Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Roof space motif

I'm a great fan of high ceilings - natural light, scale, proportions
with a large learning space, etc. And these big spaces lend themselves
to "installation" size objects that also do a remarkable job in
deadening noise. Most recently I was suggesting to teachers from
Knowsley's new learning spaces (where technology ans science together
need some careful sound engineering) that a pterodactyl in the roof
would be a useful sound control device and an enjoyable science /
technology project. Anyway, here up a mountain in France skiing and I
find the same solution - and the same powerful sense of motif. Not
sure what our Health and Safety folk would make of the rusty chains
holding it up though...

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Westminster Hall

Sorry about the blurry picture - I was passing through in a bit of a hurry...

This huge hall was built in 1097, which is going back a fair bit! The famous hammerbeam roof was put up in Richard II's reign. It is the largest clearspan medieval roof in England - no pillars, huge floor. It has housed a few important trials to say the least: Charles I at the end of the English Civil War, Sir William Wallace, Sir Thomas More, Guy Fawkes...

And it has housed coronation banquest - last one was for George !V in 1821.

So, you don't really need me to spell this out do you?: large open multifacted, agile building, still valuable almost 1,000 years on...