Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Building Modern Ruins

modern or ancient?

'06 Bridgton Academy project by North Star Stoneworks
Although I devote most of this blog to brick oven topics, as a landscape designer, I enjoy seeing the larger picture when planning a brick oven on any location.

The photo to the left was taken in Pompeii, Italy and could easily be a 'modern' courtyard.  The above ruin was designed and created by me for the hillside and campus of Bridgton Academy in Maine.

I was asked to design for the center of a 200 year-old campus in a space directly in front of a brand-new humanities building.  In this case, I created a circular stone remnant tower base (later to be referred to as an 'outdoor classroom' for the sake of purposing it).  With a steep hillside to the east, I built in a breach in the wall where a dry stream bed of river stone snaked down the hill, accented with boulders (as any stream would be).

Applying the same technique of inventing a fictional history that is suited to a particular site, I look for reference points when planning brick ovens.  What is the vernacular of the place.  The brick oven itself is an historic cooking device.  However, the appearance of them changes with region and culture. 

Certainly, if I was asked to recreate a cultural model, I would look to visual references and proceed, but finding the unique blend of form and materials in any given situation makes my work as a mason especially interesting.

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