Faith in Ruins: Curated Decay for the Gothic Arches of Saint John

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Fudge, Alice Clair




As trees reach old age they begin to seed the next generation of growth beneath their limbs, and even in the sequence of decay, the standing dead continue to nourish the forest community. In the urban community of Saint John, a city rich with built heritage from a prosperous past, the aging religious architecture have become vulnerable to the common practice of demolition. The Gothic Arches, a building conceived in 1882, decayed into a contentious historic burden and subsequently demolished to a mound of stone in December 2019. This thesis confronts architectural erasure and presents an alternative strategy for the preservation of this historic building through benign ruination. A post-mortem architectural analysis of the material and spatial qualities of the site generate an approach for reuse positioned as a retroactive possibility for the building's conscious passing onto its next material phase, released of servitude and high in spirit.






Carleton University

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