Cardiff Moon Pools

Cardiff Moon Pools


Cardiff, Wales, CF, United Kingdom

Project Description

Cardiff Moon Pools: Reconnecting with the Lunar Cycle

This project harnesses the 'local adaptation' approach to design by rigorously analysing a site and it's context as a driving force behind a proposed intervention. Here, the moon and its light are analysed and exploited in an architecture that aims to reconnect people with natural processes as a method to provoke a philosophical introspection in ones attitudes towards sustainability and our natural world. Complex computational analysis using rhinoceros and grasshopper enabled in-depth discoveries about the site and it's relationship to the night sky.

Many studies point to the disconnect with nature as a root cause for unsustainable attitudes. Urbanisation is increasing globally, to the point where 50% of the world's population now live in cities. Our urban spaces are generally void of true connection with our natural environment, which in turn masks our appreciation and understanding of the current sustainability issues facing our planet. By reconnecting one with the most primitive of natural processes - the Lunar cycle - the project aims to change attitudes towards sustainability for the better.

The thesis begins by investiagting the wider context, the current site and its characteristics, history and environmental conditions. This information will be used to construct and develop a brief surrounding the exploitation of moonlight and reconnection with natural processes. After a more certain brief has been defined, horizon analysis is undertaken to understand the fragments of sky that can be seen from specific points of the site. This will inform what celestial and lunar events are able to be seen and/or experienced on site. Once horizon analysis has been undertaken, lunar analysis can be completed to understand the extents to which the moon and moonlight effects the site and what can be seen or experienced from different points on the site. The analysis will be done using a range of media and complex scripting, computerised and constructed analysis. The analysis and investiagtion informs an architecture comprising of two canopies and an undefined public space. The design is specific to capture a specific phenomena during the month of August and allows the public to connect, experience and understand moonlight and the lunar cycle.

The project capitalises on a unique set of environmental conditions to harness the power of the moon, allowing true reconnection with a natural process. The process and tools that have been generated as part of this thesis can be used as a blue print for future, similar interventions. Not since Peter Rice's 'Moonlight Theatre' has architecture thought of exploiting the light of the moon. Now 30 year on, this project can be seen as an iteration of that philosophy.

Josh Towl



MArch_2 Student at WSA Unit XV - Local Adaptation My interests lie in the curation of site specific architectural resolutions that derive from a close analysis of the site and context. I believe that architecture should comment on the specificity and richness of its location, and work as part of the environment - not against it.

Other work by Josh