Unstable Ground: Centralia Town Hall
The project is sited in Centralia, PA – a ghost town now deserted after a mine fire in 1962. As part of a strategy to reintroduce community into these inhospitable lands, the project proposes a new Town Hall with thermal baths taking advantage of the huge heat levels within Centralia’s ground. The building utilises traditional timber construction methods for seismic zones and fire-proofing through timber charring, alongside pH and CO2 sensitive shingles. Drawing from the few remaining clapboard houses and a surviving Russian Orthodox church, the project proposes a new vernacular for the centre of Centralia that cracks and ages in a controlled manner, wearing the pressures of its site within its built fabric.
Elin’s third year work was awarded the Environmental Design prize, for her studies into new vernaculars constructed with traditional construction techniques utilising the inhospitable conditions within Centralia to produce an accelerated architectural degradation.