Moving beyond the confinements of the centre of the city, Bucharest reveals itself as an urban entity both in development and in decay. Within this fragmented city lie forgotten, isolated and forbidden spaces that are often appropriated by groups on the fringes of our society. In many instances, urban decay is portrayed as a negative quality that should be shielded from sight. However, this ‘dystopic’ quality, which can be found in many spaces of abandonment, offers a rich ground for observation. It can become a hub of radical activity as temporal visitors seek out spaces with no rules and no order so that they can begin to engage with, play in and transgress these spaces. This project seeks to learn from these spaces of abandonment and re-introduces these qualities into the fabric of Bucharest.
In the wider architectural context, the issues of ‘forgotten’ spaces can offer an alternative perspective on ‘everyday’ spaces. Gil Doron, in his ‘The Dead Zone and the Architecture of Transgression’, highlights the ways in which abandoned spaces have been occupied and transgressed by different inhabitants, additionally arguing that the spaces themselves become transgressive. Whilst discussing the notions of play and transgression, what becomes evident is the reciprocal relationship between space and use. For Doron, architectural ‘dead zones’ refuse to be defined geographically and temporally. This raises broader architectural questions as to what events could occur in these spaces that are temporarily used. When closely examining these zones of abandonment, located at the peripheries of our society, they begin to reveal spaces that are continually transformed and altered in use. How can this interplay between space and use also begin to change everyday spaces? This project discusses spaces in play on a broader level in order to understand how they operate as a zone of changeability that offer infinite possibilities of use.