Track 1: Decline vs. Revival: Tempering the Impulse to Tear Down and Start Over

General Abstract

3 - Ruin-ophilia: Preserving Cultural Narratives of a Lighthouse through Controlled Ruination

Tuesday, September 25
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: BNCC- 101AH

Once vital aspects of safer navigation routes and icons of industrial development, the Imperial Towers of Lake Huron and the Georgian Bay dominated over the Bruce Peninsula coastal landscape for almost two centuries. Their contribution to the development of their respective regions rendered them cultural landmarks and embedded them in the larger cultural narratives of their locales. However, advancements in technologies, like many other engineering works, led these structures to become obsolete. Among these is the Nottawasaga Island Lighthouse, now with all alternative use options exhausted, awaiting its end. Taking this iconic lighthouse, as a case study, this paper/presentation explores the potential to turn the ruination process into an architectural experience. Is it possible to transmit the larger cultural narratives through “controlled ruination”, while the man-made melts into nature?

Learning Objectives:

Zeynep Ekim

Intern Architect
E.R.A. Architects

Zeynep holds an M.Arch and a B.Arch from Carleton University. Her graduate thesis examined communal identity and its relationship to the left-over buildings of post-industrial landscapes. She has received the Maxwell Taylor Award for innovation in building technologies and Azrieli Award for Excellency in Graduate Thesis for this research. Her graduate studies also allowed her a semester abroad in Lisbon, Portugal, where she participated in a studio taught by Barbas Lopes Arquitectos. Currently, she is an intern heritage architect at E.R.A Architects working on the rehabilitation of federal heritage buildings in the National Capital Region of Canada.


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Jonathan Spodek

Jonathan C. Spodek, FAIA, FAPT has over 30 years of experience in the architectural and preservation fields. He currently has a limited architectural practice in Indiana and serves as a Professor of Architecture at Ball State University. As a Professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University, he teaches design studios and courses in building technology that include building documentation, historic building construction materials and techniques, and evaluation/diagnostic methods. Mr. Spodek’s research interests focus on non-destructive building evaluation. He has also received several research grants to develop work on using sustainable construction practices on existing/historic housing. His initiatives in academia focusing on building preservation provide a scholarly component to his professional work as an architect.


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3 - Ruin-ophilia: Preserving Cultural Narratives of a Lighthouse through Controlled Ruination

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