A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a small clearing in the middle of a forest amidst a medley of exciting experimental buildings. I was at Hooke Park in Dorset, an educational facility owned by the Architectural Association and set in 150 acres of working forest.
The buildings were particularly interesting because they combined innovative architectural design with the use of forest thinnings, timber not usually considered of economic value. Other cheap materials such as fabrics were widely used too.
It just so happens that I am in the process of designing a tractor shed for our old Leyland, now I am seeing all timber buildings with new eyes and am having to revisit my designs.
The visit to Hooke Park was followed a few days later, although only coincidentally, by a film and discussion at the University of Bath on Frank Gehry (Sketches of Frank Gehry – a documentary film by Sydney Pollack). I have visited the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao twice and each time this massive sculptural building has not failed to impress me however the buildings in the wood also defied the need for straight lines, were more modest and more achievable.