Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The start of THIRD YEAR

The start of the third and final year has been a daunting yet very exciting experience, especially with our site visit today to a market town in West Yorkshire called Hebden Bridge. The theme of my group's project is 'Narrative Spaces', but the tutors have revealed very little about the actual design project. This quote on top of our hand out today suggests it is something to do with story telling, memories and imagination.

"A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species of Homo Sapiens- second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the last incommunicable constraints of psychopaths" (Reynolds Price, 1978)

Having lunch in the town centre

Walking along the canal

Today's site visit consisted of us starting the site analysis and exploring Hebden Bridge, which sits in a valley surrounded by steeply sloped hills. My group started to look at the typology of the town, including the vernacular, form, materials and technology. One of the most interesting things about the architecture in Hebden Bridge is the typology of the houses which is unique to the town, called the 'over and under' houses, as a local resident called it today or the 'split level system'. In the 1700s, they built houses 2 storeys high on a slope facing the main street and behind attached to it they built 4 storeys facing the garden street on the lower level, with the two houses being attached back to back. History says, that the lower entrance houses were more prone to flooding from the nearby canals and received the less light and were therefore more likely to be owned by the poorer population. It was a really interesting day, especially when we trekked up a huge hill to get to a village called Heptonstall where we stumbled upon the grave of Sylvia Plath, which was a nice bonus for all the literary lovers in our group!

Houses built on the steep slopes

2 storey terraced houses perpendicular to the canal

A mill factory situated on the canal

An example of the split level system,  4 storeys on the back and 2 on the front

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