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Building simply: an investigation into the potential for building simply in the UK

Heal, Amanda 2010. Building simply: an investigation into the potential for building simply in the UK. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This Thesis explores the theme of Building Simply; architecture of simple, elemental forms, constructed in a logical, legible and resourceful way from raw local materials. These buildings have a sense of timelessness and authenticity, and express an empathy with the landscape in which they sit. The thesis aims to demonstrate that it is possible, and even beneficial to Build Simply in the context of the contemporary UK construction industry. ‘Building Simply’ means to design and construct in a direct but refined and artful way, producing buildings of simple form and visual calm often constructed with the appropriate use of a predominant local material. An ethical and economical approach to sensible resource use and a critical approach to site are adopted. Buildings are designed with quiet appropriateness in mind, rather than the louder formal manifestation of iconic architecture. Building Simply is not concerned with purely visual simplicity; it is concerned with minimisation to give tectonic clarity and not minimalism as an aesthetic style. With priority given to construction, relationship to context and considered composition of forms and spaces rather than surface aesthetics, this architecture is timeless rather than fashionable. Principles for Building Simply are abstracted from a study of vernacular architecture. Having set out a framework which defines Building Simply, the thesis argues its benefits. Case studies of three European buildings are used as examples to show how Building Simply is possible: • Cultural Centre, Riudaura, Spain; by RCR Arquitectes • Wine Store, Vauvert, France; by Gilles Perraudin • Gallery for Contemporary Art, Marktoberdorf, Germany; by Bearth and Deplazes A further ‘working case study’ of a UK project then acts a discussion of the real issues involved in Building Simply in the UK.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Building simply; Simple, elemental architecture; Local materials
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 13:25

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