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A Temporary Shelter for a Larch Cull and a Permanent Place to Remember it.

Part 1 Project 2014
Letitia Magee
Ulster University | UK
“One of our deepest needs is for a sense of identity and belonging and a common denominator in this is human attachment to landscape. Landscape therefore is not simply what we see, but a way of seeing: we see it with our eye but interpret it with our mind and ascribe values to landscape for intangible-spiritual-reasons.”

Glenarm is a coastal village in Co.Antrim. The people who live there have deeply rooted ties with the land, the sea, and even Scotland. The land is marked and scored with their activity, an enduring account of the transient lives and memories of a community dating as far back as 2000 BC.

Although dearly held memories are transient, the landscape which facilitated and witnessed them, endures. The land is a storehouse of private and collective memories. Therefore the land, and especially such an ancient settlement as Glenarm, reflects deeply who we are, forming part of our identity.

It is into the forest that the people of Glenarm go. Forests by their nature are full of intrigue, life, folkore and fairytales. However, the forest is infected with the disease P.Ramorum which attacks Japanese larch, a species widespread within Glenarm. In 2010, Glenarm was ordered to fell all diseased trees, however in 2014, this felling has still not been completed. The project introduces to the forest a shelter for the larch cull. A sawmill which will efficiently remove diseased trees and restore them to useable lumber. This destruction of the landscape will form a scar on Glenarm, but the remnants of the mill will create a space to reflect on the cull.

The mill is designed that once the infected trees have been processed, the main structure can be removed. What is left is the limestone slab and concrete frame plinth.

The plinth acts as a place of memorial to reflect on the cull which has taken place. The marks of the machinery left in the slab, remind the visitor that the destruction of their landscape and memory of the forest, was necessary in order to provide a healthy future for the woodland and Glenarm.

Letitia Magee


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