Thursday, 21 October 2010

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. - Hanna Rion

One thing I have struggled with since moving to Dundee is the urban environment. Back home I'm used to the rolling fields, trees, endless space with nobody in it. Outside the front door rather than the concrete jungle you would enter the garden and have the opportunity to relax and free your mind a little in search of relaxation or inspiration. Although there are parks and gardens in Dundee none of which really compare or provide a real feeling of privacy and time to be alone with your thoughts. A room in halls doesn't make for the most stimulating of environments either. Its rather strange how what would seam a small factor in someone daily routine can have such an affect when it is changed. 

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A Wander Around Magdalen Green

A few weeks into University I decided to wander around town taking photographs for an Inspiring place project. I had been to the docks, the road bridge, the Law hill so thought it would be appropriate to have a look at somewhere in a different area of the town. Oh and also try out my new eos 450d which I have absolutely no idea how to work!!! So basically this post is just a collection of pictures I took of some things I thought were rather interesting and inspiring. 

These are a couple of images of the Tay Rope Works. Which I think is in a concervation area and was going to be demolished. I thought it was a rather interesting wee building as this facade suggests its really a rather small place. Would be interesting to go inside and see if it opens up into an expanse of workshop space or something. I also the the windows were rather interesting and would possibly create an interesting light quality inside the building.

 These two images were taken along "Strawberry Lane" a rather impressive narrow lane that stretches all the way up to Perth Road, there were some nice old houses along the way and also the road surface was rather interesting. Constantly changing from cobbles to patches of tar, brick and all sorts of various materials. The image on the left is of a house about half way along the lane, cant imagine it would get much in the way of light at times but I found it rather interesting and "quaint". 

The above images are from the allotment at the end of the magdalin. I've always been fascinated by gardening since a very young age, not very "cool" I know but being brought up in the countryside the garden is a place where you spend allot of time. It was rather nice being in the peace and tranquillity of the allotments and i must say the architecture and engineering was rather remarkable as i am sure you can see in the above right hand image. I think gardens and outdoor space is something I may incorporate into allot of my ideas when it comes to me designing a building. 

The two above images are of a stairwell in a block of flats, the sky light at the top of the stair well creates a really interesting effect with light and gave the space a really interesting atmosphere , it wasn't a particularly "nice" place. But the effect was interesting none the less. 

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Pitfar / Monksgrave Farm

Pitfar / Monksgrave - Powmill

The other weekend I was back home in Powmill after settling in at university. Didn't have very much to do on such a gloomy Sunday morning so went for a wonder across the fields and came across the ruin of a farm. There was a quite an atmosphere about the place , you approach along a tree lined lane and then find the ruins right in the middle of some open fields sheltered by a deciduous woodland. The site is really rather picturesque and peaceful which made me wonder as to why the farm would be left ruined and derelict and even became so in the first place.

The stone work featured in this building was rather interesting, roughly but beautifully dressed quoins and lintels around the doors and windows. Also rough rubble in places filling up windows no longer needed and even wood in places. Certainly gives the place great character and a nice feel for what the workmanship of the building would have been like.

Above the front door are a series of engravings. A crescent which after further research could possibly be the crescent moon of the Northern hemisphere meant to bring prosperity to farmers in such areas. There is a date, 1822 and initials , only one of which is legible (CHH).

When i got home i decided to do some research on the place and found some pretty interesting things out. Firstly about the name, this is an extract from the RCAHMS site.

OSA repeats the story of an alleged boundary dispute betweeen the Tullibardine family and the Abbots of Culross - one of whose monks swore that he stood on Culross lands and was then killed by a Tullibardine who found that the monk's boots contained earth from Culross; the monk was buried where he fell - hence the name. 
The RCAHMS says that the place is locally described as 'The Monk's Grove'. 
The ONB repeats the above story but adds that, until a few years before 1859, five or six large stones were standing on this place when the present proprietor had them removed. "The workmen who removed the stones dug down to a considerable depth thinking to find the remains of the murdered monk but nothing of the kind was found." 
OSA (Mr Graham) 1796; RCAHMS 1933; Name Book 1859. 

It was rather nice being able to gather some different inspiration and soak in surrounding that werent Dundee for a change. I had some Runrig playing on the ipod when I was taking photographs and wandering about. It really gave the place such a sense of atmosphere. A rather enjoyable afternoon after a few weeks of chaos in Dundee during freshers !!