Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Thesis part IV

Second of the three shelters being examined today. The top of Slieve Doan was the chosen site. It offers some of the best scenic views of the surrounding reservoirs and mountains. There was also great potential to utilise the natural topography. The driving force behind the scheme became a desire for the shelter to grow organically from the existing large pieces of granite that have been carved out of the mountain over millions of years.

I've taken care with the building mass to ensure the shelter does not dwarf the surrounding granite in scale. From certain approaches the building itself is not revealed until you have reached the summit of Doan. There is a whole sketch study of the approaches and revealed views but I've tried to edit what drawings and photographs I show for the purposes of a blog. The chosen construction method is one of timber frame that is light weight and easily carried and erected on the site. The exterior finish is "Wicke's corrugated roofing and cladding sheet." It was important to me to chose materials that could be found locally and transported easily. The whole practicality and simplicity of construction and spaces is what it's all about for me when it comes to design projects.

I think the Queen's teaching establishment wanted a higher aspiration from the designs but I cannot change where my heart lies in the field of architecture, and I'm pretty happy with the result here - in the sense that I believe you could go out and build this shelter with a couple of mates and a modest budget over a short period of time. The pragmatics of this kind of construction really appeal to me. And it does not have to be limited to mountain construction. The same mentality can be applied to a brown field site in an urban centre as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, the shelter is fairly straight forward and easy to understand (I hope) from the images below. It seeks to blend with the hill but announce a clear presence when you reach the peak. There is a main sitting and viewing area looking out to the best view (first image) and there are sleeping quarters tucked in beneath this main viewing space that receive natural morning sunshine (last photograph.)

The only other thing I think needs explaining here is the hand drawn maps, they're a study of the existing ground typography and granite positions. It was the first step in the work process of easing the shelter into the existing landscape. I felt a hands on direct approach to this documentation was complemented by drawing the scales and proportions of the granite by hand. I hope you've enjoyed checking it out, third and final shelter to follow soon!

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