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Mechanics of the [Landscape]

Part 2 Project 2010
David Baggaley
University of Nottingham, UK
‘MECHANICS OF THE [LANDSCAPE]’ started with a series of experiments which became points of stimuli for my thesis investigation. The written thesis challenged the theory of a context and how we perceive objects and marks within the landscape. I underwent a journey and discovered a site located on the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales.

Extensive analysis was gathered at various scales and parameters which highlighted social and physical problems of the site and surrounding context. One of these was an agricultural issue.

The site hosts amazing eruptions of rock which are part of the gwna melange, formed by a combination of tectonic and sedimentary process’. The major problem created is that the agriculture fields are very susceptible to surface runoff making them unsuitable to grow crops. The rock leaves a maximum of 1m of top soil in most parts. Therefore during intense rainfall the land becomes saturated very quickly, hence heavy surface runoff is produced.

A programme was generated to resolve questions produced by the analysis. The programme comprises of a series of layers:

.[1]A&B The primary layer manages the regulation of saturation levels of an experimental agricultural strip [The Instrument]. Two innkeepers of the land live in the ‘Innkeepers House’ and take care of the other proposed infrastructure. The house is the pivot between the varying layers of the programme.

.[2]A Walkers are the main activity influx of the existing site programme. A bwthyn / bunk house brings a brief respite, whilst overlooking the surrounding context. The space is flexible to provide a single night’s accommodation due to the sparse number of shelters along the coastal footpath.

.[2]B During the summer influx season a projection room screens an accumulation of daily aerial photographs displaying the transformations of the patterns within the landscape.

.[3] A series of mass are ‘injected’ into the land to navigate between the new insertions and to replace the existing set of steps that will be lost due to the landshift. A composite landscape is formed of existing context and inserted artifice.

David Baggaley

David Baggaley’s Thesis project Mechanics of the [Landscape] has been nominated for its rigorous and poetic exploration of the landscape of the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales. Inspired by a family photograph the project has been shaped by personal experience whilst drawing on carefully studied precedents of the work of Scandinavian architects Lewerentz and Utzon. David constructs a natural history of place where geologic time and socio-cultural history form the basis for an architectural brief situated on a cliff alcove on the Welsh coastal path.

The project is a tectonic exploration of a constantly changing landscape that engages with the coastal condition and modifies it with key interventions including a bwthyn for walkers and an innkeeper’s house. The innkeepers provide a hospitalable caravanserai, crucially, they are also ecological custodians and guardians of place. The intention of the project is to create a poetic architecture and landscape. This was explored by making at full-scale prototypes and iterative making of physical models, Graphically a poem by R.S. Thomas is used to represent the land of Wales.

Throughout the year David demonstrated rigour, invention and fully participated in the collaborative discourse of his studio, the Making Architecture Research Studio (MARS), Sixth Year Diploma at the University of Nottingham.

Tutors: Graham Farmer and Professor Michael Stacey with Sheldon Brown and Frances Stacey

Mr Graham Farmer
Prof Michael Stacey
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