Stilts and grids

Two pieces from yesterday’s Guardian evocative of the post-North-Atlantic Conveyor context of future design.

First, Jonathan Glancey on Alison Brooks’ ‘Salt House’:

“The origami-like geometry of the Salt House’s roofs and walls fold and unfold through the interior, creating a surprising, beautifully lit flow of domestic space as if this was some kind of enclosed seaside landscape to explore, play and relax in rather than the disjointed maze of a conventional new home. The important thing about the Salt House, from a technical point of view, is that it is designed to withstand the floods that will surely come this way, and with some force.

The house stands on stilts, not that you would notice them. Decking spreads out across the site, hiding the fact that the house has been raised up so that surge tides will pass beneath it. The ingenuity of the plan; the commonsense approach to the fact that south-east England is increasingly prone to flooding; the spirited yet subtle energy of its design – all this make the Salt House one of the best new out-of-town houses in Britain today.”

Second, Ruaridh Nicoll’s recollections of growing-up offgrid in Scotland, and the rhythms of life generated by their family generator:

“Until the pylons came, the beast in the shed would dictate the rhythms of our existence. The expense meant that the machine would be turned off when it wasn’t needed, giving my father an extraordinary power over our lives. In Sutherland, in winter, the sun sets at 3.30pm. It was two miles to the nearest house. The darkness was absolute once the generator was off.

The pylons arrived in the mid-1980s and the generator turned from master to slave, a luxury to be used smugly during power cuts… The wilderness itself was pushed back, to reside weakly in the lead pipes and the failure of a television signal to penetrate the deep glen.”

This has been a post in the style of Dan Hill

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