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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Research into the ruins for the Party In A Ruin project has led me to  “A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain”, an informative and engaging blog written by Owen Hatherley.

Here is a link for his entry on Edinburgh: http://urbantrawl.blogspot.com/search/label/Edinburgh.

The discussion and/or criticism concentrates mainly on Modernist buildings and recent additions to the towns. Although none of the buildings described are ruins in physical sense, the author chooses to name them so to show how their design causes the inverse of the intended function.

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As it happened, in reality, to Glasgow. 

While researching Glasgow area for the project of mapping Scottish ruins, the void, the missing parts, their replacement and the overall continuity of the city became apparent:

The Digimap of 1860 Glasgow overlayed with a conceptual map of the medieval city.

The lost buildings include parts of Old College, High Street, Prebendary houses and many others.

One of the most interesting is the story of the Bishop’s Castle, which used to stand next to the Cathedral, since Glasgow evolved as a religious centre on the West coast. After Reformation, it was abandoned and left to crumble. The stones from the Castle were used to build the Saracen’s Head Inn in Gallowgate. The remains of the castle were cleared and used for Robert and James Adam’s Royal Infirmary which was considered unsuitable for modern medicine and demolished in 1924.

Brief: To document and represent ruins of Glasgow, Clyde Valley, Stirling and the Trossachs.

Design: Each ruins is represented on the map with its individual characteristics emphasized by the variety of material and size of the piece. The ruins are classified by their function and present condition.

…of looking up and rediscovering the sky again.

Brief: To design a folly that would reflect our initial ideas about ruins.

Design: Planned for a vacant site in the centre of Edinburgh, the design tries to convey a sense of discovery and material continuity.

Mountain Hut in Ruins

Without the drama, nostalgia or a sense of terror that ruins are usually associated with, this watercolour still retains one of the aspects of ruins that I find interesting – the enigma.