naturum - Vålådalen - An architectural investigation on the relationship between place, construction & space

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2020
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Junehag, Mikael
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This thesis aims at investigating the relationship between a specific context, construction and architecture, as a way for architecture to relate to and support a narrative and understanding of a place. The main method has been the design of a naturum, a nature and culture visitor centre for a nature reserve. The question was, during the process, broken down into two main questions. How can traditional log framing technique be developed and used in a contemporary architecture? And how can the cultural heritage of the indigenous sami people be reinterpreted in architecture? The process started off with research followed by a site analysis. The main concept was then developed from an explorative phase where building footprint, volume, functional layout and construction options were being investigated. This was then followed by an iterative design process refining plans, sections, facades and construction details. The swedish naturum are located all over the country and functions as inspirational and educational gates to the nature. The location is at the entrance to Vålådalen nature reserve, a popular visit goal for hikers. The mountain landscape has a magnificent nature and a long and interesting cultural history. The area has been populated by the indigenous sami people since a long time and reindeer herding is still being conducted in the reserve. With this thesis I hope to contribute to the current development of contemporary wood architecture and to the architectural discussion of how architecture relates to place. I also hope to contribute to the current processes and plans of future developments of naturum, cultural centers and similar functions in the region of Jämtland and equal contexts.
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