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EXPLORATIONS

MINOR ARCHITECTURE 

SCHIEHALLION

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Overnight, very

Whitely, discreetly,

Very quietly

Our toes, our noses

Take hold on the loam,

Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,

Stops us, betrays us;

The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on

Heaving the needles,

The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.

Our hammers, our rams,

Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,

Widen the crannies,

Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,

On crumbs of shadow,

Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.

So many of us!

So many of us!

We are shelves, we are

Tables, we are meek,

We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers

In spite of ourselves.

Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning

Inherit the earth.

Our foot’s in the door.

MUSHROOMS -  SYLVIA PLATH

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THE MINOR ARCHITECTURE OF A MUNRO

The starting point for this project was the munro - Schiehallion.

The minor architecture we would design was to come completely from the mountain. This project involved an untraditional architectural journey involving poetry, literature and mushrooms. 

 

After visiting the mountain the key themes identified were scale and time, both of which were also key to Nevil Maskelyne in 1774, who's experiments on the mountain lead him to calculate the mean density of the earth and resulting in the invention of contour lines. The sites of his 3 observatories are still just visible today and it was these which also led to the outcome of this project. 

Detailed axonometric drawings of rocks gathered on the mountain, allowed us to get detailed digital models by 3d scanning clay models.  As well as these, we also created digital models of the geographical fault-lines which run beneath and form the mountain. From the geometries of these digital models that our three observatories were created.

Whilst studying the changes to the mountain in different time frames and scales, looking at erosion, weather, growth and geographical folds, we decided that the minor architectures would be observatories to measure these. 

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THE  THREE OBSERVATORIES

The first observatory would measure seismic waves and pulses from deep in the mountain and would allow geologists to map and predict patterns and movements in the rock formation. 

The second observatory would be a weather station with satellite and telescope, so that astrological and meteorological predictions can be made. 

Finally, the third observatory is more of a foraging station and mushroom farm. After studying Sylvia Plath's poem 'Mushrooms' which initially reminded us of the formation of rocks and mountains, we saw the minor architectures in the plants and ever changing surface of the munro. The third observatory aims to help preserve and maintain the mountain's pathways, plants, streams and wildlife, so people in the future may enjoy the mountain as we do. 

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