10 thoughts on “yet more ambiguity

  1. Christine

    As a founding assumption about optimal uses of the site I think this is a very good schematic layout. (I hope that not being ‘plain english’ this statement makes sense!)

  2. stefan

    remember that some light is being reflected back onto the site by the building opposite. what if the ground materials were also reflective/metallic? would they pick up this light making the place brighter? metal could also work well with the moonlight..

  3. Tom Turner

    I have noticed that squares surrounded by glazed buildings are much lighter than they would be if surrounded by non-reflective buildings. The addition of reflective paving could take us towards ‘total internal reflection’.

  4. Christine

    I am thinking that the red brick building on Blackfriar’s street and the smaller brick building facing Meymott streeet might be demolished in any redevelopment. Maybe we could consider the redevelopment site as a piece of additive architecture? [ie. stage 1 and 2 redevelopment?]

    Perhaps the new building on the site might be of a similar height to the metallic faced building shown in photo 494. Or is the facade stepped to Meymott Street because of right of light requirements?

    This building has the most people viewing onto the site….but it is not the most aesthetically pleasing to view from the site. Perhaps we could plant that side to screen the facade from inside of the garden?

    Looking from the site – the best view out is to Blackfriar’s street building. Perhaps a glazed transparent building could maximise the views through the site to this elevation?

    At present, (very first thought) I am thinking of a building which changes its form from square on the ground to perhaps oval or circular as it rises beyond the height of the lower surrounding buildings? The idea is to maximise light reflectance and to create a visual re-orientation devise on the site.

  5. stefan

    its this stepped building that is reflecting light onto the site, so i dont know if i want to screen it, no matter how unnattractive it is. perhaps we could knock down and replace this monstrosity?

    the brick building i kind of like, as it gives the place some historical context, but if you think something glass would be better.. i’m reckoning that the buildings on Blackfriars st will be hit by/obscure sunlight on one side in the morning and then the other as the sun moves from east to west. assuming the top of our map is due north of course .. so you’re thinking that a glass building here would provide extra light in the late afternoon/evening?

    as far as building height goes, i’d like to keep the roof gardens accessible/apparent to the public, so maybe some compromise?

  6. stefan

    the building across blackfriars is attractive. could we use your pilotis idea to correspond to its arches?

    theres an additional perspective here along with some notes

  7. Christine

    Thankyou Stefan. Your sketch clarified my thoughts about the building we are creating at the entrance to the site.

    Upon further consideration of my previous comments I realised that it would be unwise to pre-empt the direction of the future development on the site (including demolition). The time line for possible full scale development and the particular conditions under which that development will take place are unknown. Better to leave these considerations to the future.

    However, raising the glass cube on pilotis may be a possibility(I will have to sleep on this thought and perhaps reconsider it as we go – access and functionality may need further thought.) Perhaps some sort of curved ramp (a la villa savoy) originating in the garden, skimming the water, might be fun!

    Although, I would favour the height of the infill being greater. (I don’t think that the redevelopment area you have mapped out is very large.) It looks as if we may be able to match the spacing of the arches (perhaps every second or third one) opposite as you suggest.

    We only need screen the lower level of the ‘monstrous’ building – so reflectance onto the site should not be greatly affected. I agree about the brick buildings…although they have no particular architectural merit and are a little ramshackle in their construction, they have a nice scale, texture and urban pattern. Perhaps we could assist in helping them make more of the potential which clearly exists for rear gardens and terraces which would overlook our garden. See photo 509.

    The reason for the glass building on the redevelopment area is predominantly to maintain transparency and visual connection into and out of the site. My priority is not to create architecture in the usual sense….so lets call it a ‘de-materialised’ architecture. It can become part of the roof garden in the future. But I don’t think we have to know too much about what this will be or how it will function for now.

    However, maximising all available direct light onto the site, unless we have particular reasons not to, is also important.

  8. stefan

    rear gardens and terraces. yes, love that!

    perhaps theres the potential to add to the brick building, some sort of glass extension above it? or reclad the rear of existing buildings?

  9. Christine

    Sometimes it is necessary to stop and take stock of where you are in the process of design. Most of the time this is an intuitive step, rather than an articulated one. Thankfully I can borrow Christopher Bradley-Hole’s words from ‘Making the Modern Garden’ to describe where we are the making of the moon garden:

    “A garden is physically defined by where it starts and stops. Urban spaces are likely to be confined within existing spaces….to enclose a garden or not is a fundamental decision. Few other factors determine its character so comprehensively.

    Enclosure will certainly influence the next decision – the form of the garden. This is the shape, the layout, the spaces, how they interrelate, their proportions and their use. One of the biggest influences will be the context of the garden. We can define context here as the sum of the garden’s actual site with its relationship to any nearby buildings and its position ‘vis a vis’ the surrounding landscape.” p48.


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