggregate and limestone used in Northern California since the construction of Shasta Dam. This time, we render the surface as a solid mass hovering over the city, its geological center snapped to the center of the financial district, where the majority of massive concrete buildings are located, thus solidifying the relationship between material and capital. Perhaps unsurprisingly there is an almost 1 to 1 correlation between the urban and the quarry. The volume displaced from the quarry to make the city is corresponds directly to the volume of the buildings in the city itself.  

At the Architectural scale, we turn the mass into void, a city-sized analog to Matta Clark’s Conical intersect or Heizer’s Double Negative that reveals that there is in fact another way of reading the city. The floorplates of the towers become the architectural equivalent of topo lines. So much mass is removed that there is now a new body of water in the city, solar and wind access to the streets is changed, and I-80 is split into, preventing automobile entrance to The City by the Bay.