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Open Eyes / Master-thesis Site-specific project / Berlin DE // 2015




Drachenberg is a 120 meters high hill, one of the few places around Berlin from which it is possible to see the city’s panorama. It is a natural site surrounded by forest, characterised by the contact with nature, silence, isolation from the city and a 360 degree view of the horizon. All these features make it a place of introspection and connection with the natural surroundings. The project brings into focus the natural landscape, the view of the city, the sky and its light through experience. Its references are the great examples of archeoastronomy around the world and their relationship with the circadian cycle of nature, and the works of contemporary artists who research on the theme profoundly. The design of the spaces is strictly connected with the natural light and how it changes with the passing of time, in this way architecture becomes the medium that makes the naked eye observatory work.

The design of the project is based on elementary centric geometries. They are recurrent shapes that can be found in every natural element. Centric geometries are also present in every culture and they have been used in architecture since ancient times, especially in sacred buildings and those connected with spirituality. Therefore the spatial composition follows a geometrical grid based on the center and two main axis (north-south, east-west). The geometrical grid has been built on the orography of the site as well, so that it embraces and develops the volumes of the project within the volume of the hill. Eight hypogeal spaces connected by tunnels are disposed around a central element. They build up a sequence of rooms, each one of them shifts the visitors’ perception to a different aspect of the natural cycle of light and nature. The sequence ends in the central pavilion that finally reconnects to the totality of the 360 degree view.

Master Thesis Architectural Degree, Politecnico di Milano

Team Aurora Destro, Giulia Maretti

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