Broken edges: Ruin as a temporary state of a building
Wednesday evening our studio attended an interesting event organized by The Sir John Soane Museum, The Landmark Trust and the LSE Cities Programme. The event was titled: Broken Edges: Cities and Other Ruins – an exhibition at Soane’s, followed by a lecture and discussion at LSE. The centre piece of the event was Astley Castle, this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize Winner, an inspired restoration and development of a ruin by the Architects Witherford Watson Mann on behalf of Landmark Trust. This event well rounded our recent thoughts on the poetics of work-in-progress, especially that of the construction process.
The beauty of a ruin, like that of a building site, resides in our ability to see into the temporary state of a building. The time unfolds in front of us, opening up layers of time previously hidden in a way which often inspires the end result…
Sometimes, the state of the temporary lasts in continuum. Cities are just such an example, where making and re-making of the physicality around us makes up for a vibrant city.
At other times and on a smaller scale, this state is short lived, or at least most visible over shorter period of time. This is the case with building sites. Our projects-in-progress, one in London and another in Dorset, sometimes inspire a wish to suspend the moment of progress. A wish to retain the ruin. but also to complete it…
Restoration of Astley Castle in Warwickshire by Witherford Watson Mann architects.
Broken edge between the old and the new at Astley Castle.
Old Fireplace at Ebenezer Cottage in Dorset.
Work-in-progress at Ebenezer Cottage.
Old masonry walls at Ebenezer Cottage.
Old and new timbers at Elizabeth Mews in London.
Old brickwork arch and ceiling timbers at Elizabeth Mews.