Manar Moursi

Making "Sense": In Search of Lost Weather was my thesis project for my MArch degree at Princeton University in 2006. The project situated itself within the discourse of ennui and investigated through literary representations the implications of ennui on interior spaces. I read literature where the subject was the ennui of the late 19th century flaneur to the more blasé attitude of the late 20th century protagonists, to finally the constant state of distraction of the 21st century voyeur. From these readings, I came up with a glossary of terms related to ennui.


One of the terms of the glossary was “repetition.” Investigating the repetitive led me to consider choosing the program of an office, hospital or hotel where one room is repeated in multiple variations. In the end, I settled on John Portman's Marriott Marquis on Broadway in Times Square as my site to intervene, not only because the hotel rooms repeated, but because its iconic post modern atrium repeated as a public space in many cities. The spaces of my intervention occupy an entire floor plate of the hotel. I chose 9 different themes: spectral, aural, surveillant, fragrant, textural, humid, thermal and filtered - and also chose to repeat them with 7 variations of each to occupy the 63 rooms of the entire floor plate. The rooms were imagined to become constructed sensory environments that sometimes celebrate the mechanical spaces that operate them. They were grouped and oriented thematically. The project therefore wanted to amplify the "climate" of each room and create spaces that modified the monotonous sensory repetition of the rooms of a typical hotel/office/hospital and its adjacent atrium as they leaked into it, therefore, in this way, altering the atrium-heart of the generic-post-modern city.