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Architecture and Landscape.


Allow me now to share some musings of mine on the subject of building in the natural landscape. As many people seem to have their favourite piece of architecture, as some type of building in the landscape. One thing which intrigues myself about building in the countryside, is the changing light and views, you see through your window each season. Bearing in mind, that Ireland doesn't have distinct seasons, like say Denmark etc - Snow etc. - you still find gradation of light, and some changes in nature. I quite like these images in an Irish natural landscape context, restraint of materials and expression etc - strong and understated, like the landscape itself.

1 Spring light and views.

2 Winter light and views.

3 Summer light and views.

4 Autumn light and views.

Btw, I have spoken a small bit about this phenomena of light and design in relationship to restaurant premises in Temple Bar. A totally different context to the Irish landscape, but much the same idea in many ways.

I have to say, I am partial to this expression of clear volumes and strong clear slit openings in the landscape too. If handled well. A bit basic in terms of design development maybe, but nonetheless a good strong expression relative to the power of the landscape again.

I am a real fan of the Meier house designs, this was his very first. This probably is denser in terms of accomodation, but nevertheless, manages to project that same simple strong expression.

Something about this, which kind of scales better in an old agricultural environment. I mean, when you have this settings , why spoil them with imation anything? Why not just endeavour to be more honest about form and volume? That response in the image is restrained and pretty honest I think.

Of course, there are other elements
in the landscape, like trees, which are really part of the architecture too. Those crazy snow montainy people? A cross between some expensive rucksack and a house!

Japanesse tearoom a la moderne? German Huff houses are like these too. Outdoor room use or perhaps a quiet space away from it all? What does the house in the landscape represent for you? This reminds me of a cut down version of the Beckett Theatre in Trinty. Plain honest expression of timber post and beam. As Kahn was used to doing, one strong aperture, which defines a 'room' inside, people are orientated inside, by the strength of the great window. Usually shutters etc, would be used to vary the opening on bright/dull days for light and avoiding glare etc.

Okay, lets include Mies with another different but sucessful interpretation of post and beam in a house for the natural landscape.


On a different subject, but dealing with where the landscape meets a town, and the notion of making urban densities higher, so as to preserve some more open space, in both town and country. The following contains some rambling observations of mine, losing tied together by the notion of urban residential development and the subject of density and sustainability. Here goes...

Typical one of wilderness development, driven by having cars, and lots of home entertainment, web access etc, in the USA.

If I get any more extreme rural developments, I will post them. I think some of these may work as retreat type places, like the ancient Cistercian monastery etc, but as new residential developments.... ?

Outer Suburbia?

Some things like this, have integrated well into places like Rathgar Road etc, I think.

Perhaps not pretty in some peoples' eyes, but definitely sustainable as development I think, on smaller available plots.

another one;

I dunno, how to calculate densities on FARs for this but, I think you get the idea.

And another attempt at density.

I think that Wright was very good at doing this sort of thing here.

Perhaps suitable for a number of smaller apartments nowadays on suitable site, circa Rathmines or similar? Certainly would be contextual anyhow.

Another kind of place,


Or here.

Or this.

Goind even further denser in FAR;

Similar idea.

We certainly haven't built like this in Ireland since the times of the Eucharistic congress!

This type of development, is attractive, as it actually manages to create a strong definition of a street I think.

As this one does;

Docklands? Notice how elements like that bridge in the background, are important perceptual landmarks in such a place.