DERIVATIVE EXPRESSION & IDIOSYNCRATIC INFRASTRUCTURES
KINSEALY NORTH COUNTY DUBLIN, 2011
When did we decide that an individual and unique expression born out of THE function of our built environment should withdraw & conform to typologies and materials which are no longer relevant?
Ireland is a nation of people with a long tradition of artistic culture. From music to poetry, dance to sculpture, sports to craft, we confidently practice these abilities in the ritual of our daily lives. Architecture however is this discarded puzzle piece that has yet to be rediscovered and embraced.
From my experience it appears that contemporary appreciation for architectural and spacial quality has been lost on our journey to independence.
Since Ireland's subjugation by the British in the 16th century the people lost their right to possess property and the majority of the island's wealth now belonged to the ascendancy. For this reason any inherant anthropological uniqueness that may have developed during our development along with the rest of Western Europe was halted in favour of a British architectural vocabulary and subject to broader trends in architecture, for example Paladianism, Neo-Classical, Gothic Revival.
In the years leading up to independence Conradh na Gaeilge and other cultural movements succeeded in garnering renewed interest in Irish-language writing & speaking, folk music, sport, etc. but as described, the practice of architecture could neither be celebrated nor fostered. As most of the indigenous Irish were in the lower and working classes, relating to architecture, accessing it, and ascertaining knowledge of it isolated individuals and caused a rejection that still lasts.
In the domestic vernacular architecture of the people we see an authentic expression of limited means persist in the rural domain. It is in the cities during the post world war population expansion that we see suburban growth proliferate into the country side and the 'gentrification' of the traditional housing typology. Dwellings now string along roads and the desire to articulate ownership creates bourgeois neighbourhoods who's architectural expression is a reimagining or melding of urban housing, the rural 'big house' / 'manor house' and an infusion of contemporary building techniques that make the chosen method and style of building redundant.
In this project the aim is to reimagine how we organise development in the countryside and primarily how architecture is expressed.
Selecting a site at Kinsealy, North County Dublin the project takes an existing suburban condition and develops a typology for the scheme.
Infrastructure, a design driver
While domestic design is subject to taste, lifestyle.... to be completed
a reaction to the site
The plastic layer is a term used to describe the active layers of soil, earth, living organisms and fresh water which combine to form the upper ‘malleable’ crust of the earth. In relative terms this forms but a veneer atop the sub-terrain and is the stuff which enables life.
The concept for a three-dimensional object in reaction to the landscape deals with this idea of a plastic layer. Its purpose is to articulate the landscape beneith us, often overlooked and hard to perseive, this body is that which is the repository for all mans requirments. Water, minerals, energy, raw materials.
For architects, it can be an amazing thing. An undulating and somethimes violent thing, which spaces must comply with and structures must understand.
The object relays these ideas to the viewer.
1. The first drawing describes a potential model which comprises of an undefined vertical plinth. Vernacular buildings are placed on top of a slab foundation which floats above the ground. This slab folds up to form a canopy over the ground. Work occurs here. A tray for water collection veneers the top of this structure and carries the water to the buildings.
2. The two objects here describe in more primitive terms the events from the first sketch and deal primarily with water. They are described in further detail in 4.3: Conceptual Expression.
3. Describes an object which articulates the ideas presented above. It shows the plastic layer as it is manipulated for water collection, water storage, the support of structures, and manipulation of the ground.
the value of shared infrastructure to promote micro-society & imposed responsibility
airborn well & earthen vessel
The Airborn well is the vessel, raised. It is a manmade container which through artificial means accumulates fresh drinking water.
the Earthen Vessel
The form describes a core of earth, clay and rock. The plastic layer rests on the compacted material. The plastic layer adapts to the contouring of this foundation. It finds its own level.
A base intervention occurs as a geometric sqaure extruding a void through each mass. The void becomes an earth vessil for water and minerals to be contained.
Water fills the vessil during times of plenty, is harvested and stored for times of drought.
Man manages the water resourse through primitive yet effective means and becomes self reliant.
The vessil occurs in a flat wet landscape. The vessil is allowed to drain. It absorbs rainfall and prevents flooding of the paths and walkways.
a Moral Exchange
assess the impact and offset
architecture and infrastructure of shared benefit
This sketch develops the idea of water storage further. It suggests a water-tower with a number ‘H432’ providing water, utilities, surveillance and identity. The hypothesis is that this structure would be part of a series of unique utility structures applied across the productive landscape.
Houses, businesses and other buildings would cluster around these sites and feed from its resources and those which it connects with. The understanding of its role and the science of its function would become part of the identity of the people who live there. The responsibility for the correct manufacture/ harvesting/ production of a resource would lie with these people.
Likewise, the energy which they use would come from an alternate site where people would see to the correct and optimum sourcing of this resource. A relationship of mutual benefit occurs.
an observation on society in Kinsealy
Beauty or Chaos ?
the current reality and future potential of infrastructure