Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The School of Life (project introduction)






This Project explores how the recently abandoned Sheffield City Airport may be reinvented into a holiday destination (of sorts), and why we should expect more than cheap flights to Spain from a strangely beautiful expanse of tarmac lying hidden among the City’s seven hills. Inspiration for the project comes from Des Esseintes and Baudelaire , two of literatures least intrepid but most thought provoking travelers. The Villa of Des Esseintes (from J.K. Huysmans 1884 novel A rebours provides the ideological standpoint for reconsidering the notion of tourism.
‘For a proud but small minority open to poetry of a different sort, there’s at last an ideal travel agency to hand.’ 1
My Client is the ‘School of Life’, a unusual travel agency who dispute the notion that our holidays ought to be about escaping reality, and instead propose that they should serve to enable us to understand the world in which we live. They offer holidays to the neglected corners of the everyday life, such as Holidays up the M1, a Holiday at Heathrow and weekends dedicated to looking at the sky.
Therefore my project proposes the co-existance of two of these types of non-place, the abandoned Sheffield City Airport (reinvigorated by the presence of Sheffield Aero Club), and a new (wind powered, electric car) Service Station on the site. These programs are then enriched by the holiday facilities such as the artificial beach and the cloud room, as well as conference and hotel facilities.

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