Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]
The story of Uravan does not end with its erasure in 1986. The 74 years of the town’s existence is only one chapter in the cyclical narrative of industry, individuals and the earth that shapes today’s political, economic and environmental discourse. Visitors to Uravan are active participants in this story’s ongoing development. The scale of this responsibility, however, is impossible to grasp.
Without the architecture and artifact that make history tangible, Uravan’s legacy is invisible. All remains of the town’s infrastructure have been demolished, yet the site continues to be defined by its intangibility. The rubble of a destroyed company town is encapsulated in the ground for eternity. The memory of years dedicated to the industry lives on in the hearts and lungs of Uravan miners. The toxic byproducts of resource extraction now contaminate the very geological conditions that made the industry possible.
Elimination of the entire town of Uravan is only rivaled in brilliance by the scale of global destruction that earth from the site made possible. The site’s physical absence demands an awareness by future generations of the power and repercussions that accompany industrial advancement. A choreographed sequence that draws on the narrative potential of Uravan’s void, illustrating the personal, environmental, and industrial histories entangled in the contaminated landscape, becomes an access point to engage visitors in the past, present, and future legacies of land use.
Pickus, Lila, "Bound by // to // in earth" (2018). Masters Theses. 235.
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