This week our plans for the new building on the Oliver’s site go to the Council Planning Department. I am not counting my chickens, so I am enjoying the perfection of the building on paper, knowing that by the planners have finished with it, it may be a shadow of its former self.
Niall McLaughlin have listened to my desire for something peaceful, delicate, aesthetic. The Pavilion hovers over a meadow of wild grasses, a compact unit of long art room with domestic ‘pods’ to one side: bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette. It is not a sea of glass, but a place of filtered light and framed views. Uphill, the inland long side of the building has three large, round, convex windows. Our wish to use the space as an art room inspired the architects to add this feature, which will act as a type of ‘claude glass’: a lens through which artists of the picturesque movement viewed landscapes in order to idealise them for painting. The downward side to the sea has shutters which slide back to create a row of openings to frame the harbour. As they slide back, they leave a low bench along the length for sitting conversationally, inside or out. Below, the grass reaches just to the top of the veranda floor creating unceasing ripples of movement.
The lightness is in the complex metal frame, the finish externally of metal too, mellow colours reflecting those of the landscape, while the interior is lined in wood to reflect the Japanese buildings that I love. The Pavilion is tucked away, to one side of the plot, so quite a contrast to the central siting of the white bungalow, a more discrete and sympathetic setting from the harbour wall, creating a sweep of a view from James land across to the corner of our own.
My hopes for this are tied on the opinions of the those around us, and here is a sketch so you can give yours.