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Enlivening Architecture through Drawing on Nature

Part 1 Dissertation 2006
Ashling Geraghty
Plymouth University Plymouth UK
This essay intends to demonstrate the significance of creating an architecture that is considerate of nature and its ability to transform a dwelling into an enlivened space.

In today’s increasingly urban landscape, where power and money have become the ultimate objective, it is hard to find a place where one can be at peace with nature. Architecture has simply become a commodity, and has thus lost its connection with its environment. Rather than building with respect to place and drawing on the unique qualities of a site, emphasis is on quick-build and mass production.

The essay discusses architects who demonstrate a radical design approach, questioning and reassessing the norms of architecture. Why should we produce numerous copies of one style? Surely each individual project should be approached as such- exclusive! It is crucial for the well being of the human soul to experience nature in everyday life. The interaction provides peace and encourages reflection. Why can’t an element of the natural world be present in all buildings? Even an addition of an inner garden in an urban house, where, seemingly it is impossible to draw on nature, would provide a place of contemplation and calm amidst the hectic life outside. Even in more rural areas, where it is infinitely more possible to draw on nature, architecture today chooses the ‘easy’ option, and our landscape reflects identical building choices, regardless of location.

This essay seeks to convincingly argue, that truly beautiful architecture is only achieved if it is sympathetic with its surroundings, and works to realize that which the site desires. To draw nature into the body, through light, sound and landscape, will ultimately accomplish an architecture that will speak to the spirit of both the human soul and nature.

Ashling Geraghty


This very well researched and presented dissertation explores the relationship between nature and architecture. The author has developed the argument that all beautiful architecture must build on this relationship. The case is well made with supporting literature and architectural examples both contemporary and from the recent past. The author has successfully argued that ‘architecture transcends mere form and geometry’. The lived in experience is enriched when the principle of incorporating nature into design is followed through architectural work.

2006
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