Chiaroscuro means an effect of contrasted light and darkness. I am particularly interested in how the sunlight affects the lunar phase and how could it affect our human body. Lunar phase gives us a dimension of time in the month just like the sun provides us with a dimension of time in a day, all these dimensions of time starts with sunlight. On a daily life on earth, we are all surrounded by many different light sources to help with our sight; it is a fundamental element of our vision, but not to all of our senses.
A series of Antony Gormley‘s Body and Light drawings has inspired me with this idea. While light tends to define and sharpen our sense of the boundaries of the body, darkness seems to invade it. Darkness envelops us and we shed the boundary that distinguishes self from other.
This idea has driven me to focus on darkness for my design, to create a space without a dimension of time, without light; Where our other senses become stronger and have access subconscious without the distraction of our slight and that is why I have chosen Shackleton crater as my site. I will use the contrast of light and darkness at the crater, and the fact Shackleton is perpetually in shadow as the advantage of my design.
My site will be located 1000 meter inwards on the west side of the crater. Due to the sunlight illumination at the crater, it will only have natural light for 15 days a month, therefore remind in darkness for half of the time. The primary function of the space is to accommodate isolation from Earth and time in the form of a house. The establishment will be used by a French underground explorer call Michel Siffre. He is particularly interested underground time isolation experiment. The purpose of my site is a house to allow Siffre to carry out time isolation experiments on the moon in a different light condition and see how the experience could be different to earth.
The drawing House of stairs by M.C Escher inspired the structure of the building as darkness gives the illusion of infinity. The building is constructed with six parts all connected to one and other with staircase to create a form to simulate an infinite loop. Steel structure supports the building and only the entrance will touch the ground to resemble the user is entering an unconscious domain.
All six parts of the building have different natural light exposure and represent different senses and also our subconscious for various activity purposes. The user will enter a long staircase that split into two paths upon arrival, one of which is concealed by a curtain to instruct the user to enter the building via the other direction. The light exposure will slowly decrease from each room once they enter the building and move along different parts to let the user experience how our senses change with various light levels.