Posts Tagged ‘bricks’

From extreme to subtle

A strategy I have often worked with is starting out with superlatives. I find that starting out with everything being done to its extreme limit makes it easier to turn the volume down later – rather than to start at a low volume, to find that no one can hear what you are saying. There is a real danger of creating something that’s too complex and too radical, to be coherent architecture – but none the less I find it to be a good technique.

This has also been the story of my semester project so far. First I wanted to cut through the ruin of Kalø to get a great view. Then I changed it to an excavation and cut of one corner of the building. At my third pin-up I was at the point where what remained of this, was stairs running inside the original tower walls, with everything above the level of the stairs being cut out. Now I’m thinking that I will just cut out the stairs as a corridor in the walls and retain the bricks above with a concrete or steel element and narrow columns.

The ruin itself will be excavacted compeltely down to the bottom, in the middle of a new ‘moat’ lined on the outside with the Ultima bricks from Randers Tegl, offset to create a strong shadow effect. and horizontal lines. A new mode, in stark contrast to the old ruin in the centre. A small bridge will go across to the old entrance, and a floor will somehow continue from there, as well as the stairs in the wall – but I haven’t figured that out yet.

After my latest pin-up another thing started to interest me too however. I came to the realization, that the wall probably doesn’t continue all the way down on the outside of the tower – there is more likely a foundation of rocks put up against the sides in some uneven way – to make the base for the tower. The dirt taking most of the forces from the building.

If this is the case – it could be an amazing thing to excavate carefully and retain with some columns and either a net of some kind (like the ones they use in norway to retain cliff-sides) or by spraying it with concrete in the gaps.

You would suddenly be able to see a part of the original construction that you never could before – exhibiting an otherwise always hidden part of a building. The foundation.

I’m off! Be back sooner next time!

Brick workshop – initial thoughts

the structure next to old bricks like those at Kalø #3

After returning from a fantastic workshop at Hammershøj Teglværk, seeing how the bricks were made, and experimenting with different bonds and combining different formats, colors and most notably – using them together with bricks like the ones at Kalø.

It was great to be able to test out the ideas we had from home, and see what worked and what didn’t. Figuring these things out just simply works better when done in the real world – 1:1. The problem with this however was – that we weren’t using mortar, which both visually and especially structurally changes everything.

We were still able to get a pretty good idea however – and the bricks that my workshop partner and I picked – narrow and very long ones – turned out to fit almost exactly with two new bricks per one old.

We will have to make more tests using mortar and possibly glue to see if our results at the workshop can actually be used in the real world – as of course imperfections and iregularities in bricks is to be expected – especially with very narrow and long ones.

These coming few days we’ll be applying what we learned to detailed laser scanned models from the site. I still feel quite confident that my ideas would work, though a lot of tough choices will have to be made… more to follow!

Brick workshop

Tomorrow we’re heading off to a Brick Factory near randers to expirment in 1:1 with bricks, patterns, colors, bonds, openings, etc. all of it in relationship to our project this semester – converting Kalø Slotsruin with BRICKS as the central element.

I’m planning to work with very long, narrow bricks, and I’m interested in seeing how to make a relief in the bond, causing shadow and depth to appear – as well as how to make openings.

I will post some of my work as I go along – and some more when we get back!