The Sacrificial Layer: Temporality, Decay, and Re-Imaginations of the Rainscreen

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Yan, Justin Nicholas




The rainscreen, the outermost layer of contemporary wall construction, exists as the first barrier between elemental forces and interstitial wall assembly components. Direct and constant exposure to stresses from its external environment ages a building's cladding much faster than the materials behind it, necessitating thoughtful acts of rehabilitation, re-protection, and occasional replacements of this sacrificial layer. Alongside the progressions of building science, questions about the replacement of this sacrificial cladding layer are presented through lenses of conservational responsibility, historical reflections, and the search for material meaning.

This thesis examines wood as natural cladding through various material explorations, meditative representations, and narrative speculations, to re-imagine it as a vehicle for design discovery. It will investigate design potentials inherent in the histories, impermanence, and sacrificial nature of wood as a rainscreen material. These discoveries will communicate the narrative expression of the rainscreen, its experiential materiality, and its existence through and with time. 






Carleton University

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