# STUDENTS /// Eternally Yours by Claire Jamieson

Eternally yours is a project designed by Claire Jamieson for her final year of Master in the Royal College of Arts (London) under the tutorship of Nicola Koller and Gerrard O’Carroll. This project questions a lot of interesting issues for architecture in a fictitious dramatization of the construction of a kind of mausoleum of nuclear waste in the center of St James Park in London.
First of all, as the title may suggest, it proposes to challenge the notion of love as an non temporal value expressed and hosted by architecture. Then it proposes to re-introduce the idea of historizing architecture. Although, instead of conceiving a time-proof building, Claire includes her building in a logic of erosion and use the life time of materials in order to make the project evolving through time by its decrepitude. Eventually Eternally Yours is a proposition to negotiate with fear (since nuclear waste is concerned) and the vertigo of a scale of time tremendously bigger than Human life (10000 years when the language itself becomes unintelligible after only a thousand years). This last point explains the provocative location of the building, several meters away from Buckingham Palace, the English Monarchy fiefdom.
Here is Claire’s text related to the project: 

 

Eternally Yours
Can the disposal of nuclear waste be ensured for 10,000 years by a mythology embedded in an image of love?

A language becomes “unintelligible to the descendants of the speakers after the passage of between 500 and 1000 years.
[ Linguistic Society of America ]

Increasing demand for cheap, carbon-guilt free energy has led to a resurgence of nuclear power, by 2020, the UK will have a new generation of power plants whose waste legacy will stay radioactive for 10,000 years – during which must be protected from intrusion and theft. Over this timescale, the English language as we understand it will have become incomprehensible: another method of communication must be created. Rather than rely on predictable ‘out of sight out of mind’ strategies, could a British solution strategically bury radioactive waste in central London? The vulnerable waste site is protected by a deeply rooted association with love, (one of our most enduring values), in the hope that we are more likely to protect something that we cherish and worship than something which we fear.
Fear of radioactivity is assuaged by a layered narrative and a celebratory nostalgia embedded into a national monument sponsored by the best of British heritage brands. St. James’s park is strategically chosen as a location deeply ingrained in the British psyche: surrounded by the Royal Family, the government and the army – some of Britain’s most trusted institutions. In 2028 the waste is ceremonially delivered to site, then sealed, making way for an iconic, rubenesque building whose evolution is calculated to communicate over vast timescales. A sequenced ruination choreographs the decay of the outer shell to reveal a strange and sensual contemporary Stonehenge in 6480, then finally an observatory-like chapel by 12014. To replace language, could a mythology connected to love, passed through generations and civilizations provide the sacred legend required to protect the site from destruction?
The project is a pragmatic solution to a complex problem, and presents a critique of contemporary society – a world willing to accept even the most shocking and grotesque, provided that it is packaged and presented in an appealing way. It depicts an image of a society that truly believes in immortality and the longevity of their own culture.











One Comment on “# STUDENTS /// Eternally Yours by Claire Jamieson

  1. Pingback: # GUEST WRITERS ESSAYS 15 /// The Possible Worlds of Architecture by Claire Jamieson | The Funambulist

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