The Sublime – Hains Point Knowledge Ark

The concept of the sublime can be defined as “having the quality of greatness.” This project was an attempt to explore that quality, not only architecturally, but also on a global scale; demonstrating how the idea of the sublime relates to the human experience as a whole. The project began with exploring the idea of the sublime on many simple fronts. Thomas Cole depicted the stages of greatness as they occur in an empire; from the meager beginnings of a civilization “the savage state,” to the empire at the height of its power “the consummation,” to the end of that empire “the desolation,” each stage having a sublime quality in its own right.

From there the project asked the question: How could the sublime  be defined architecturally and experientially? This was examined through the works of great architects such as Etienne Louis Boullee. He mastered capturing the experience of the sublime right down to rendering techniques, mainly through use of grandeur of scale, obscurity of vision,  and simplicity of form.  This was displayed in many of his works and was mastered in projects such as the Cenotaph to Newton and the Temple of Death.

From here the question became, how does the idea of the sublime relate to human experience as a whole? And how can architecture respond to it in modern times? To these questions there were two answers: the first being space exploration and colonization, the second being a complete and total annihilation of humanity through some sort of global apocalypse. After understanding this, the architectural response became quite clear; a center for archiving human knowledge in the event of a global apocalypse was needed. This would allow survivors of such an event to jump start their future civilization as well as understand everything that brought the downfall of the previous civilization; therefore not repeating the same mistakes..

This led to the creation of the architectural language of the structure which was to be an abstraction of the most basic element of the human mind (neural network) in an attempt to emphasize the idea that all knowledge comes from and is stored in the mind, thus the Haines Point Knowledge Ark was born.