Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Thesis part I

Continuing the story of the thesis investigation..

I felt that a process of walking the Mourne Mountains was integral to the thesis.  I've included a map below for anyone interested in finding out just where exactly this place is in the world.  This walking exercise whilst both fun and often interrupted by me slipping and falling on my bum.. allowed for direct observation of the landscape, this was then translated into a series of drawings (some examples shown below) that mapped the existing pathways and illustrated the sequence of views experienced by the mountain hiker as he travelled the route.  This ambition was to develop the key skills of observation and accurate, informative drawing in such a way that the details of the journey were clear to both myself as the architect and a hiker / builder / client / building user.

The mapping exercise was inspired by the work of Alfred Wainwright (January 1907 - January 1991) and his pictoral guidebook series of the Lakeland Fells of the English Lake District published between 1955 and 1966. (Some examples of his amazing work can be seen below)  This body of work has become the standard reference work for this area of mountain range.  A similar dialogue between observation, drawings and mountain terrain seeks to emerge in my thesis process.

Developing a strong sensibility and understanding of the unique conditions within the Mournes better equips an architect to successfully engage with the mountainous granite terrain, as well as establish a personal position as to what is appropriate architectural response to these conditions.  I feel this kind of approach to architecture can benefit a building regardless of the site being in a mountain range or in a busy urban centre.

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