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Henry Moore Foundation

Part 2 Project 2002
Kay Burman
Matthew Hynam
University of Portsmouth, UK
The thesis project focuses on the Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Hertfordshire and forms a continuation of the dissertation theme, ‘Architecture + Landscape : Integration + Separation’. Through undertaking this work there has been an awareness of how the integration of built form and landscape has in turn formed the link between the created world of man ‘culture’ and the world in which man dwells ‘nature’.

As an ideal concept the Henry Moore Foundation presents a perfect vehicle as an initiation point for an architecture that reacts and responds to the presence of art within the landscape.

The intention to explicate the possibilities of interaction between landscape, sculpture and architecture, where ultimately architecture is resolved as ‘mediator’ between landscape, art and artist.

Preconceptions and paradigms aside the journey of the thesis fundamentally begins to question the validity of the ‘art work’ and the artist. Through Moore we realise the defining moment occurs when landscape and art are fused into a single entity where only a simple architecture can respond to.

The role of the architectural form is resolved into its purest form of enclosure with the emphasis on a refined material palette of copper, wood & stone and simplistic detail that remains conscious and sympathetic to the sensitivity of the site and presence of the sculptures.

It is an attempt to displace preconceived ideas of art based design away from the ‘architectonic autonomous masterpiece’ by proving that art and architecture can co-exist within silent conversation through close proximity to each other.

Kay Burman
Matthew Hynam

This thesis extended a dissertation interest in the reciprocal relationship between landscape and architecture into a proposal for a Foundation at the seventy acre former home of Henry Moore in the rolling countryside at Perry Green in Hertfordshire.

This became the vehicle to explore both building and landscape as well as sculpture and the environment with the intention of creating a series of buildings to house various collections of Moore’s work as well as visitor necessities (cafe, lecture, toilets and so on). The buildings were beautifully laid out to help define a central triangular ‘village green’ within the complex evoking rural planning yet simultaneously setting up an abstract relationship one to another. This dialogue was further reinforced by a very clear and straightforward architectural vocabulary of clean forms, buildings and pavilions that share stone and timber walls, green copper roofs- a humane yet abstract language that fuses Wohlert and Bo’s Louisiana gallery with Miesian clarity and in using natural materials sets up an effortless reciprocity with the land. The buildings become mediators between sculpture, landscape and time- an approach best seen in the central cafe/ exhibition building which acts as a kind of camera obscura, focussed on the dominate yet distant giant reclining figure sculpture on the horizon.

What strikes most about this thesis is the seeming effortlessness of the overall layout, building designs and detail- it has the sense of wanting to exist in the chosen landscape- a remarkable achievement.

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