The Architecture of Our Building Site « Canning Town Caravanserai

The Architecture of Our Building Site



It is Friday, the 11th of August 2012. The sun is touching the horizon while three musicians play the blues, by chance, without ever having played together before, and you hear it. Occasionally the speaker rustles; the number of visitors is smaller then expected; this place seems to be temporary, unfinished.

And sitting here, on a warm straw bale, I suddenly see in this trio the project “Caravanserai”. In some respects music and architecture are equal. What you hear or what you see is only a part of the whole, compared to the total effect, it plays an unimportant role. It does not matter how well the three play together or the quality of the music that booms out of the speaker. More important is the effect that comes from the music on this particular place at this particular moment.What is characteristic of us is trying to make the most of what we have.

The materials we use, such as beams, boards, slats, are limited and come mostly donated in a jumbled load. Our aim is not a flawless appearance; what concerns us on site is the question of how we achieve the biggest effect with our simple tools and materials.This is why our architecture, like the trio’s music, is sometimes spontaneous, temporary or even unfinished, but that makes it authentic. And when it achieves an effect similar to the trio’s music, it is a success.

Thanks to my friends, Anthony and Ibrahim, for helping me translate the text